Last Thursday marked our 3rd Anniversary. I met my large, bald one later in life than most cats.
I spent my childhood and teenage years bouncing between homes and by my 5th year of life I had landed in foster care, for the third time. I shared my foster home with countless other cats but managed to quickly secure my own room by pretending like I could not get along with them.
Having bounced around so much earlier in life, I was naturally skittish when it came to the large, bald ones. Eventually, I learned to tolerate my foster parents, but I seldom saw them as they spent most of their time with all of the other cats.
Occasionally they would bring new large, bald ones into my room. Each time I would hide under the couch while they clicked their tongues and whistled at me. Eventually, my foster parents would express disappointment and shuffle the new ones back into the main room with the other cats.
Months passed and fewer and fewer outsiders entered my room. I even saw my foster parents less and less. I was starting to adjust to my life of solitude when one Spring day, a new outsider entered my room. I immediately bolted under the couch before she could even make eye contact. I watched intently as the new, large bald one sat on the floor and chatted casually with my foster parents.
I braced myself to be bombarded with the usual baby talk and cooing, but this new one did not so much as even glance my way. I thought to myself, how is this possible? How was this large, bald one not completely taken with me?! Was she impervious to the natural cuteness of which I can not help but exude?
In a state of complete and utter cognitive dissonance, I crept out from underneath the couch. After all, the only thing worse than being acknowledged is being unacknowledged.
I took a while to thoroughly explore the large, bald one’s scent, first from afar, but then I crept closer and closer. Once I was satisfied that she was the same species as me, I took a leap of faith and rubbed my head across her outstretched hand. Suddenly I was flooded with feelings of warmth and affection. I could not stop myself. I continuously rubbed my face all over her hand as if I was possessed. Honestly, it was a little embarrassing, but she did not seem to mind.
Ever since that day Michele and I have been inseparable. Though we have lived in many places, one thing remains constant and that’s our friendship. I had always heard the term “forever home” thrown around at different foster care centers, but I am finally starting to realize what that means. Home is not where you live, it’s who you’re with.