If only I’d rescued him
We had a birthday in our house last weekend. Theodore, our adorable Sacred Birma cat hit his second milestone. He was totally unaware of course. In his world treats come every evening and his food bowl is always full. He has a little cat bro, Simon, to hang out with – and in lieu of anything better to do between naps on a warm floor or in a random box, he can always entertain himself by annoying our borderline collie dog or lying in wait and pouncing on an unsuspecting Simon. That one never gets old.
It was love at first sight, of course. I was idly checking out pictures of kittens for sale on Blocket (Sweden’s sales site – think eBay without the bidding) as you do when you have absolutely no intention of buying a cat and most certainly haven’t gotten around to discussing it with your husband. No, I was innocently wiling away a few hours of leisure time just to see whether any new ones had been posted since the previous day. All the pictures were cute and endearing, and if any one of these kittens had been abandoned cold and lonely on our doorstep I would obviously have taken it in and felt duty bound to love it. Noblesse oblige.
Anyway. Suddenly there he was. A rush of adrenalin triggered my panic button as I clicked the link to a litter of Sacred Birma kittens being advertised by a breeder. Was he sold? I had to be quick. In my mind’s eye I could envisage hundreds of catnappers furiously dialling to bag my cat. Yes, he was already My Cat. He had two furry paws around my heart and we hadn’t even met. I did a bit of pawesome pouncing myself as soon as my husband came through the door.
‘Ummm. I want us to get a cat. Not any old cat. This cat!’ Ta da! I was holding his picture and my breath.
‘A cat? You’re allergic to cats!’
‘I’m allergic to dogs but we have one!’ I countered indignantly. ‘But I’ve looked into it. Sacred Birmas are low-allergy.’ I played my trump card.
‘Well, if you really want him…’
‘I want two! Apparently, they are happier in pairs so I thought we’d take his brother too. That would be this one.’ Ta da! I held up picture #2.
‘And how much do they cost?’
‘They’re…ummm…. not cheap. But it’s not my fault Theodore’s a pedigree. I didn’t know that until I followed the link. ´
‘Oh! Don’t you like the name?’
‘No, no. Theodore’s fine.’
Yes! We were now discussing names not whether we were acquiring a couple of cats. Womanly wiles for the win.
So off we went to meet our latest family member and bury my face in his fur as a DIY allergy test. His brother was spoken for, so we booked Theo’s biological cousin who was due to be born a few days later. The breeder was very pleasant, fulfilled all her obligations, obviously took great care of the kittens and three weeks later Theodore came to his forever home.
He’s adorable. Funny. Smart. Independent. Cuddly. I look at him every day and consider myself blessed to have him. Ok, not at 3 am when he’s sleeping smack in the middle of my bed. Let’s keep it real. But I have no doubt whatsoever that he would have been bought by another family who would have loved him just the same.
Jeffrey, our dog, on the other hand is a rescue from www.hundarutanhem.se (Dogs without homes). These good folks collect dogs from pounds in Ireland that were due to be euthanised because they are unwanted and unloved. Jeffrey was found wandering the streets of Dublin. He was around 12 months when we adopted him seven years ago; scared to the point of aggressive, underweight and desperate for love. He too enjoys treats every day, a full food bowl, walks, fun and games. He’s loving, balanced, cuddly and secure in the bosom of his family. He too will eventually end his days in his forever home. He could easily have ended up a statistic in an Irish dog pound.
And here’s the rub. We didn’t rescue Theo and Simon – they would have fallen on their feet anyway. Should we have approached a cat rescue centre instead? Offered a new life to two who truly needed a tenth? Yet risked returning them when my allergy freaked out? It certainly gives me paws for thought.
Because I look at Theodore every day and think: If only I had rescued him.
PS. There’s a picture of Jeffrey in the ‘Passion’s Advocate’ blog.