In 2009, my life was really different. I was a one-woman cat mama to my beloved Cleo and had just made some big decisions about my life, after a devastating break-up and a move to a new apartment. I’d wanted to adopt another cat for quite a while because Cleo seemed lonely and, well, so was I. So, I decided to visit the Denver Dumb Friends League on my day off.
The DDFL has some cats isolated and others in big rooms with lots of other cats. You walk through, write down three numbers and then go to the kiosk and give them your numbers. They take you to a private room and bring in your picks for socializing and whatnot. Well, that’s the way it’s supposed to go–and how it went with all my other adoptions.
But not this one. When I walked into the cat area, I immediately saw this stunning cat that looked like a little lynx. She saw me first, I think, and stared me down. The counselor who let me in immediately noticed my interest in her and asked if I wanted to go into the enclosure. She was with 4-5 other cats. I went in and she immediately started talking to me and rubbing her face on my legs. Clearly, she had her sights on me.
The counselor asked if I wanted to see her in a private room. And I said–no. I knew enough right there. “No. She’s mine.” She had already been spayed and just needed some updated shots.
As we walked out, I noticed there were other cats in other enclosures that looked just like her…her brothers. She was one of many that had been brought in together. But she wasn’t a fan of her brothers. They didn’t know much about her, just that she had been well-loved and impeccably cared for during the 3 1/2 years she’d spent with her former owners.
I decided to call her Fogg–after the main character in my favorite book. It just seemed to fit her. I bought some kitty spoiling stuff and chatted with an old man who was waiting on his own kitty–and we both said how much we wanted to adopt all of them. He was getting one of her brothers. Finally, she was ready, and I took her to my car and got lost on the way home–Fogg cried the whole time and–when we got home–had broken out of the cardboard carrier–so I carried her free form to my apartment and the not-so-happy Ms. Cleo. She whined the entire time.
That was 8 years ago today.
From the very beginning, Fogg was a challenge. The sweetest cat ever, but she chose me and she was not afraid to let Cleo know I was her Mama. She was the cat that did whatever she wanted–consequences be damned. Which often meant I had my hands full and Cleo hated her. And that resulted in a tense year+ of them fighting nonstop. But they eventually maintained an uneasy truce, and Fogg mellowed quite a bit when we adopted crazy Rilly–becoming his mommy in an odd way. When Cleo passed, Fogg loved me even harder and accepted our new friend Mumford with open arms. He’s Charlie Brown to her little redhead, moonfaced and enthralled every time he sees her–always trying to kiss her–and her having none of it.
A little over a year ago, my perfect sidekick got two types of cancers, endured a near-fatal bout of pancreatitis, and was diagnosed with diabetes–after another near-fatal crisis. It was one of the toughest years of my life–a constant rollercoaster of fear and new normal. But she hung on and is doing really good now–still always by my side–still choosing me every single day. Still mine.
Every single day with her is a gift, and I have learned mountains about unconditional love from caring for this amazing little beauty. She makes every single day better–even when she hate-pees on me to avoid a vet visit. I am so grateful she chose me.