I have always loved animals because they make me feel a happiness that I can’t quite explain. I grew up in a small town in Florida and I remember my love for cats started from the very beginning. I didn’t have much for pets growing up because my parents had allergies–they still let me have fish though. I remember there used to be homeless kittens living in my Meme’s detached outdoor garage. I would go to her house often. My Meme had this dog, named Prissy, and he was my sidekick during my outdoor adventures. He and I used to go out looking for kittens, lizards, ladybugs, baby birds, caterpillars, snakes, blackberries, and a bunch of other things! I have a lot of fun memories there. But all good things come to an end as we get older; My Meme moved to a new neighborhood with less creatures and sweet Prissy passed away from old age.
There were always homeless cats in my own neighborhood and I would sneak deli meat from my parent’s fridge to feed them. They would come out of the woods and greet me every morning at my school bus stop. When I graduated high school, I went to college in Jacksonville, Florida. I lived in the dorms the first year or two and there would be homeless cats everywhere. My friends would poke fun at me because I carried cat food in my purse. I had a difficult time in college but I spent some of my free time volunteering at local animal shelters. I saw a Craigslist Ad for free kittens and impulsively decided to go get one. When I arrived to the location, there were three very young kittens living in horrendous conditions and they needed help. I took all three and went to the local humane society where I offered to foster them until they were old enough to be adopted. I named the two male kittens, Ralph and Thomas, and the female kitten, Rajah (the tiger from Aladdin).
One of my favorite memories from college was my time spent caring for Ralph, Thomas, and Rajah. After caring for them for a couple of weeks, I took them to Petsmart. I put them freely in the shopping cart with a blanket and was browsing up and down the isles. They caught the attention of an elderly woman. She stopped to look at them and asked me if they were all mine. I told her I was only fostering them. She asked if she could hold one and she chose Rajah. I let her know that Rajah would be ready to be adopted in a few weeks at the humane society. I gave her the exact date I was giving them back and we went our separate ways.
Three weeks later passed and it was time to let the kittens go. I took the kittens to the humane society and said goodbye. Then I went back home and cried all night. The next morning I went back to the humane society and was told that someone already adopted Rajah. I was so happy to hear it was the lady I met at Petsmart three weeks earlier. I decided I couldn’t live without Ralph and Thomas and officially adopted them that same day. We have been together for nine years now!