This past Saturday we visited the Humane Society of Utah to just take a look at all the animals they had there. The facility there for the cats is particularly impressive, as far as these kinds of places go.
"When you come in to the Humane Society of Utah to adopt a pet, you will first be allowed to walk through our dog areas (Tiny Town and Dawgville), cat area (Kitty City), rabbit area (Bunny Bungalows), and small animal area (Rodent Ranch)."
The "Kitty City" is a collection of small rooms that have anything from two to eight cats (depending on the room size) with a minimum of a lattice of shelves in each room - but with potentially elaborate interactive play sets. Each room also had a cat TV with video of birds chirping and hopping around. We caught at least one cat glued to the screen in concentration. ;)
The design of these rooms allowed us to wander from room to room, going in each and spending five to ten minutes with the cats in that room (who were wandering as they pleased around the room). It was, at least in my experience, one of the best ways to get to know the cats you'd potentially be adopting.
We spent a few hours just wandering the rooms and then left, feeling a little overwhelmed. How on earth were we supposed to choose one cat?
On Monday Brandon and I met there again, this time to try and get to know a few that we might actually consider taking home with us. I left with a list of six potential cats, but with two particular cats in mind - Peaches and Binx. Peaches, a long haired calico, was immediately friendly and Brandon and I both determined that we probably liked her most. But after Brandon had left, I met Binx, a long haired black cat, who seemed equally friendly in his little room. And the thing is, even though those two cats seemed like the most friendly two of the bunch, the reality is that most of the cats there, if not all, probably had wonderful temperaments in a comfortable environment. Nice as the Humane Society is, it is still a scary place to live for little animals.
That evening we talked about when we might like to adopt a cat. After looking at our week and worrying about whether Peaches and Binx might not be adopted by the weekend, we decided that Tuesday (the next day) would be the best day for both of us until the weekend. So we made a late evening trip to the store for a few supplies (litter box (a.k.a large storage container with a hole cut in the side - so much cheaper and usable), litter, scoop, and a mat to go under it all (we ended up with an on sale yoga mat)).
Tuesday at 5:00 PM I left work early and met Brandon at the Humane Society at about 5:20. We took Peaches and Binx into another little get-to-know-you room and sat there for almost an hour trying to rationalize one cat over the other. That part was SO awful. Because regardless, we were going to have to leave a cat that we'd decided we could live with, love, and take care of there. After much back and forth, we finally made an arbitrary decision and chose Peaches. It was both exciting and painful. Exciting that we'd be taking Peaches with us, and painful to be leaving Binx. It makes my heart hurt even now just thinking about it. We talked about taking both of them home, but decided one was probably as much as we could handle right now for our little home.
So, we did the little interview process, I left (for a meeting), and Brandon finished up the educational part and brought Peaches home (it sounds like she did fairly well in the car). I arrived about five or ten minutes after they'd gotten home.
Peaches (a name I don't love, but seems fine - we might call her P.C. for Peaches and Cream or Princess Arjumand - I just finished reading To Say Nothing of The Dog) proceeded to wander around the house just poking her head into every corner and trying to get a lay of the land as we sat and watched her. The Humane Society had sent a little stuffed pillow that also had catnip in it and she spent quite a bit of time with it.
Later in the evening she started following us around the apartment. Every time either one of us went to the bathroom, she wanted to check out what we were up to. When Brandon took a bath, she initially found the running water to be a little scary, but later seemed more interested in drinking the bath water that Brandon was occupying. In a word, she is adorable. Very present. Very friendly. Very fluffy!
However, there is still room for improvement. ;) As the evening wore on and Brandon came to bed (I'd gone to bed an hour earlier), Peaches proceeded to pick up a routine. First, she came over to our bed and meowed (until we acknowledged her), then jumped on the bed and proceeded to walk all over us - even getting up on the window ledge at one point. Following that she'd jump down and wander around the house for a bit, and then repeat. I don't think either of us got very much sleep last night.
On the plus side, she appears to be well trained in using the litter box (and we have a good system set up for easily keeping the litter box cleaned and not stinky), and we've discovered that she likes to hide in the cave made by the blanket bubble around our bodies when we're lying in bed. Mimpy used to do this, but Peaches is even more interested in hanging out in that space. It's cute.
She was sociable and active this morning (even after getting little to no sleep as far as we can tell) and we left her to hang out at home today while we're off at work. Hopefully the house will still be there when we get home. ;)
Another random fun tidbit is that Peaches is a polydactyl cat - she has extra toes on her paws. It makes her paws into these massive little lion mittens. Adorable.
Unrelated to cats in the adoption world, we just added some plants to our household! A pothos and a snake plant. With a gas heater and little ventilation, we've needed some air cleaning plants for awhile and now we have them! I also have plans to replace the Christmas tree with another plant, but that hasn't happened yet. Peaches is doing a lovely job of brushing all of the lower needles off the tree.