As you already know, I’m a cat lady! I wanted to share my story about adopting Chubs with you because it’s pretty interesting (maybe I’m biased, ha!).
Let’s rewind to the very beginning. MG has never had a pet… the idea of having an animal in the house that roams free is a bit terrifying for him. But for me, I’ve always had some sort of animal in the household. I will admit that I cannot handle the responsibility of a dog at this moment in my life right now, also I don’t have a backyard, so I knew ultimately I wanted a cat.
Then the next decision was – adoption or breeder? Adoption is a really scary subject for me because of all the psychological horror stories you hear (obviously, only the worst stories are spread around so you rarely hear of the good things). I’ve grown up thinking that adoption should always be the last straw. But things have changed since I became a believer in Christ – the idea of me being adopted into God’s Kingdom changed my perception. In the end, we decided to adopt a pet because hopefully it will give us a small understanding of the process and love needed to one day adopt a child.
We visited a few different shelters in the East Bay, the first one being the Hayward Animal Shelter. The first cat we ever saw was Chubs, wearing a cone with stitches on his eyelids. Adopting was a new process already, adopting a handicapped pet? Nope, moving on. We shopped around for at least 2 months, never finding the “right one” and sadly enough, no one wanted that handicapped cat either…
After one of the visit at the Hayward shelter, I found out they were hosting a fundraiser. I wanted to support the local shelter so I made MG and our neighbor, Jon, come with me. We saw a K-9 unit in action, we saw a hot dog bobbing contest, and a dog dress up contest as well. And we saw “that” cat, Chubs, again, this time no cone, no stitches, and he was on the front page of the “All Fur Love” shelter newsletter. He was hiding under a blanket because the wind and loud noises were scaring him, so cute and so clever!
We read his story in the newsletter and found out that 2 cats were abandoned by their owners and left at the shelter in a box. One of the cats was adopted in 9 days, the other had a more unfortunate story and his name was Chubs. He was born with a birth defect that left him with no eyelids causing him a lot of discomfort. Though he had a medical condition, he was the sweetest cat and all the volunteers fell in love with him. He became known as the “sweetheart” cat. Many members of the shelter staff approached management to see if there was a way to save him, and after lots of thought and also knowing how much this cat was loved, management sent a proposal to the Volunteer Board to sponsor a corrective procedure. Fortunately, the proposal was approved. He had reconstructive surgery, where lower eye skin was moved to the top to form eyelids. Everyone thought this was the end of his issues, but three weeks later, the staff found out his surgery was only partially successful. His eyelashes were growing into his eyeballs, which left him with discomfort still, and he had to go through another surgery. After the corrective surgery, lots of eyedrops, and eye lubrication, Chubs was in the best shape yet.
At the fundraiser, the volunteers let us know that he was off all medications, he was available for adoption, and they gave us adoption papers to fill out. I fell in love with Chubs’ story, but I still was not going to adopt a cat that might possible cost me lots of money for vet visits. So MG, Jon, and I went home, with no pet.
In our car ride back, Chubs really left an imprint on my heart. I asked MG and Jon what they thought. Jon instigated and said “I will only play with Chubs. If you get another cat, don’t expect me to play with it.” Then MG put into realization that any cat we adopt could have potential medical conditions, but with Chubs, at least we would know upfront. Then I pulled up my checklist:
1. I wanted a cat with a personality that was already set (with kittens you can get a range of personalities). I wanted a sweet and cuddly cat – all the staff members said he was the most lovable cat and you could really tell the staff was sincere
2. I wanted a grey kitty – check
3. I wanted to support the local animal shelter – check
4. He had a story – this made him very unique
5. His name is Chubs – if you knew MG and I at all, you would know this is the perfect pet name
We pulled into the driveway, and for some reason within the 10 minute drive home, my heart had changed. I wanted Chubs. I had to have Chubs. MG filled out the papers at home, and we drove back to the shelter all in the span of 20 minutes. The staff immediately recognized us. They looked over our papers and told us once they did a background check, we could probably take Chubs home in an hour. In no time, the staff members were saying goodbye to Chubs, one by one in the visitation room. I saw one volunteer with a tear in her eye. MG and I took this as a sign that his personality must be worthy of the love he received by the staff. We adopted Chubs on 5/18.
We’ve had him for 4 months now, and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have wanted another pet. He has so many mannerisms that are his and his alone, and it makes him so much more special.
- He does a little dance when you scratch his back near his tail
- He tries to tag you when you walk by – he’ll reach his paw out to touch you
- When his ear itches badly, he wakes me up at night so that I can be his saving grace
- He gives head cuddles and kisses
- He scratches the carpet when he’s excited and wants you to pick him up
- He comes to you every morning when you wake up and yell “baby cat”
- When you pull into the garage, he stands at the top of the stairs to greet you
- He even fetches
- He loves to eat spinach and arugula
- He cleans his paws after using the litter box by wiping it on the curtain (see his litter box set up below)
- When you scratch his back, he licks the air
- He talks a lot! Meows every morning to wake you up at 10am or at night, just for a chat
Eden Pet Hospital did the reconstructive surgery. When I brought Chubs in for a check up, they took him to the back to take a picture with him. The nurses love him!
I hated the idea of having our guests stare at the litter box every time they use the guest bathroom. So instead, I took off the cabinet doors, hemmed some fabric to make a curtain and put it up to hide the box. Chubs actually loves the privacy and cleans his paws on the curtain after using the box.
I seriously encourage adoption. Think about the hundreds of animals out there that do not have a forever home, ones that have been abandoned or worse, abused. Many pets get euthanized because there are not enough adopters out there. More importantly, adopt because it helps you to understand how much love can be given to a stranger. If I can love a pet so much, there has to be so much more love I can provide to a child. Then think about how much love God gives you because you’ve been adopted by Him.
I’m interested in hearing your thoughts about adoption. Have you considered it for an animal or a child?
In His Love,