Monday, December 23, 2013

Love and Logan

There's a story behind every adoption. Some involve love at first sight; some require lots of thoughtful deliberation. We love Shawna and Sam's story about how they found Logan the cat--and what an integral member of their little family he's become. Just in time for the holidays, here's a tale of togetherness:

"Let me tell you about our experience adopting our walking, talking, giant mess of fur named Logan, because it's one of my favorite stories to tell.

Logan, our 15 pound, 10 year old, long haired, Maine Coon mix, cat came into our life surprisingly quickly, considering how long we'd been looking for him:
After finally moving out of our tiny downtown studio this past May, my boyfriend Sam and I decided we were ready for our very own furry friend. We started our search in June, and every 4 or 5 days we'd stop by the Humane Society of Chittenden County to spend some time with its feline residents, and checked the website for new arrivals daily. Our adventures included kicking HSCC volunteer manager Shayla (who was more than happy to oblige!) out of her office once or twice so we could hang with her office kitty; asking adoption supervisor Amanda limitless amounts of questions about each cat we considered, continuously taking twenty minute blocks of her time; my partner Sam rubbing his fingers in his eyes after petting each cat to see if he was allergic (as it turns out, he was allergic to many!); and learning, on my birthday, that after being placed on a waiting list our very first choice was, indeed, adopted by someone else. I believe that in our process of finding and adopting Logan, we first learned to adopt the spirit of the HSCC staff. We found this spirit to be one of generosity, endless enthusiasm, and an infallible ability to roll with the punches.

Finally, on Saturday, July 13, our day came. We'd planned a hike up Camel's Hump, but after I opened my laptop for one quick look at HSCC's website - just in case! - we soon found ourselves cycling like mad people over to the shelter to see this cat, this Logan fellow, that looked quirky in an our-kind-of quirky way. I can't tell you how much we wanted to ride our bike right through the doors, come crashing into the shelter and get this cat in our sight just a little bit faster. We did manage to compose ourselves, huff out an excited, "Amanda! Logan - yeah?", and get a quick rundown of his story. We walked into his room, and when we called out an inquisitive, "Logan?", we were instantly met with an equally intense and  inquisitive look from this distinguished guy, previously sleeping contentedly on a shelf. That was it. We knew instantly. Within five minutes we were purchasing a kitty carrier, signing papers, telling our new buddy that we'd be back with the car.

Once home we were acquainted with Logan's distinct grumpy-old-man voice, and learned that he likes to talk as much as we do, if not more. He was nervous at first, slowly stalking the perimeters of our living room, letting out loud and long words to express his fear, but we were lucky: we scooped him up, put him on our laps, and scratched his cheeks. That was it. He was home, and he's been our friend ever since. The rest of our first night was actually rather unfortunate. After being so careful to watch Sam's allergies, we realized after a full night of kitty cuddles that I was actually quite allergic to Logan; so allergic, in fact, that my throat closed. So there we were, 3am, sitting in bed with a bottle of benadryl, listening to our lovely and long-awaited new cat cry outside our bedroom door, which we had to close because of my reaction. We were scared; he was scared. We were sad; he was sad. I wondered if we'd made a mistake, and I hated leaving him alone on his first night. There were tears. It makes my chest ache to think of this even now.

Luckily, we were equipped with the spirit of HSCC's staff, and the help of Pet Food Warehouse. We started a new project: project revitalize Logan's coat. We brushed him several times a day; we fed him cat food and treats specifically for hair and skin health; we pet him so much, spreading his oils around, that his hair was shinier than ours. By Monday, July 15, his dander was under control, his old flea dust was gone, and we were smooth sailing.

I can't tell you how much we love our cat. Sometimes we think he's more like a child than a cat, with his big, distinctive personality and need to be a part of everything we're doing. We're so happy for that, as he's made our lives, our little family, so much richer. Wherever we are, he is, too. If we're on the computer, he's attempting to sit on the keyboard. If we're eating dinner, he's right there, telling us he'd love to share. Lying down? He's on your back, kneading your hair, or wrapping his arms around your neck to engage in a big buddy hug. He loves to hold hands. He's terrified of the exercise ball, and of bath bubbles. He's a serious spider hunter. He's quite the gymnast, as we've watched him, numerous times, flip over the couch/chair rails/cat scratcher/counter to catch a toy. He loves playing in boxes and bags, and really loves to tear them up. He may love Sam's ice cream most, as he'll follow the scent across the house and sit at his side, loudly asking for just a small taste, and occasionally try to dunk his head in the bowl. He's the quirkiest, most distinguished cat I've every known; he's like a Wes Anderson character, or maybe Woody Allen. We love him, and we know he loves us, too. He knows we're his people.

I didn't want to write in about our wonderful experience until the cat Logan came in with, Nikke, was adopted too, because we thought it might be too bittersweet for his previous owner, knowing one cat was well and one was still waiting. I checked in on Nikke often, asking Amanda about her status and such, and was overjoyed when I saw she was adopted in August. I know that Logan and Nikke were very loved in their earlier life, and I really want his previous parents to know how loved he is still. I'd love for them to know how happy he is, and how thankful we are to have him in our family now. I was so appreciative of his sponsored adoption fee, and was really eager to give back in some way. This is what made me so excited to head our promotion here at Edgewater Gallery, and I'm so happy that it's been so successful.

Thanks so much to HSCC's staff for such a positive experience, and for giving us this amazing opportunity to spend our time with such a funny little guy. We still have his original photo that was posted on HSCC's website, and looking at now still inspires me to rush over to him as fast as possible, give him a squeeze, and thank him for being here with us."

~Shawna and Sam, HSCC adopters

Sam and Logan get into the holiday spirit!

... and share a moment of tenderness.