I recently decided to move out of my college house and into an apartment on my own. I've always been an independent person, but I was nervous to be the sole caretaker of a studio space all by myself. Besides my fish of course. I thought maybe having a cat around would make the silence more bearable. I asked my therapist if getting an emotional support animal was a good choice for me, and being a cat owner herself, she approved.
My parents were weary and my partner, Duncan, was allergic to cats. My parents warned me they would not take care of him for me and I reassured them I was prepared for that. They said a cat would ruin my furniture but I had already taken into account that I had paid little to nothing for it.
Even with the warnings, I told Duncan to take allergy pills because I was getting a cat.
Before getting official approval from my therapist and apartment complex, Duncan and I went to the Humane Society just to browse. I had been looking religiously on their adoption website for any new adorable snuggly creature. There was a slim orange short-haired cat named Beacon in a foster home who seemed perfect. Because of his living situation we couldn't meet him. We walked around trying to determine which cat would be the snuggliest as that was my top priority in a companion. There was a cute calico named Jellybean, and a long-haired tabby named Mango.
I don't know how I thought that I would just be able to browse without buying.
After walking around, I filled out the application and asked the worker at the desk, "I'm looking for an emotional support cat, so who is your most affectionate cat?"
The worker said, "You have to meet Buba, he's in the room over there by himself."
I had seen this cat on their website, he was a majestic grey long-haired boy. I had previously ruled him out and when we looped around we hardly noticed him.
"Are there any other snuggly cats? What about Mango?" "No, He's pretty independent."
I looked at Duncan and said, "Then let's meet Buba."
The woman in the blue scrubs led us through an enclosure where most of the cats were in crates outlining the windows so people could see them. Another person was working in that room and asked us if we were seeing Buba. In response, he said, "Aw that's my favorite little alien."
She opened the door and we walked in. Buba was in the opposite corner already meowing at us. His poor head with shaved eyebrows was in a cone. His long grey hair with a bald spot was matted. His ears with tattered edges were greasy and flaky.
When I sat down, he came over and put his paws on my lap asking if he could get pets. I picked him up and set him down while he kept chirping at me.
"I'll leave you two to spend some time with him."
At this point, he was purring loudly as I scratched his head. I looked at Duncan who was now sitting down and said, "He's perfect."
"You have to take him home," Duncan said.
Buba nuzzled my hand. "But I don't have a therapist note yet."
"Then call, we can't let anyone else get Buba."
Duncan picked up the greasy cat as
I dialed my therapist. She didn't pick up. "Is it crazy to smuggle a cat into my apartment, should we just come back later to take him home?"
Buba was melting into Duncan's lap. "No, we can't risk it. You have to bring him home today. He's perfect Kate."
We walked out of the Grand Rapids Humaine society with a litter box, food, some toys, a cat, and a wallet eighty dollars lighter. We drove him home where he proceeded to make himself comfortable. After weeks of brushing, feeding, and snuggling Buba's ears, eyes, and fur healed.
And he helped heal me. He's still healing me. Because now I'm not returning to an empty place, but to my blue lion who doesn't hesitate to chew me out for leaving him. He always forgives me when I give his mane some scratches.