Without a cat, my home felt pretty empty. My first grown-up pet, Jack the cat, had run away after someone let him outside. After months of searching for him, posting up fliers, searching local shelters and looking everywhere, I had to come to terms with the fact that Jack was probably not coming home.
While I loved Jack dearly, he was not what you would call a nice cat. He would rub up on you and purr while you pet him one moment and then pin his ears back and bite and claw the next. He destroyed four DVD players and peed on a lot of things. But he was my cat.
I began my search for a new friend online. I looked at the local animal shelter and breed rescue and gathered info on getting a cat that would likely be nicer than Jack was. I read a lot about Maine Coon cats and was interested.
While trolling on Craigslist, I saw an add for a Maine Coon that needed a home or he would be shipped off to a shelter. His name was Noonie and he was gorgeous and within a 20 minute drive. I picked him up two days later.
The first night, Noonie hid under my bed until I was half asleep. Then he crawled up and snuggled his 18 1/2 pound body next to mine, with his whiskers tickling my face, purring louder than I have ever heard a cat purr.
He was renamed Taft after William Howard Taft because he is extremely large and likes to hang out in bathtubs. Plus there is the resemblance:
Taft is a real trooper. He has been moved around a lot with me, from Illinois to Minnesota back to Illinois over to Ohio, back to Illinois and now in Wisconsin. But he makes my home home. He snuggles and night, talks all of the time and just follows Geoff and I from room to room, wanting to be near.
We are looking now at adopting another cat so that Taft is not so lonely while we are at work, but I think with all of the moving changes right now I'm going to wait. I don't want to overwhelm him with too many changes. It is looking likely that we will adopt another Maine Coon because of how amazing Taft is.
Going and looking at all for the abandoned pets breaks my heart. I cannot imagine ever being without Taft. He is more than just my pet, he is my friend and when I took him in I wanted to guarantee that I would not get rid of him because of life changes. And I mean to keep that with him and with my next pet as well. Keeping animals is a commitment that many do not take seriously and I feel for those poor critters.
If you do get a pet, please consider adopting one. No breeders, there are adult cats that are still kittens at heart (Taft was 2 when I got him) and they need a loving home. And spay and neuter them.