As long as I can remember, I’ve always had a pet.
Growing up, we had an amazing dog, a bunch of hamsters and gerbils, and a wild mouse that my dad rescued from a garbage can at his work.
I was 11 years old when we got our first cat. She was a beautiful Siamese that we got through an ad in the newspaper.
My mom taught music lessons from our house, and her students and their families absolutely loved our new cat. So much so, that about a year later we got a second, male Siamese cat with the intention of having a litter.
In July of 1997, the summer before I started high school, a litter of 4 were born. We were able to find homes for 2 of the kittens and were ultimately (yet happily!) left with 2 brothers.
Having 4 cats in the family actually worked out for us.
As my sisters and I grew up, graduated high school and moved out on our own for the first time, we each took “our cat” with us.
Over the years, the 4 cats shuffled around a bit between us because of student housing, new relationships and changing lifestyles. But the 4 cats were always with someone in my family.
In July of 2008, the summer before I started grad school, I “adopted” my sister’s cat (due to her now-husband being allergic). The 2 brothers were reunited, and quite happier together.
A year later, I got my first real job, moved across the province and lived on my own for the first time. Except I wasn’t alone. I had Kit and Oreo with me.
In June of 2015, we sort of suddenly lost Oreo – my sister’s cat. He was almost 18.
In February of 2018, we sort of suddenly lost Kit – my cat. He was almost 21.
Losing Oreo was hard.
Losing Kit was harder.
After 20 years, Kit was a part of me, a part of my identity. He was with me all through high school, university, and grad school. He was with me when I met my now-husband and was with us when we started our lives together as a married couple.
I used to look forward to coming home to my little family after a long stressful day at work.
But I hated coming home to a now empty house. Every shirt covered in cat hair or lost cat treat that had been hiding under the couch were now just painful triggers.
It was worse when my husband was at work and I was truly home alone for the first time in over a decade.
My heart felt empty.
Our home felt empty.
Our lives felt empty.
In the past, we had talked about getting new cats once the time came. But now that that time was here, I wasn’t really sure if I was ready.
We had been keeping an eye on the human society and local rescue’s website for any Siamese siblings needing a home. But since Siamese are pretty high in demand, we weren’t having any luck. (Which is a good thing, really.)
On a whim, I posted a wanted ad on Kijiji. I expected to get a reply weeks, maybe even months down the road when I had grieved a bit more and knew that I was ready.
The next morning, however, I woke up to an email. And that afternoon, in May of 2018, we welcomed two almost 3-year-old siamese sisters into our home.
Meet Mac and Charlie
They are the sweetest, most affectionate cats!
They came from a very loving home. Their previous owner rescued them from a hoarding situation, despite being highly allergic to cats. She did not want to have to re-home the girls, and likely wouldn’t have if we hadn’t come along. There aren’t many people out there looking to adopt an adult cat (opposed to a kitten), and even fewer that are looking for 2.
It suddenly didn’t matter if I was ready or not.
Adopting Mac and Charlie felt like it was the right thing for everyone.
Even though it happened a lot faster than either of us expected, and we weren’t quite prepared for them.
Physically, I couldn’t bring myself to go through Kit’s things. Instead, I threw out some stuff and tucked everything else that was cat-related into our storage space. So I wasn’t even sure what supplies we still had. And as we discovered, there were lots of nooks and crannies around our house that never interested Kit or Oreo but are fascinating to Mac and Charlie.
Mentally, losing Kit destroyed me in so many ways. I couldn’t help but worry that I was just rushing to “replace” him. But the first half of 2018 was so incredibly hard for us (for reasons more than just Kit) – we needed something good in our lives.
We’ve had Mac and Charlie for 2 weeks now and they are already part of our “new” family. They’ve adjusted better than we could have asked for.
Mac is so playful. She’s a lot like a puppy following us around the house, wagging her tail, and sleeping at the foot of our bed. She’s very alert and likes watching tv.
Charlie can be extremely cuddly when she wants to be. She’s either right in your face demanding pets and cuddles or is hiding in one of those aforementioned nooks.
They are both so full of personality and never fail to make us laugh. I am so happy we found them!
Of course, I miss Kit and Oreo every day. Nothing will ever replace them.
But my heart, our home and our lives don’t feel empty anymore thanks to Mac and Charlie.
YOUR TURN: What’s something new and good in your life? Share in the comments below!