Being a longtime resident of the interwebs, I realize that stories about other people's cats may not be interesting, so I'll put this behind a cut.
1. We went to the Humane Society on Friday, just to take a look and find out what the procedures were. We filled out an application and talked to them about prices. Adoption was $75 for a cat, but only $50 if it was a black cat, which are apparently less popular. This suited us fine, since we especially wanted a black cat.
2. We went back and looked at the cat room. I expected it to be sort of uninteresting, with stacks of cages full of sleeping cats. It was much more sad...all the cats were meowing and stretching their paws out of the cages, begging for attention. The first cat who caught our attention was a playful black and white female kitten, who loved sitting on our shoulders. Nobody else jumped out at us, so I took a closer look at each cage and found a second cat we liked; a young black tom about 5 months old, also playful and active. We took him out and he nested comfortably in our arms, batting at our faces with velveted paws. We liked him immediately.
3. The black and white kitten was going to go to Petco the next day and would probably be adopted there. The young black tom, in contrast, had been at the shelter for several months already with no prospects of leaving. It wasn't really a hard decision. We decided to go home and sleep on it.
4. We called the landlord and got her permission for a cat.
5. Yesterday morning, we set about collecting our cat paraphernalia. We went to Goodwill and picked up a plastic tub for a litterbox, a soft green towel for bedding, some dishes for food and water and a placemat to put them on. Then off to the pet store for a catnip mouse, a bottle of cleaner in case of accidents, and a scratching post (sisal rope around a carpeted plank, hung from a doorknob: $7). Then off to the grocery store for cat litter, kibbles, canned food, and a mister bottle in case discipline was needed.
6. Last stop: back to the Humane Society. I was a little worried that we had settled on this cat too hastily, and resolved to look at all the cats again, just in case. I immediately liked another playful and friendly black cat on the top row, who I quickly realized was the same cat...they moved him to a new cage. I took this as a sign. He got his ears cleaned and his neck microchipped, then he was bundled in a box while we signed the papers and took him home.
7. He meowed pitifully the whole drive home.
8. We quickly set up the litterbox and scratching post before we opened his box. He didn't seem inclined to jump out, so we carefully tipped it over on its side, and he took one loooooong, sloooow step out, like he was landing on the moon. THEN came the purring, purring like a jet engine (I can hear him in the next room with the door shut). After that, he spent the next few hours running laps between the bathroom and the living room at top speed, purring all the while. He figured out his litter box right away, and he only got in one scratch on a bookshelf before he figured out the scratching post.
9. He decided his hangout is going to be under the futon, on the end closest to the front door. We moved his cozy towel down there and he laid there purring, making the futon vibrate under me.
10. So, that's pretty much it. He's been alternately tearing around the house, swiping at toys, and sleeping in our laps. He doesn't have a name yet, but we're working on it. Suggestions welcome.
I told Tyler that we could not have a cat until we had health insurance (for my allergy pills), a stable place to live, and a really good vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. Well, he satisfied every last requirement. We didn't want to get one until after my graduation (since we'd be away from home for about two months), but now that we're back, there wasn't any reason to wait.
Also, while he's almost entirely black, he seems to have a bit of a brown goatee if you look carefully enough. Odd.