Today is Isabel's ninth birthday. I bought her a new kitty blanket, some treats, and made her a fascinator.
She's only lived with me for two and a half years. It took a while before she came into my life.
My entire life I had cats, except for an extremely long 14 years of renting apartments. In 2004 I adopted a tabby, but in the summer of 2008, the unthinkable happened. For her last year she rapidly declined, until I learned she had cancer. By the time we knew, she was already in her final days. I had become so attached to her in only five short years. I was devastated by her vet bills on my part-time income, and totally devasted in my heart. I knew I would adopt another cat one day, I just didn't know when.
Several months passed. I graduated from college and found a better job. Not a day went past that I did not think of her. My boyfriend T drove me around to all the local shelters. I viewed hundreds of cats, but in my heart none of them were as special to me as Cristobel had been.
"Leave the carrier in the car," I told T, at Katie's Place Cat Shelter in Maple Ridge, BC, November 2009. "I won't find a cat here either." He didn't listen to me and brought the pet taxi inside anyway.
We spent two hours looking at cats. I wanted one around two years old, so I would have her for a long time. The staff helped me narrow down the cats that I had seen online. They didn't think a feisty young tabby was the right cat for me, so the hunt continued. They weren't going to let me leave without a cat in that pet taxi!
Discouraged, none of the cats really stood out for me. It was going on the third hour when I knew I wouldn't find one here either. The hunt for a cat would continue. I was taking this adoption seriously, and we had to be right for each other.
Finally, I decided to look at the older cats. There was nothing else to do on that day but go home anyway. I looked at 100 more, even the ones in the hospital area.
I entered what must have been the last room of the shelter. All these cats were older, around 6 or more years. Not the right age, but I was just looking.
And then I turned and I saw a gorgeous black, brown and peach tabby sitting on top of a tall scratching post. She had the sweetest expression on her face as I stroked her. She had the softest fur, her ears were rounded, and she seemed quite gentle. This was the cat I had been waiting for months to adopt!
She was named Cherub, like an angel, but she looked like an Isabel to me, so Cherub became her middle name. We brought her home and she cuddled up to me on that first night. There were no issues settling in, she immediately knew she was home.
That is how I found my kitty angel. Happy Birthday Isabel!