Aww, memories. This photo was taken in May, just before we moved to Chicago. I blogged about that trip here. I’m standing in my friend Forrest’s backyard in North Carolina. And I’m holding Coquito, the Norwegian Forest Cat they adopted. Coquito was SO cute, so fluffy. Utterly adorable. Unafraid of people, even strangers — on the night we slept over, Coquito got into bed with me and wrapped his long, fluffy tail around my husband’s head! Coquito was an awesome kitty.
Today I found out that my dear friends Forrest and Lydia have lost Coquito to coyotes. I am so, so sad about it. RIP, Coquito. I hope there is a kitty heaven, and I hope you are in it. And I hope eventually my dear friends take another shelter cat into their home, because they are great pet owners, and any pet would be lucky to share a home with them. (Love you guys!)
I am sure my friends are currently wondering what they could have done to prevent this — and sadly the answer is, nothing. Forrest lives on an awesome acreage, and it would have been cruel to deprive Coquito of the natural setting he so obviously loved. This was a cat that was all about climbing trees and bounding through the wildflowers with that long, bushy tail bouncing behind him. And if he was anything like my Max, if he was confined to just be an indoor cat and there was all that beautiful green space just waiting outside, he’d have found a way to get out anyhow.
I know lots of people who don’t like cats, or cite reasons for not wanting to own a cat. And one of those reasons is, cats are own-way pets who want to go and come as they please and show affection at their whim. That’s indisputable. Cats do as they please. Max is my furry BFF, but just minutes ago he decided it’d be fun to claw the bejesus out of my hand. They have minds of their own. That’s the downside of owning a cat — if you want a well behaved pet you can control, you may not want a cat. But there are so many other ways in which cats rule. And it’s worth noting, even when Max is at his feistiest, I love him and I’d highly advocate cat ownership to anyone considering getting a pet. Here’s why.
1 — I can’t think of a more low maintenance pet. Cats are amazing that way. From the minute you get a kitten, all you need to do is put their litter box in a somewhat private corner, show them where it is, and they take care of the rest. Yes, you gotta clean up after them and that sucks but if you do it daily, there’s minimal odor in your home. Then besides that, all you gotta do is make sure they have food and water every day, and play with them when you feel like it. My cat would rather play by himself and chase a ball around the room sometimes, than wait for me to throw it. So independent!
2 — Cats choose their owners, so if you’re chosen, consider yourself lucky! I had been told years before, that someday a cat would set its sights on me. And there’s no doubt that Max chose us. When a cat chooses you, it means that you’ve got a new shadow. For most of the day, Max follows me quietly from room to room, making sure everything’s OK. But…
3 — Cats are independent. I’d grown up with dogs all my life, and dogs are wonderful, loving pets. When you come home from work, you know a dog will come running up to you with their tail wagging. A cat might be sleeping on your bed (or under the bed) and will emerge when they are good and ready. When a cat comes over to you, snuggles up on your lap and starts purring, it feels like an honor. They aren’t needy pets, and if you’re a busy person that can be kind of wonderful.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always be a dog lover, but I can’t think of a pet with more personality than a cat. If you want to bring a kitty into your life, now’s a great time. The Iams Home For the Holidays campaign continues until January 4. Click here to learn more about the initiative, and to adopt a dog or cat that needs your love. And if you can’t adopt a pet right now but would like to help shelter pets, click here to vote for your favorite shelter in Iams’ Feed Pets In Need program.
RIP, Coquito. This post is dedicated to you.
Are you a cat owner? Tell me about the kitties you’ve known and loved!