I was a stressed out, busy grad student who lived alone and was lonely, sick of coming home to my little studio apartment every night to nothing but more school work and research and grading. A friend of mine had recently adopted a cat, and I was so jealous looking at the pictures of her. I'd never had a cat - my mom was allergic, so growing up we always had dogs and rabbits. I didn't know if I'd like a cat. Weren't they aloof and independent? I wanted a companion, but couldn't have a dog in my apartment and as I was healing from ankle surgery, couldn't walk one anyway. But as I looked at those pictures of my friend's new cat, I really started doing some research about cats, and just "looking into it."
So, one Saturday, I drove over to the Animal Humane Society in St. Paul, "just to look." I walked over to the cages with the kittens in them and this little orange tabby (who didn't even have a name) reached out through the bars at me. I took him out and he just hugged on my arm and purred as I scratched under his neck. After tearing myself away from him, I put him back in his cage and looked around at the other cats, but I kept feeling pulled back to that little orange tabby. Eventually, I had to leave to take some time to decide if having a cat was really feasible. As I walked out the door, I could feel that little orange tabby staring at me. I made some phone calls, did a little more research, made a trip to the pet store, and was back 4 hours later to adopt the little orange tabby whom I had named Gabe in my short time away from him.
That night, I took him home. He's incredible. I love coming home to him. I walk in the door and he hops up from wherever he was sleeping and stretches and meows at my feet until I pick him up and cuddle. After he takes some time to wake up, we play, and he never fails to make me laugh. His nickname has become "little monkey dude" because of the way he jumps and does flips in the air while we are playing. He makes me smile so much, and when he cuddles up with me at night and I fall asleep to him purring in my ear, well, there's just nothing better. He has brought so much light to my life. I'm so glad I made the decision to bring him home. He's captured my heart.