Our first Former Foster Friday February is by Laurie who adopted our little Cowardly Lion..
We already had four fluffy cats in our small apartment when I saw the Cowardly Lion on Connie’s blog in November 2013. Four was our limit. They were all friends. Our vet had given us a stern lecture once, when we asked about adopting a fifth cat. Five was the tipping point, she said, when tough behavioral problems often started.
We didn’t want trouble, so I tried to forget about Lion. But Connie kept posting photos of him, and I kept looking. Why wasn’t anyone adopting him? His little face haunted me. From his eyes, I knew everything I needed to know about him. Deep down, I felt he was mine, although my head kept denying it.
I put him on my Christmas list but that didn’t pan out. Finally, in mid-January, it was decision time. So Lion came to live with us on a “trial” or “foster” basis for a few weeks while we decided whether we should keep him.
He turned out to be a born diplomat. As soon as he left the carrier, he set out to win over each of us. He was patient, observant, polite, and sweet. Toffee, our mellow brown tabby, quickly adopted him. Possum and Wendy, our five-year-old rescues, took longer to come around, but did.
Harris, our clever, spoiled “baby,” wanted to stay the baby. So he took Lion’s stuff. He stole everything Lion had brought with him: his collar, his favorite red mouse, and even his fleece blanket from Connie. Harris dragged Lion’s things through the apartment and into his own space. And Lion let him. Soon they were curling up together.
Lion needed all of his powers to win over my husband, who was being unusually resistant. Jumping into his lap to snuggle finally did the trick, but not until March. I was ambivalent, too. I drove my friends crazy with my weeks of dithering and worrying about whether we could handle having many geriatric cats at once someday. But it only took me about a day to know that giving up Lion would be agonizing.
Fortunately, I’m a wimp. I could not foster kittens and send them off to live with strangers, as Connie has done hundreds of times. She is brave and optimistic; I’m not. All Lion had to do was look into my eyes and lick my nose, and I was done for… whether I admitted it or not.
A year later, we love him madly. He’s purring next to me as I type this, occasionally swatting at the cursor. He has grown into a gentleman and a character — as I knew he would. He has a loving, charming personality. He comes when called, sometimes. He’s smart and talkative. He plays fetch. He snuggles adorably. He cuddles with his brothers. He’s passionate about pole toys and drinking straws. He’s also gorgeous, with his silky coat, his eyeliner, his wise old eyes and funny little smile.
Four things I’ve learned from Lion: 1) We had plenty of room for him. If you feel you could fit one more, do it. Save a life and enrich your own. 2) I’m not cut out to foster. 3) Connie “makes” fabulous kittens. If you get a chance, adopt one of her fosters. 4) Listen to your heart and tell your head to be quiet. It saves time. It brings joy.
Connie here again. I know Laurie talked about adopting Lion as a trial - but I knew from the minute she said she wanted him (ok probably the second time she said it) that it was fate.. It just took her a while to work it out.