Written by Buddy, translated by Anna Shannon
When I was returned to the shelter, I didn’t know if that was what these humans did with all cats, or if they just didn’t like me. I felt depressed in the shelter, getting litter everywhere in my cage and having my naps interrupted by humans tapping on my window.
One day, someone asked to open my cage, took me out and put me back. Everyone wanted kittens. I was getting used to rejection. While I waited to be locked up again, a man in a baseball cap walked by. I took a chance and tapped him on the shoulder. He stopped, and his face changed the same way it does when humans want to give me treats. I call it ‘treat-face.’ He rubbed my head like he’d rubbed a few cat heads before and called a female human over to see me. She did the same head-rubbing and looked at me with ‘treat-face.’ The next thing I knew I was in a cardboard box, smelling car smells and the unmistakable smell of human habitat.
I was so excited to be out of the shelter, but so tired and so curious about smelling everything and rubbing my scent on it, that I fell asleep on the kitchen floor. When I woke up, they showed me all my toys, my napping spot on the couch, my hammock in the window, and my litter box and food. I loved this home and them so much. But would they send me back to the shelter like the last humans did?
I tried to tell them how happy I was, loudly and repeatedly, but they just yelled back at me, louder and louder. I could tell they liked me better when I wasn’t so loud, but how could I explain it to them?
The next day, she took me outside! I wasn’t sure I could walk in the harness, but I took a few steps, and you bet I could. I sniffed the grass, gardens, scents from other cats, and watched birds in the trees.
We go outside together every day. Eventually, I stopped loudly telling them how happy I was. I could tell from their ‘treat-faces’ that I knew they knew I found my home and my humans. We have quiet conversations now, and I think they’re picking up some words.
So… to all you shelter cats out there – try my paw-tap on the shoulder trick. It just might land you a purr-fect forever home too.