I met Gwen, then Nuggie, for the first time a few weeks after watching her profile at the local humane society. Matt and I had decided that we wanted another cat, and we wanted a "less adoptable" cat. Older cats, black cats, and cats who had been there for a while were the ones we were looking for.
Gwen had been at the shelter for over two years. At seven years old, the odds of her getting adopted were not great. She was our cat.
I wasn't expecting this. Gwen was much smaller than I had anticipated (later we'd learn that she's a whopping 5.6 lbs) and, well, not very social. She remained curled up in the bed I found her the entire time. If I got her to lift up her head for me, she didn't bother to open her eyes. I didn't think that there was anything wrong with her, she just seemed defeated. With so many cats bounding around the room, clamoring for my attention, Gwen was easy to pass over.
Two years is a very long time for a cat to be in a shelter. When you consider that cats can suffer depression and other side effects even two weeks into their stay, Gwen's behavior was even more understandable.
I knew that she was going to come home with us. I just didn't know what kind of cat we were getting. I expected that she would stay sequestered in my office for a week at least.
Gwen jumped the gate and curled up on our bed within a couple of hours - much to Aeris' chagrin. She was downright curious about her new environment, and spent the night looking around at everything. That first night, she slept curled up at my feet - an entirely different cat than the one we'd met earlier.
It's been a week now, and Gwen is a happy, content cat. We're all still adjusting to each other. Gwen is not incredibly social, nor is she a lap cat. But she does enjoy sleeping near us, and she's very inquisitive. The past couple days, we've started to see a little bit more goofiness in her, and she's begun responding to her name. (She didn't respond to her shelter name, so there was no guilt in renaming her.) She'll headbutt our hands when she's ready for some attention. We're giving Gwen space, and letting her figure out life at her own pace.
She is a very well-behaved cat. She does have to tell Mikenna to back off from time to time - but Mikenna wants nothing more than to get up in Gwen's face and nuzzle her. She has an ear infection that we're treating with twice daily drops - and though Gwen lets me do it, she's starting to get very tired of the process.
I can't stress enough how happy I am to have Gwen here. I don't know what this cat has been through - she was dropped off at the shelter as a stray, but based on how well-behaved she is, I believe she had a home at one time. She seems confident, content, and happy. If you've never rescued an animal before, there is something really rewarding about giving a shelter animal a home. I've heard it before, but now I've seen it unfold - they really do seem immensely grateful for their new home.
And home we are, forever, Gwen. I promise.