And my birthday lunch day, and Ellie's first full day at home, and I'm exhausted just thinking about it all.
My original plan was to keep Ellie confined in my home office until she adjusted, but after a few hours I just opened the door. Consider her adjusted. She had the run of the house last night. I think Ellie slept under my bed - she's still not too sure about sharing close space with that little dog-thing, but she's not afraid. And Sophie is friendly and curious, but not overly excited. I will continue to separate them when I'm not home to supervise their interactions, but I suspect that after a few days of that precaution I won't have to bother. As I'm writing this Sophie is snoring on the bed beside me while Ellie is stretched out at the sliding glass door watching birds on the golf course.
Yesterday I went to a pet adoption event at Petsmart, then the county shelter, then across the road to the Pet Alliance (formerly the SPCA). I spent HOURS on my cat search. I gave up on the store adoption event in minutes - none of the cats caught my eye, and in the chaos of one of those events I don't know how anyone can tell an animal's personality. Onward to the county shelter, where I was told that most of the cats were off at a different adoption event, so I crossed the road to Pet Alliance.
I spotted Ellie immediately and thought she was beautiful, but she was so big, and I'd come looking for a kitten. One of the shelter staff had written on the sign on her cage, "WONDERFUL CAT!" and I thought someone would take her soon, and I was there for a kitten. I visited a lot of cats. One tiny nearly all black kitten caught my eye, but when I took her into one of the small meet and greet rooms to play, her sibling started wailing in absolutely heartbreaking cries - they are a bonded pair and I really didn't want to bring home the chaos of two kittens at once. I did that 20 years ago and had the broken lamps to prove it. She was returned to her cage and her brother stopped wailing immediately. Someone who wants a lot of adventure will have to take them both. That person was not me.
Iggy was friendly, Chibi was fat and funny, Cinder looked like a panther but didn't want to visit. Queen was friendly and curious but no, she wasn't my cat. I was getting discouraged after an hour or so, and the staff was very patient. Finally I walked back to Ellie's cage and asked to meet her. There was just something about her.
The volunteer who was helping me had to get a strapping young male volunteer to get her out of the cage, it was down low and Ellie is a BIG cat. I took her into the meeting room, which is really a cell - it's about six by six with painted concrete block walls, furnished with just a plastic chair. Depressing, really - I don't know how anyone could tell an animal's real personality in such a scary institutional setting. Ellie was unfazed, and rubbed on my legs purring, looked me in the eye, and generally exuded mellow, friendly confidence. But damn, she was a BIG cat, and I was looking for a young kitten, but damn, she leaned on my legs like a dog for a head scratch, and purred like a Harley, and I scratched her and talked to her, and suddenly I was filling out the adoption paperwork and buying an emergency litterbox, because I didn't go out expecting to take a cat home with me. And now I have a cat, and she's made herself at home, and I got virtually nothing else done all day yesterday.
Delaney's big end of the year dance recital is at 11:30, and then we are going to lunch, then of course they want to come back here to meet Ellie. I still need to go to Target and Publix and do all those errands that didn't get done yesterday while I was on the Cat Quest. Right now I need another big cup of coffee.