Adopting Precious

December the 2nd is Miso's birthday. When he was two years old, we brought darling Precious home to be his friend and companion. Although her first year is unknown to us, I will tell you about finding her and adopting her.

That winter, Miso was very lonely as his girlfriend, Nori, had come to a tragic death that fall and was no longer with us. When we returned from our six month stay in the country, he turned sad , lonely, and bored. (Here, in the city condo, our cats must stay indoors to avoid the dreaded coyotes that roam the neighboring woods.)

So we decided to get another cat to keep Miso company and hopefully ease the sadness left by the loss of Nori. I decided it would be nice to give a home to a cat that was hard to adopt -usually this means "not a kitten". I started looking through the newspapers and found an advertisement for an adult cat. The person who answered the phone explained that they were a private cat shelter with numerous cats needing homes. In fact they had about 30, ranging in age from kittens to the geriatric. I explained about Miso being a mixed-breed Siamese of a rather obstreperous temperament and said I was looking for a female with at least some Siamese in the blood, and not to old but could be about a year old. I was told about a cat who could fit the bill might be available. It seems someone had decided to adopt her but they had failed to show up. So we decided to drive out to look at all the cats with an eye to the one that we were to find out was named, Precious.

The cat shelter is in the Surrey home of two dedicated ladies called Madeline and Karen. When we arrived at this little townhouse, we had no idea what we would see. We stepped into the hall and were ushered through the dining room and on into the living room. As we adjusted to the surroundings, we started noticing the cats. Cats were everywhere in all shapes and sizes. As we passed the stairs, something whizzed up them, no doubt a timid cat. I noticed a few kitty litter boxes placed here and there. I peeked into the kitchen and there curled up on the counter was a grey cat that barely acknowledged us. In the living room, there were quite a few cats draped on chairs and sofas. A kitten dashed out from under a sofa and disappeared under one at the other end of the room. Madeline said that particular cat never sat out in the open. She pointed to a sofa saying that the cat we were interested in was in possession of the middle cushion.

Indeed she was! She lay in a relaxed manner with the front paws demurely crossed, wheezing through a pugged nosed and looking very Persian. On the back of the sofa a large Siamese sat and yowled. It seemed that he absolutely hated sharing and Madeline and Karen were hoping to place him in a home were he could reign supreme. We sat down beside the cat on the cushion and asked if she had a name. Karen explained that they had to come up with names for them when they took them to the vet to have a check up, shots, and so on. So she of the sofa was designated as Precious, but we could change it if we wished. We sat beside her and checked her out. She was light as a feather and rather weak, her eyes a bit runny. We were assured that the vet had given her a clean bill of health. Precious had been rescued from an over crowded SPCA and was probably very stressed due to her past circumstances.

During our stay, more cats were arriving and some were departing. We were so impressed by the devotion shown that we were determined take ONE off their hands although our hearts wanted to take more. Some people arrived bringing a cat back that had failed to adjust to their house. It seems that they had a dog and this cat after a week was still was terrified so they hoped to change cats. In the meantime we really started to realize how many cats were around and how they all seemed to get along. We visited with a few others but we kept coming back to Precious. We asked more questions about her but little was known apart from the fact that she was abandoned and rescued and put in the SPCA. The vet had noticed that she had kittens recently, but of her offspring nothing was known. My husband, I could see, was determined that we should adopt HER. So it was done. The details attended to, We took her home.

She and Miso bonded quickly and easily and eventually she regained her health and settled in very well. They have a lot of fun racing around the house after each other. I think her maternal urge made it easy to take to Miso who loves being groomed and generally fussed over. Precious has quite a different personality from Miso. She is not vocal, and is shy around strangers, but is the first to greet us when we get home. She does the leg rubbing, and is quite demanding of us.

I have a routine for playtime. The most important time is about our bedtime. If I don't play with Precious she flings herself down on the floor with a big huff and sight. A lot of the communication from her is done with the sigh, or a groan -unlike Miso who stalks around bellowing his disproval. Precious loves to sleep on the end of our bed and when she decides it's time for us to get up she sits on our chest.

So today, on Miso's birthday and anniversary of Precious coming into our lives, I am happy to reminisce about her beginnings. There will no doubt be more stories about that gal with the Zsa Zsa Gabor face still to come...