I went to my local humane society the other day and almost left with a car full of furry roommates. Seriously, could you refuse this guy?
I often will stop by the humane society just to pet the kitties and doggies. One day I’d like to volunteer but for right now, visiting is a reward I give myself when I do particularly well, motivation-wise. I used to go when I needed a hug, but for some reason I always felt worse after visiting then before. Maybe because the animals needed hugs more than I did or maybe because it just reminded me of what I didn’t (or couldn’t, my depression would tell me) have.
But this time, not one but six animals gave me that take-me-home-I-won’t-tell-your-landlord-you-have-me look. The first one was the puppy above. That’s Jasper, a three month old Chihuahua mix. Normally I don’t go for Chihuahuas. I think they’re too high strung and yippy. But he looked so sad, sitting all by himself in a puppy cage.
As I may have mentioned, I’m a cat lady. But I visit the doggies too. In fact, I’ve been thinking of getting a service animal. Yep, they’ve got them for mental illnesses. Usually they’re dogs, so I thought “what the heck, I like dogs too. As long as they’re not too slobbery or yippy.” This visit I came across the perfect dog for service work, a lab/retriever mix named Bennett.
The guy’s only seven months old but already was too big for a puppy cage. How could I resist a dog named after an Austen character? But I did, of course. I’m no push over. At least in the dog area.
Next came this gal:
At our humane society, the cats live communally in glass walled rooms and you can go into the rooms to visit and play. (If you’re serious about adopting a pet, volunteers will take you to private rooms where you can get especially acquainted with an animal.) Catrina, seven years old, stared out the window at me from the moment I came into view (I later watched her do the same thing to a group of kids, so I wasn’t too flattered). She came at me as soon as I walked into her room and did pant leg circles. I offered her a hand and she graciously allowed me a pet then jumped up on a cat tree to watch me greet all the other cats in the room. As I left, she jumped back down and walked me to the door, allowed me another pet, then watched me walk down the hallway. I don’t think she blinked once the entire time I was in her room. If she were mine, I’d have to rename her Vigilance.
The next room was the largest, and several black kittens started to play with me, but found each other much more interesting. A couple of grown-up kitties deigned to allow a pet, as long as I didn’t interrupt too much of nap time. But it was Hope, a four month old, who wouldn’t let me go. She kept head-butting me and had no problem whatsoever with being held. If I stopped petting for even a second, she pushed her little head under my hand, purred, and gave me one of those “love me” looks that only cats can give. She never said anything though, just purred like she was home. I spent a good ten minutes just giving her a cuddling. Best ten minutes ever.
The last room of kitties was for special cases. The kitties in these rooms like it quieter and calmer.
Sometimes because they were older, sometimes because they were scared, sometimes because they had behavioral problems, and sometimes because they were just that way. Jacque, four months old, was another vigilant kitty. But he wasn’t content to just watch me like Catrina. Nope, he walked right up to me and demanded to be picked up. And cuddled. And scratched. And loved. When I picked up Sasha, ten years old, and set her on my lap, Jacque insisted on joining us. Sasha must have had kitty buddies at her last home because she was just fine with that. Even when he walked on her head.
I’ve never had two cats want to be with me at once. Perhaps my vibe was different this time; I was there for them, not myself. Or perhaps the cats themselves were different. I’ve no idea. But I do know that I’m gonna have to go back. Soon. With maybe a large jacket to sneak one up to my apartment in.
All images courtesy of Tails Humane Society.