Meghan + Sadie
I never thought of myself as a cat person. The cat my parents had while I was growing up was temperamental, so I thought all cats were like that. I wanted a dog, but because we couldn’t have one in our apartment, I just accepted that now was not the right time for a pet.
When my animal-loving mother-in-law came to visit, we took her to the cat café near our apartment for something to do. As we pet and played with the cats at Cat Town, I started to see their unique personalities. After the visit I started following them on Instagram, filling my feed with cute cats. Why not?
"Something was different this time: I knew she was my cat."
Then I saw her face. She popped up one day, with her freckled nose and inquisitive look, just like all the cute cats before her. But something was different this time: I knew she was my cat. When I went to meet her in her foster home—even though she just napped and wasn’t that interested in me—I signed the paperwork on the spot.
The head of the foster program at Cat Town told me she cried when she saw that someone had inquired about Sadie, as she was so invested in her story. When they first found her years prior at an animal welfare facility, she was miserable. Through the help of Cat Town, her personality blossomed from shy and scared to sweet and loving. At four or five years old, Sadie had been in and out of the foster program numerous times. Due to a variety of circumstances, she was adopted and later surrendered more than once. She had even lived in a car with a previous owner for a year and a half. Sadie had never been able to find a permanent home
A few months after adopting Sadie, my husband and I split. The stability I thought I had was shattered.
When he moved out I found myself living on my own for the first time in my life. Except I wasn’t. Sadie sleeps curled up next to me every night. When I come home, I am greeted at the door. If I’m sitting, she’s in my lap. She even follows me into the bathroom, or will wait by the door if I close it. I used to scoff when people referred to their pet as their best friend, but now I totally get it. I cannot imagine going through a life change such as this without her patience and companionship. In a time of uncertainty, I can count on her.
We can’t plan everything in life. Sometimes relationships end. Sometimes a cat goes through a few owners before finding the perfect fit. Sometimes a skeptic falls in love with a cat at first sight. For the first time, Sadie is finally at home. And thanks to her, I am too.
Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Meghan O’Neil won Cat Town in California a 2017 Holiday Wishes award.