I first met Muffy through this online post, which went up at 10am on August 30th 2018. I saw the photo and description and I thought “she has diabetes, infections, probably kidney disease, has bad teeth, is old, and is obese… She’s perfect!” And I meant that in the most sincere way. So, I walked into my bosses office and said “I need the rest of the day off. I have to go adopt this cat.”
Adopting Muffy was an interesting experience. I walked into the shelter with her name and ID written on a slip of scrap paper, handed it to a staff member and said “I’m here to adopt this cat.”
The staff weren’t quite sure I knew what I was getting myself into. One very sad fact about animal rescue is that there is a small percentage of very well-meaning people who will adopt any animal at risk for euthanasia without any real understanding of the time and expense involved in their care. In order to make sure Muffy had the best chance of success I had to meet with the shelter vet. She and I covered Muffy’s labs, how much the initial expenses might be, the cost of ongoing vet care, etc. Well, I won the vet over pretty quickly and she was happy to send Muffy with me. Her final question to me was along the lines of “do you want to meet her?” I said no, and something like “who she is here isn’t who she really is. She’s sick and in a scary place. I’ll meet her at home, in about 6 months once she fully adjusts and her true personality comes out.” That answer sealed the deal because not everyone understands that cats take time to adjust, and senior cats can take a long time.
Muffy came home immediately – so fast they forgot to pack her antibiotics and eye drops and I had to make an emergency trip back to the shelter before they closed to get them!
Once she was home I learned that she LOVES belly rubs, was only willing to eat Temptations treats, and just wanted to sleep. The sleeping wasn’t surprising given how much she had going on.
Muffy spent 3 weeks in isolation, getting adjusted to the new sounds and smells of home, clearing up infections, and getting her diabetes under control. I think I made a great impression on her by stabbing her in the ear twice a day for reasons she couldn’t possibly understand… After her mandatory isolation I opened her room up a bit more each day and she started venturing out into the rest of the house. Well, if I’m being honest, she ventured mostly into the cabinet in the bathroom. I think she spent the better part of 3 months between her room and that cabinet.
**Side note: I’ve not been allowed to store anything other than cats in that cabinet for years. It has been a favorite hiding or sleeping place for all of them at one point or another. For Muffy, because she has chubby toes, I had to add some spacers to the door so that she could let herself in whenever she wanted.
Eventually, right around the 6 months I originally quoted, Muffy began spending more time hanging out in other rooms in the house. She also started seeking me out for affection rather than waiting for me to come to her.
These days she is firmly settled in and enjoying the life of a pampered senior kitty, though she has some strong opinions on how my idea of “pampered” differs from hers and hasn’t quite figured out that she can let herself into the catio whenever she wants.