I’ve been in the cat adoption business since 2005, when I bought a kitten from a shelter.
But as with many cat lovers, it took time and persistence to get a new cat, and I eventually settled on a small dog.
“It was the most fun, exciting and rewarding part of the process,” says my vet, Dr Karen Smith.
“He’s been the most affectionate, the best companion ever.”
Dr Smith, who is a specialist in veterinary pediatrics, had already been looking for a new pet for a while, and decided on a dog to adopt after a friend introduced me to a local shelter.
“My pet’s name was Kitty,” she says.
“She was so cute and innocent.
She was just the best.”
After a couple of weeks of chatting with Kitty, we arranged a Skype meeting and she was instantly adopted.
She became my first pet.
Dr Karen’s vet had been looking at a puppy for about a year, and had a great sense of the puppy’s temperament.
She thought the puppy had a “tough and loyal nature”.
Dr Karen said to me, “You can’t help but love her, because you know she has a strong bond with you.”
My vet then offered to take the puppy to a shelter for a month so she could assess the puppy.
The dog was already over four years old and still recovering from a long illness.
“I said, ‘Okay, that sounds wonderful.
You’re a dog, and you’ll be a dog forever.'”
It was at this point that I knew the real power of adoption.
“Once you find a dog that’s happy, loving, affectionate and loyal, that’s what you want to have,” says Dr Karen.
The perfect dog can be just as happy, affectionately and loyal as a cat, so the next step was to get the cat to know me.
“Kitty has always been a pet of mine,” she explains.
“But in the meantime, I’d heard about the cat rescue movement and the people that were coming out and rescuing cats.”
We decided to adopt an old friend of mine.
“The dog was very much a part of me,” she recalls.
“So when I saw a little black kitten, I knew I wanted to get her a new home.”
So, I contacted Kitty’s new owner and arranged to meet the little kitten.
“After the meeting, I said, I think I’ve found the perfect dog for you,” Dr Karen told me.
The vet’s vet then brought the kitten to my house for a quick assessment.
The kitten was already a month old and had been recovering from the illness.
I knew that her new life would be much more rewarding than her old one, and so I made sure the kitten had a good first impression.
I said to her, “The kitten is now your forever companion.
You can’t be happier for her.”
When I returned home, I invited Kitty over for dinner and her owner was delighted.
“You’ll never be the same, Kitty,” Dr Paul told me, when she met me for the first time.
“Not even close.”
Dr Karen says the new kitten has become a “very important part of her life”, and she has been a constant companion since.
She is now the owner of another kitten, named Chika.
“This dog is my first home for two years,” Dr. Karen says.
I love the new cat.
It’s very much part of who I am now.
“Cats have a special way of being, which is that they are not just companions.
They are our partners,” she continues.
“And that’s really important.”
The good news is that Dr Karen and I are doing our part to help find new homes for the rest of the cats in the shelter.