Have you ever been at the shelter and watched how some folks choose a pet to adopt? “Oh, that one has beautiful markings,” or “That one reminds me of my childhood pet Rover.” The sad truth is that someone or something is going to suffer when we make unreasonable choices based upon sight alone . . . sometimes it’s US!
My Jenna is one of four APR adoptees who share my home. I hate to say it, but Jenna is one plug ugly cat. Her fur is mottled grey, and she looks like something a fireman salvaged from a burnt-out building. She has a malformed spine which causes a syncopated gate when she walks, and when she runs her hind quarters race with her front half, resulting in her not always ending up where she was headed. It’s not known if this was caused by a birth defect, injury or abuse. My nickname for her is “Flopalong CATsidy.”
When I first saw Jenna, I knew she had to go home with me because I couldn’t imagine anyone else wanting her. This turned out to be the sweetest, most adorable love-a-holic kitty I have ever had the privilege of sharing life with. She will lay beside me with her head in my lap, stare up at me and emit her bizarre little attempt at a meow. She also sits in my lap and soft-paws my face when she deems it time to be fed, and is constantly head-butting me to let me know that I belong to her.
So, here’s my advice on how to choose a pet. In the cat rooms, sit very still in the middle of the floor and observe closely who comes up to check you out. The one(s) that rub against you, “talk” to you, soft-paw you or head-but you will be the best “till death do you part” companions. In the dog area, look for the wiggling rear-end complete with wagging tail and an overall appearance that says, “pet me, pet me.”
The moral of my story is don’t be so quick to judge the book by its cover or a furry companion by their cover. True love often hides beneath the weirdest shape, size, marking or color, and in order to find it we must resign ourselves to be shape, size, marking and color blind.
Think about this one folks: Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer were both attractive dudes, but honestly dear hearts, would any of you want to have either of them as a roommate?