In October 2010, Aaron and I moved into a new apartment, and I decided we needed another cat.
After a few months of debates, research, presentations, and pleading, I convinced Aaron to just look at cats at local adoption events. So we drove to Petco and we looked. There were a handful of cats in crates. Most of them were terrified, cowering in the corners. They stared at us with glassy eyes, sometimes timidly approaching to sniff our hands.
Aaron and I escaped as quickly as possible and left in tears.
“We are never going to one of those again.” Aaron said firmly, and I agreed.
On the plus side, after seeing those cats, we were both resolved to adopt a second one. So we called a local rescue and got started. The woman who ran the rescue was strict and more than a little intimidating. Before we could even meet any cats, she needed to know all about Stuart.
Stuart being a neurotic, only cat with a ego complex, is an extreme.
But she taught me some of the best things that I learned about adopting animals.
She was strict because she cared about every single animal in the rescue. She was thorough because she wanted to be sure we adopted a cat that was the right fit for all of us, Stuart included. She was intense because she wanted to make sure this cat was going to a forever home.
She gave me a list of cats that were very easy-going and did well with other cats. And there he was.
He was about 2 years old, part Siamese, and one of the funniest looking cats I’d ever seen. He was a skinny thing, all nose and eyes and and ears and whiskers, and we immediately fell in love.
“He looks like a Bruce Wayne!” I told Aaron, and that was that.
We met him at his foster’s house and his sweet personality was obvious. It was there we learned his story. He had been a stray that animal control picked up. And he was almost euthanized. He hated being in a cage and howled nonstop at the top of his little lungs. Animal control eventually contacted the rescue and told them, if you don’t take this cat, we will have to put him down.
I am so so SO thankful they did that.
We signed the paperwork, and a few days later, his foster mom brought him home.
We introduced Bruce and Stuart slowly. The first few days Bruce stayed in our bedroom while Stuart hissed outside the door. The next few days, Bruce was allowed to explore for short periods of time while Stuart hissed from behind the bathroom door. A few days after that, Bruce and Stuart met face to face. Stuart hissed. Bruce ignored.
And that’s how it went for a good month. Anywhere Bruce went, Stuart would follow, hissing. Had we adopted a cat with a more dominant or fiesty personality, this would have been a nightmare. But Bruce was so calm, he never reacted to Stuart’s attempts at aggression. And eventually Stuart stopped hissing.
With Bruce around, Stuart mellowed, at least slightly. Now they are inseparable. He calls for Bruce if he can’t find him. They cuddle and play and occasionally get in a spat, but it’s obvious they love each other.
Bruce gradually filled out his long, lanky frame and grew into his nose. He is now one of the most beautiful cats I have ever seen.
He has never hissed at, bitten, or (purposefully) scratched me or Aaron. Even when playing, he tries to be very careful with his claws. He loves cuddling (as I type this he is currently sleeping with his head on my knee). He takes care of both Stuart and Luna, patiently cleaning them even though they sometimes attack him. He believes himself to be my enforcer. If I am yelling at any of the cats or the dog, Bruce will chime in with what I’ve affectionately dubbed his “siren” meow. He breaks up fights between Stuart and Luna, literally putting himself between them. He is the peacekeeper.
I cannot imagine why anyone would have abandoned him on the street. But I am so glad he’s a part of our family.
He has so much personality. He loves making me laugh. If he does something goofy and I laugh, he’ll do it over and over again. He talks to us all the time, answering questions as though he understands English perfectly. He is not a fan of sneezes and will sternly tell you so any time you dare sneeze. In the spirit of his namesake, he loves climbing up as high as possible and then watching you stealthily from above. He’s the cat who crawls into your lap if you’re crying and snuggles up to you. Wherever I go, he follows.
Aaron and I have often agreed that adopting Bruce was the best decision we’ve ever made.
In September 2015 alone, the Animal Humane Society reported 619 cat intakes and 596 kitten intakes. And while the Humane Society does its very best to get all animals healthy and adopted, 66 cats and 22 kittens were euthanized. So please, please don’t shop at pet stores. There are so many animals in need of a forever home.
So if you’re thinking of getting a first, second, third, etc. animal, call a rescue and save a life.
And if you love pictures of cats and other things, you can find more on my Instagram.