By Katherine Spink, PAWS Staff
Welcome to Where Are They Now?, a kind of PAWS ‘Hall of Fame’ where we check in with fur families that found each other through PAWS several years ago. First up, happy adopter Abigail reports back on an action-filled two years with Rhett and Felix, adopted in May 2012.
What made you decide to adopt from a shelter?
Growing up I had two cats from a shelter, Kelly and Sphinx. To be honest I’m not sure I realized you could get cats any other way! Kelly passed away in 2009 and, when I moved to Seattle from Virginia in 2011 to start a graduate program, travel-averse Sphinx stayed with my mom. I knew I still wanted to have cats around. Luckily my boyfriend Alexander (Zan) is a cat person too!
How did you find Rhett and Felix?
I took to the internet, searching for “cute cats for adoption”. I think at the time I just wanted to look at pictures of cats (what else is the internet for, right?). Anyway, a picture of Rhett (aged 9) from the PAWS website came up. He sounded like a real gentleman and the perfect lap cat. His description encouraged me to check out his friend Felix (aged 8) too and, in no time, Zan and I were talking like they were ours.
We spent about a month thinking about them, then decided to go to PAWS Cat City. Even thought Rhett and Felix were at PAWS in Lynnwood, we thought we should look at other cats too seeing as we’d formed this attachment via only a few pictures and a brief description.
After completing adoption paperwork we met a couple of cats, including a guy called Joey who was a little standoffish, but Rhett and Felix were still on our minds. The next day we made the journey to Lynnwood. Maybe, we thought, they’ll be like Joey and then we won’t have to obsess anymore – we can wash our hands of these cats we’ve been pretending are already ours.
When we finally saw them in the flesh, it was like a celebrity sighting after all those days looking at their pictures online! Within half an hour, we were driving home with Rhett and Felix meowing in the back seat.
We had a great adoption experience with PAWS. Filling out the paperwork was easy and we got great information about our new animals’ history. We were also given notes on their personalities from PAWS staff and volunteers that had cared for them, which I really enjoyed reading.
Tell us about your first journey home and settling in together.
After we got them in the back of the car, panic set in. We hadn’t really expected to come home with two cats that day, and had no food, litter boxes, cat bowls, or toys at home. So we stopped at a pet store on the way to pick up the basics. Zan stayed in the car with Rhett and Felix while I ran through the aisles like a crazy woman grabbing all the essentials!
When we got them home, the first thing Felix did was run to the bathroom, pull out a drawer, and slide into the space behind the drawer. I’m still not sure how a 22-pound cat managed to squeeze into such a small space, but he did! Rhett took a more typical route and hid under a bed. But they came around very quickly, and within two days they ruled the roost.
What have you been through together?
We’ve had an eventful two years! The biggest upheaval was moving back to Arlington, Virginia a few months after the adoption – an unmissable job opportunity turned what we’d thought would be at least six years in Seattle into only one. Rhett and Felix adjusted well to our unexpected relocation of over 2,500 miles, and it’s good to be home again. We love the area and we love having our fur babies with us every step of the way.
Being adult-approaching-senior cats, we’ve had a couple of trips to our friendly veterinarian with both Rhett and Felix. Though stressful and emotional times, the good news is they’re both perfectly healthy and happy cats, and we wouldn’t change them for the world. Felix has even slimmed down from a cuddly 22 pounds to a more modest 13 pounds. His ability to open drawers and cupboards with ease remains however, so we still hide their food on top shelves and in locked cabinets!
What have they brought to your life?
Everything. Joy, love, emotional stability – on hard days, their purring is balm to the soul. Rhett’s blue eyes are always so kind looking, and he’s always quietly there when we need him.
Felix is my study buddy and like a teddy bear. I can grab him up in my arms like a stuffed animal and he’ll stay all night, just happily purring right next to my chest.
What would you say to anyone who isn’t convinced about cats as companions?
Give them a chance! I often hear people say they want an animal that doesn’t just “use” them, but needs them, so they get a dog. Cats do need us. Felix and Rhett follow me from room to room, snuggle on the couch for TV nights, and snuggle in bed with me on sick days. We can tell they love us, and I think that’s because they can tell we love them. It’s a reciprocal relationship.
On a more practical note, cats are less work than a dog. We don’t wonder whether they need to go out to pee – their litter boxes are right there! We keep a scratch pad around at all times and have never had an issue with damage to our apartment. And, cats do play. Despite being older cats, our boys still have a lot of fun with feather wands, toy mice, and iPad games!
Thank you Abigail and Zan for sharing your story, and giving Rhett and Felix the forever home they so desperately needed and deserved.
If, like Abigail and Zan, you found your perfect match at PAWS, we want to hear about it! Email us to be featured in a future Where Are They Now?.
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