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I wanted to be prepared for my first cat - just a quick trip to Petsmart to pick up a few basics before I started looking at shelters. They were having a rescue event and a grey fluffball named Nelda with beautiful green eyes caught my attention. She stayed quietly in my lap while I peppered her foster mother with questions and learned that she was about 5-6 years old, and she'd been on the streets for a few years. She'd given birth in this woman's mother's garage and all of her kittens (including her foster baby) had been adopted long ago. Nelda had been making the adoption circuit for two years. She'd been adopted and given back for "talking too much". I made an emotional, impulsive decision and decided that she would be my cat.

The next morning, awaking to a pee puddle in my bed and stepping bare-footed into the poo on the rug, I thought I'd made a horrible mistake. I was in tears. But I held out. She was skittish and clever, souvenirs from her time on the streets. She purred when she approached me and loved cheek scratches,. It took 6 months to be able to pick her up. Gradually we made progress. One night I woke to find her curled at the foot of my bed. After a year she'd regularly curl up by my shoulder at night. 16 months after adoption she hopped up into my lap for the first time and curled up, contentedly purring and turning over to show her fluffy belly. I felt like she had accepted me fully as her Person and she has been my chatty, affectionate, playful companion ever since. She tolerates my kisses between her ears, makes me laugh with her saucer-wide eyes while playing Stalk-and-Pounce, and always has a sassy comment that brings a smile to my face no matter how bad my day at work was.

I like to think that she was patiently waiting for me, in those years in foster care.

I aim to make sure that patience was justified.

Lauren
Hoston, TX

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