Winston and Squeaker

2014 was quite the difficult year. In a six-month period, I lost my beloved aunt to cancer, my 92 year-old grandfather whom was like a father-figure to me and my two 19 year-old cats, Senor and Lady, passed away within two months of each other. Needing a break from life, I decided to take my first European trip to London, Paris and Dublin.

Upon my return from my two-week life-renewing trip (July ‘14), I found my apartment to be so lonely without any furry friends. Knowing it was too soon to adopt again, I just couldn’t justify an empty house knowing there were thousands of homeless cats that needed a caring home so I decided to take the bus from Russian Hill to the SF SPCA.

As I meandered through the beautiful yet sad building and seeing all of the wonderful adoptable cats, it was then when I decided I wanted to adopt two cats, preferably two bonded females, and that were of “senior” age which of course makes them more difficult to adopt. There were five bonded pairs available and as I sat with each pair, petting them and talking to them, I wound up really falling for a bonded male-and-female pair. As I started to speak with the volunteer about this particular pair, she said that they had been returned twice because of allergies and now the male cat has a skin irritation that might be food-related. I wasn’t prepared to adopt a cat that had medical conditions and especially one that required venison meat for the rest of his life. The volunteer had mentioned that these particular cats did initially come in flea-infested and quite malnourished – who would do this to an animal?

I decided to keep looking based on the volunteer’s diagnosis so I ventured over to the Animal Control Center across from SF SPCA to see what options might be available. I fell in love with a pair of two-year-old siblings, as they were playful and chatty. It seemed like a perfect match. Even as I was sure these were my new babies, I couldn’t help but think of the pair back at SF SPCA that were much less adoptable based on their age and medical conditions, and I couldn’t bear to see them in the shelter any longer – three months was too long in the shelter.

I said farewell to the young sibling pair, walked back to SF SPCA and found the volunteer that was so kind and supportive during my first visit. She grinned as she saw me again and immediately set me up with an adoption coordinator to talk through my concerns regarding the senior pair. The coordinator offered to provide me a six-month supply of special food for the male cat’s medical condition and she also offered to waive the adoption fee (I did donate $150, though!) on both cats – how could I say no?!

After an hour of paperwork, selecting collars for both cats and such, the volunteer brought me my new babies in their carriers – and of course the bus wouldn’t do for my return so I called a Lyft. Returning home, I immediately let the kitties out of their boxes to explore and it was like they were home. The first night, both of them cuddled with me on the bed and to this day, they both sleep next to my head, cuddled up with each other... and me!

I decided to name them Winston (inspiration from London maybe?!) and Squeaker (she’s got the highest-pitched meow I’ve ever heard!) and they are the loves of my life. Winston was weaned off the venison meat and now eats regular cat food while Squeaker doesn’t allow Winston to finish his wet food dinners at night because she scarfs hers down and then mows him over and eats what’s left on his plate – true sibling love. Winston and Squeaker are the most bonded, love-for-each-other pair of cats I have ever encountered and they have been my rock and saving grace through everything that happened last year. We definitely chose each other for our next chapter of our lives and couldn’t be a better fit. Thank you, SF SPCA!