A year of Lilu
Today is the year anniversary of our dear sweet Lilu cat coming to live with us. You've probably seen photos or videos of her on my social media- she's a real charmer! Yes, I'm that crazy cat lady- but with just one cat! So I wanted to share with you Lilu's story and why I'm behind the "adopt don't shop" when it comes to our furry family.
We adopted Lilu from a sweet man named John (named changed for privacy). John's living situation had hit a sudden rough patch and without permanent residency he was house sitting for others and moving around a lot. Lilu, who like many cats, doesn't do well with change, wasn't coping well at all. John made the heart breaking decision that in her best interest, he needed to find a secure, permanent home for Lilu. That's where we came in. Seperately, both Adam and I saw the ad on Facebook about Lilu. By the time I tagged Adam in the comments section he had already phoned John about her.
There was just something about those eyes of Lilu's that spoke to us and we knew that we had the room in our hearts and home for her.
This is our first photo of Lilu (looking a bit bewildered! hehe)
When we arrived home with Lilu, it had just snowed and the world was sparkling with that special kind of Wintery magic. Lilu, being in her cage and after the car and ferry trip, was obviously not a happy camper. As we let her loose in the house she quickly explored, all the while sadly meowing. We sat back, our hearts aching for both John and for Lilu. After a quick tour of the house she settled in by hiding under the couch. We left her alone. After a few hours, she still hadn't surfaced, so I lay on the floor next to the couch, extended my arm and started patting her head. After a few moments, her big eyes relaxed, and she rolled on back showing me her fluffy tummy. Soon after that she came out from underneath the couch and hasn't been back since.
Lilu's life didn't start with living with John. He adopted her from a rescue center when she was around 2 years old. She had been picked up as abandoned/stray AND with a litter of kittens! On her papers she is listed as a Ragdoll X Siamese. This explains both her docile behavior and those blue eyes! But being on the streets has had its affects on Lilu- she is very skittish to loud or sudden noises. She is a very friendly and affectionate cat- but not a lap cat and she takes a moment or two to be comfortable around new people. Lilu is always around us- just never on us! She is also quite attached to me- I am her safe zone- so she shadows me around the house- always sitting close by.
Here we are enjoying the snow together.
Adam is a musician and so he travels a lot with work. It has made such a huge difference in my life, in those times when he's away, to have her company. She sits with me in my studio as I paint and I love how occasionally I'll feel her fluffy tail tickle my leg as she asks for attention. Here she is overseeing me as I photograph some of my Mandala Stones
Sometimes Adam and I try and imagine her as a kitten- she would have been absolutely gorgeous! I totally understand the appeal of having a pet from the beginning of their life. However there are so many pluses for adopting a mature pet- for one their personalities are known. Lilu's mission in life is to love, she is always up for a pat. Not once has she ever drawn her claws to us, hissed or displayed any "negative" behavior. She is the most mild mannered little love- who also loves nothing more than to play chase with a bit of string!
In writing this piece I realized we don't have a family photo of us! We will have to change that, but for now here is a portrait of us all our friend Jenny Ritter painted...
Lilu has brought so much love and joy to our lives this past year. We know that we won't have as long with her than if we had her since kittenhood, but it makes every day with her that much precious. I strongly encourage anyone who is ready to welcome a furry friend into their family to check out rescue centers and local ads for pets that need rehoming. There are so many sweet, loving animals out there just waiting and wanting to be loved. Plus they often come neutered, healthy and with an idea of their personalities, preferences and quirks- making it easier to transition to the right home. We are still in touch with John and we send him regular updates and photos of Lilu.
Please feel free to comment below of your story of your furry family and what they mean to you.