It was 2008. Andrew and I had lived together for over a year and while I wasn't expecting an engagement, as my birthday drew near I started heavily hinting that I wanted a ring (a nice, sparkly one for my right hand would have been just fine) or a cat. I grew up with cats and had always had one in the house until I moved in with him. He said that I wasn't going to get either anytime soon, so when I opened a gift bag with cat toys, treats, and a food and water bowl on my 24th birthday I was so shocked that I told him there was no way I could care for a cat and that I didn't really want one!
He convinced me that I was crazy and that it was time for a cat, so I went to CAPs' website. They are a shelter on our side of town and I am a huge fan of adopting shelter pets. I didn't really have a type of cat in mind, so I scrolled through the website awww-ing over the cuteness and reading the descriptions until I stopped on a little cutie named Charlie.
Look at this little upright-sitting baby. You would have wanted him, too.
I don't believe in love at first sight really, except when it comes to this little ball of fur. I saw him and he had to be mine. The shelter was already closed for the day, but I wrote down all of his info and carried it with me the next morning so I could call and ask about him as soon as the shelter opened. This little kitty was a foster who was luckily at the shelter hoping for a home that weekend and the shelter was willing to "hold" him for me for one hour. You better believe I made Andrew speed down the freeway to make sure that no one else took him home!
If you've ever adopted a pet, you know exactly what the rooms at the shelter are like- cages with tons of cute animals and you want to adopt them all. As my then-boyfriend had never had a cat before, I knew I was really lucky that he agreed to bring one into our house so I had to find the one. We walked along the perimeter of the room and I looked for the cat I saw online. There was lots of meowing and so much cuteness. I came to a grey and black striped one. He was older than he was in the picture. There was a yellow sign above his cage saying he was on hold so I knew he was who I was looking for. He came forward in his cage toward me and let out a little meow and Andrew said "He likes you already" or something like that. And it was true! We had stopped at a few other cages and none of the other kitties approached us like this one. We finished walking through the room, just to make sure there was nothing "better" (yeah right) and told the lady that we made our decision! One adoption fee later, Charlie was on his way home with us!
That night we went out to dinner to celebrate my birthday and tried to come up with a name for our new family member. Charlie just didn't feel right. We are huge TV fans, and I wanted to name him Toby after the character on The Office. Andrew said Toby was a wimp and we needed him to have a stronger name and suggested Bauer, after Jack Bauer on 24. It was different, and I liked it. We got home from dinner, started calling him Bauer, and never looked back. He is not a badass like his namesake and is instead afraid of nearly everything, but I still love him!
Every year on his birthday he gets a new toy and his mom and dad enjoy some cake. That is what he wants, after all. I can't believe it has already been almost five years since he came home with us and took over our house. He is a snugglemuffin one minute and a total jerk the next but he is a constant source of amusement and I am so glad that my "not a cat person" husband came around!
(And for those wondering, 2008 was a good year for us - Bauer came home on November 1st and we got engaged on December 25th, so I got both of the things I asked for!)
How did your pet come into your life? Was it love at first sight? Do you celebrate its birthday?
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