The Bridge of Sighs, Venice, 1835, James Holland
This was meant to be a quick warm up, but it turned into a comic that I’ve wanted to draw for a while. This is something that is extremely important to me, and I appreciate it if you read it.
A while ago, I heard a story that broke my heart. A family went a cat shelter to adopt. The daughter fell in love with a 3-legged cat. The father straight up said “absolutely not”. Because he was missing a leg. That cat was that close to having a family that loved him, but the missing leg held him back. Why?!
Many people have the initial instinct of “nope” when they see an imperfect animal. I get it, but less-adoptable does NOT mean less loveable. 9 out of 10 people will choose a kitten over an adult cat. And those 10% that would get an adult cat often overlook “different” animals.
All I want people to do is be open to the idea of having a “different” pet in their lives. Choose the pet that you fall in love with, but at least give all of them a fair shot at winning your heart.
Don’t dismiss them, they deserve a loving home just as much as any other cat. They still purr, they still love a warm lap, they still play, they still love you. Trust me, next time you are in the market for a new kitty, just go over to that one cat that’s missing an eye and see what he’s all about!
Let me tell to you a thing.
This is Lenore. I first saw her in a little cage at the Petco I frequent (I used to take my parents’ dog in for puppy play time), and she looked like the grouchiest, old, crotchety cat in the world, and I fell instantly in love. She was cranky, she was anti-social, hanging out at the back of her cage. Her fur was matted because she wouldn’t let the groomers near her.
She was perfect.
But I didn’t have a place for her. I wasn’t living in my own space yet, and where I was, I wasn’t allowed cats. So I pressed my face to the bars of her cage and I promised that if no one had adopted her by the time I’d bought a house, I would come back for her.
I visited her every week for over six months while I looked for a house. At one point, they had to just shave her entire rear-end because the mats or fur were so bad. They told me she clawed the heck outta the groomer that did it, screamed the entire time, and spent the next two days growling at anyone that came near the cage.
A couple of weeks later, I closed on my house. I went back and I got an employee, and I said: “That one. I need that cat.”
They got the paperwork and the lady who ran the rescue that was bringing the cats in told me that Lenore (at the time, Lila) was 8 years old, had been owned by an elderly lady who had died, and brought in to a different rescue, who’d had her for six months on top of the time I’d been seeing her at Petco.
This kitty had been living in a 3x3’ cube for over a YEAR because she was older and “less adoptable.”
I signed the paperwork, put her in a cat carrier, and drove her to my new home. I had pretty much nothing; a bed, an old couch, a couple of bookcases, and a tank of mice I called “Cat TV”. I let her out of the carrier and onto my bed, and I told her “I told you I would come back for you when I had a place. It’s not much, but it’s yours too now.”
Lenore spent the next three days straight purring non-stop. She followed me around the house purring. Sat next to me purring. Slept next to me purring. Leaning into every touch, purring, purring, always purring. She still purrs if you so much as think about petting her. She’s amazing, and I love her.
So, you know, if you’re thinking about adopting, and you see a beast that others consider “less adoptable,” think about Lenore.
The STORY THOUGH.
I went to a no-kill shelter where there were a couple dozen cats, most of them roaming around freely in these open areas. And then there was this other one, in a tiny cage, sort of slumped over. Because he was FIV+. And I played with the cats in the cages for a while but none really jumped out at me. Until someone opened the cage and put the FIV+ one in my arms, and he just burrowed into me and stayed there.
He has a BB embedded in the skin at the back of his skull, and another one between his shoulderblades. His nose is scarred. He has to stay indoors because he gets sick too easily.
He’s the best cat I’ve ever owned.
I brought him home, and now he greets me when I come in the door, and he curls up against me to sleep, he loves rubbing his face against my nose (it’s SO CUTE UGH) and he always, always wants to snuggle.
Basically: I’m never adopting a kitten again.
We live in a society where we kind of want to decide that one woman has to be right and the other has to be wrong. Or that one woman is good and the other woman is bad. And I think, you know, there’s room in this world for more than one fabulously dressed, powerful, smart, sophisticated, complicated woman at the table.
"Fuck yo ambitions"
they were kids that I once knew
A scrumptious fuck-ton of human mouth references.
[From various sources]
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