The cat who wanted to be alone

When my guy and I moved in together there was no doubt that we would adopt pets. We decided on getting a cat first, as cats need a little less hands-on attention than dogs. My guy had lived with a dog when he was a kid, but had no experience with cats. I have had the pleasure of living with several cats throughout my life, so I felt it was up to me to choose the right cat for us. How did I do that?

First of all: it was important to me to get an adult cat from a shelter. There is an awesome shelter in Amsterdam, Dierenopvang Amsterdam. They rescue pets and rehome them. I scoured the website for certain types of cats that I felt would suit us.

First I decided I wanted a cat that would bond with my guy. I looked for characteristics I knew he’d appreciate: independence and intelligence. In addition to that I looked for a cat who wanted to live alone with her human companions. And yes, I had a strong feeling she had to be a girl.

When I saw Em’s picture, she was small, shy and at the same time defiant. The description revealed she was a loner, had been found wandering the streets and that she was a bit crabby. Perfect. So we visited her to see if we’d click. She didn’t care much for me. I got a little scratch the first time I touched her (not the last, either). But for my guy, this little kitty purred and allowed petting. I knew we’d found our perfect cat.

The first few weeks, months even, I didn’t get anywhere with Em. No matter how many treats I fed her, or ignored her, or tried to play with her: I was just a nuissance to her. With my guy she was completely different: cuddling, purring, pawing, snuggling… she was in love. Did I mind? No! Little Em found her way into my guy’s heart, showing him what it means to live with a cat. And slowly, as she realised I was not going anywhere, she started to accept me, too.

She seemed happy and content. But after two years we noticed she was getting a bit bored with just us. It was nothing specific, but I felt she needed another cat. And this was going yo be tricky. It’s one thing to find the perfect cat for your partner; it’s far more tricky to find a companion for your beloved cat.

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