In 2005, while we were still living in Canada, my husband and I adopted two adorable (I may be biased!) cats: Kashew and Tiana.
Kashew was the first to enter our lives. She was found wandering alone on a campground, at about 3 weeks old. She was crying and shivering, and seriously underweight. Our vet clinic at the time took her in and bottle fed her, day and night, weekdays and weekends.
I had a good contact with the staff, and they knew I was looking into adopting two kittens. One day, I walked in the clinic to get some special cat food for my mother's cat. The woman at the front desk greeted me, and then took this tiny bundle of fur and put it on the desk in front of me, saying "We've got this little furball, if you are interested".
I looked at the fierce little kitten. Picked it up, listened and watched it as it meowed and squirmed like a baby lion in danger. I looked at its fur. Orange... not yellow, not ginger... no.... orange. A beautiful, flaming orange. The kittens eyes were still a little sick from infection that was being treated. And it meowed, and yelled and squirmed... I put it down again. I will say with honesty, this wasn't love at first sight. Sure it was cute, and I also do love kittens from the moment I look at them... but this was not "my kitten". I always liked the mellow, easy going kind of cats... plus, I do prefer having female cats around, as they tend to be cleaner and less territorial. I was living in apartment, after all! Yellow / ginger / orange cats are most often male.
"Cute but fierce little guy" I said. Thank you. I'll think about it. I must talk to my partner first.
"It's a she", answered the woman.
"A she? are you sure?"
"Yes, I assure you... this is a little girl"
I picked up the little lion cub. Yes, I looked for myself. And yes, it was indeed a little girl.
On that moment, I thought... This means something. This cat is special. I asked for her story, where she came from, how healthy she was, or how healthy did they think she would be.
My heart melted. This little one fought for her life, got a staff to help her make it. Was still not out of the wood, and here I was, judging her solely by what I thought was her gender, and by her reaction to a total human stranger.
This tiny (she really was tiny) kitten needed the love and care of a family, and I wanted us to be that family.
And so we adopted the little furball. But it was only a month after my first contact with her that I was allowed to take her home. She needed to be over 1 lbs. At 2 months old, she weighed 1,2 lbs (still 0.8 lbs under ideal kitten weight at that age)
During the month waiting, I visited her at the clinic very often. She was My kitten, and I felt very protective of her. She got used to me and became much more affectionate.
Today, Kashew is a very healthy, spoiled, loved, furry and affectionate nearly-7 years old lady cat. As for her personality? Well, let's just say I was right. She IS a special cat! But that will be for another post.