On February 24th, during my regular duties as a volunteer at a local animal shelter, I fell in love. With Sebastian. I am a feline socializer (I pet homeless cats) and he was in one of the Hug Rooms. I read his card on the outside of the door-7 year old male, front declawed, owner surrender-and went in to give him some attention.
I sat down on the floor and he immediately wanted in my lap. I, of course, obliged and let him curl up on me while I petted and talked to him. He was so very sweet and affectionate. He would lean up against me and touch me softly with his paw. I would stroke his fur and tell him what a good kitty he was. He looked at me with such sweet sadness in his eyes I almost couldn't stand it.
I went home that night and thought of nothing else. I talked to my Mom, who just talked about the cost of adopting and owning a cat. I talked to Lee, who told me I should adopt him since I always seem so lonely. I talked to the property manager to discuss the increase in my rent. Two days later I went back to the shelter (in the middle of the day) and said I wanted him. We completed the paperwork and I went into the Hug Room and told Sebastian that when I came back that evening for my volunteer shift, he would get to go home with me!
Our first few days, or nights rather, were difficult. There was a lot of moving about and meowing from him causing little rest for me. After about a week, we had worked out a schedule and things were starting to run more smoothly. I would leave the door cracked open for him at night so he could patrol the apartment. The blinds would be left up with the curtain drawn so he could still look out the window. I filled his food bowl at bedtime so he wouldn't run out of kibble in the night and need to alert me to the emptiness of the dish. Because of these things, I was able to get a full night's sleep, sometimes with a kitty curled up with me.
We had some other issues as well. Every other day, I would give him treats. On those days, Sebastian would vomit. Like clockwork. I thought maybe he would get used to them and it would work itself out. After living with me for about two weeks, he had his first trip to his new vet for a general check-up. I told the vet about the puking and she determined that he had a sensitive stomach. She directed me to feed him the appropriate food for this problem and I quit giving him treats. Since then, he has kept everything down. What a relief for me, as cleaning the carpet was not my favorite thing to do!
Every night, as I lie in bed watching Golden Girls on TV, Sebastian sits on my lap and we spend some quality time together. I noticed quickly that he always seems to have a worried look on his face. I wonder how his previous family could have given up such a gentle, sweet animal. I try to assure him that I will never let him down, that I will always love him and he can relax knowing his forever home is with me. It seems that not only does Sebastian have a sensitive stomach, but he also has a sensitive soul. It is now my job to protect that soul and the kitty body that it inhabits. I do so with pleasure. I am in fact writing this post with him sitting on my lap and enjoying it immensely. I take my job as his guardian very seriously and I plan to make him proud to call me his human.