Today marks twelve years since we adopted Chris. He has been with me longer than any other pet I have ever had and has become such an integral part of this family that I can’t imagine what life would be like without him.
I met Chris while volunteering at a shelter in Myrtle Beach called Save-R-Cats. They were in the local PetSmart on a rotating basis and I went in one morning before work to clean the cages. I let all of the cats out of the top row of cages while I cleaned them. Suddenly, a kitten, about four or five months old, jumped from the floor onto my back and clawed his way up to my shoulders. He then proceeded to nibble on my ear and then on my nose. That kitten, of course, was Chris.
We didn’t adopt him right away. At some point, he was adopted and then returned the next day because of his bad behavior, although I don’t remember when that occurred.
Sometime later my wife came from the shelter and met Chris. That meeting went pretty well.
Still, we didn’t adopt him because we were not ready. We had a cruise coming up and my wife had a business trip to go on after the cruise. While she was on that trip, I went to the shelter and saw that Chris was not only still there, but he also climbed up onto my shoulders again. A shelter worker took a picture of me and Chris with my phone, which had a bad camera even for 2009 standards.
I sent the picture to my wife with the text, “Can we keep him?” I think she agreed but I wanted to wait for her to get home from her trip so we can make the decision together. That way, if Chris turned out to be a bad cat, it wouldn’t be totally my fault.
When Rose returned, we went to the shelter one more time to see Chris before making a decision. Once there, we couldn’t go home without him.
When Chris got to our house he immediately took over to the surprise of our other four cats.
The next few years were pretty difficult as we dealt with problems such as Chris pooping where he shouldn’t, getting on the counters, opening doors he should not be able to open, bothering us while we were sleeping, trying to escape, digging the carpet and I’m sure many other things I can’t think of right now. But during this time we also knew that he was worth it because, besides being a constant source of entertainment, he was probably the most loving being this Earth has ever seen.
While Chris can still be quite annoying, he doesn’t get into as much trouble as he used to. What hasn’t changed is the love. Chris is a shining example of pure love in physical form.