Olivia showed up one day at my door. She was just a wisp of a thing and weighed close to nothing. She meowed and rubbed against my leg.
I have never been what you would call a cat person. I liked them, don’t get me wrong, but I would keep my distance, considering that I am highly allergic. My siblings and I always had cats when I was young, always picking them out as kittens, but whenever I touched anything feline, my eyes would tear and I would sneeze.
Here was this supposed half grown kitten looking at me as if I could change her lot in life. I fed her, my first mistake. She had no collar and she was starving. She wasn’t feral and therefore unable to take care of herself after her abandonment. She was a stray. Given a home as a kitten and then deserted, left alone.
There she was every time I opened the door, meowing and rubbing, seeming to say “More Please.” Since she wasn’t a male, I couldn’t name her Oliver, so I started to call her Olivia. I knew the old adage that if you feed a stray you will never get rid of it, and if you give it a name, well, then it’s just too late.
I had to find her a home. I visited a local pet store and asked about stray adoptions. They were more than happy to give me a number to call and I stashed it in my pocket. Problem solved.
Arriving home I could see Olivia sleeping peacefully on the porch swing, waiting. When I would appear she would jump down and greet me. I fingered the slip of paper with the phone number. I picked her up and carried her inside, allergies be damned.
At first she was fearful. Who knows what experiences she had in her short life. I buckled on the pink-belled collar I had purchased, and set up the new litter box in the laundry room. I filled a bowl with some canned cat food and she started to purr. She ate till she was full, and then used her new bathroom facilities. She rubbed against my leg and climbed into the new soft fluffy pink cat bed and stretched. She slept.
It is one year from the first time Olivia chose me. Yes it was odd this time. There was no going to pick out a kitten from a litter. It was the first time in my life that a cat, had picked me. The wonders of Zyrtec have kept my once unbearable allergies at bay and Olivia is now the queen of the house. She walks around as if she has always ruled this realm.
I know nothing about her life before she walked into mine. I don’t know what her mother looked like or how many littermates she had. I don’t even know her exact age only the estimate offered by my vet. One year, she said, at least one year old.
As she sits in my lap she stretches and loudly purrs. This time, the shoe, as they say is on the other foot. In the past my brothers and sister would go to a house, look at the kittens, and pick the one we liked the best. This time a cat went to a house, looked at the people, and picked me.