If you’ve never been in a high-speed car chase, just get really attached to a cat at a shelter that isn’t guaranteed to be there when you show up. It has the same effect. The adrenaline, the uncertainty, the near-tears-the-whole-time aspect. Spot on.
I found Hot Dog on the Seattle Area Feline Rescue website and fell in love with the dower, FIV+, six year old tomcat immediately, whipping my computer around to show everyone this perfect cat with the perfect name. “I need this cat” became my catchphrase for the next four days, as I waited for Friday, when SAFR opened for the weekend. In that excruciating period of time I emailed, I called, I sent screenshots to friends, trying to vision-board my way into adopting Hot Dog. I wasn’t even looking to adopt a cat at the time per se- I was hoping to get one in May or June- but I was single-mindedly focused on Hot Dog which only proved to me that he was THE cat and not just A cat.
Friday afternoon was the beginning of the car chase. Traffic and shared-ride detours kept me from making the Georgetown to Aurora commute before SAFR closed. Paranoid as I was, I called to make sure Hot Dog hadn’t been taken from me yet.
“Let me check,” too many seconds of silence, “Yes he’s still here!”
I felt like I had been announced the winner of Lip Sync For Your Life.
SAFR opens at noon on Saturdays, so I asked my friend Jess to take me up, both for use of a car and for emotional support. We got there at 12:09 and there were already six… people... ahead of me.
At the front desk I blurted “I’M HERE TO GET HOT DOG.” Rightfully, the woman signing me in commented that that was a very odd thing to say. She looked behind her towards his enclosure and did a double take. He wasn’t there. Haha jk he was, he was just hiding. I thought I would faint. Jess stood back and laughed at me, a theme which continued for the next 45 minutes while I paced the rescue, pretending to be interested in other cats to lead people away from Hot Dog. Like I said, paranoid.
One by one the people ahead of me picked out and met their cats, did the overview and paperwork and left happy. Finally it was my turn to meet Hot Dog.
“What kind of cat are you looking for?”
When I met him, all my fear drained away. I was going to have Hot Dog. I knew from his bio on SAFR’s website that he had a medical history longer than this blog, and had lived in a feral cat colony until he was brought into the rescue. It took twenty minutes to go through his history, he had some missing teeth, chronic upper respiratory issues that made him weepy, and of course, the FIV meant he couldn’t live with other cats, or be an outdoor cat. None of this dissuaded me and I only fell deeper for this character of a cat.
At 1:39 PM on Saturday, March 10 I brought Hot Dog home. After a few trips to the vet (he was a champ) and many tests, he was given a clean bill of health, no issues other than a kitty-cold.
Now Hot Dog lives in luxury. He has two beds but opts to sit on a reusable grocery bag. He’s energetic beyond belief as any of my coworkers could tell you because all I do is send them Snaps of Hot Dog’s antics. He purrs non-stop when I’m home, greets me at the door when he hears my keys, and sleeps curled up next to me. Most importantly, he’s safe. Whether he has only a year or two left in him, or makes it to a ripe old age, Hot Dog has a furever-home where he is adored.
He’s a tomcat with a heart of gold. The hot-pursuit action scene of a week was completely worth it.
Hot Dog Update
Hot Dog's cold has completely cleared up, and his calloused paw pads are pink again! He loves looking at himself in the mirror and hanging out on the porch in the sun. He's tried different kinds of fish for the first time and loves all of them, but likes sour cream the best. His favorite toys are stationary pieces of cloth. Seriously, he attacks blankets. They're not even moving, dude. And there's no need for an alarm clock anymore because at 6:30 sharp every morning he sits on my pillow and taps the back of my head with his weirdly short arms.