I was never an animal lover. I've had cats before, but it turns out I was allergic to them and had to give them away. :( Fast forward about 30 years - it was lonely in my house with just me so I decided to give the cats another try. The Cleveland APL was having a kitten sale, so I went down "just to look" and came home with Jasper, a black short hair domestic with a white patch on his chest and Riley, a grey tabby. Both were eight weeks old and both have yellow eyes.
Riley was my cuddle bug right from the start. He would lay on my chest with his head on my shoulder and purr and purr. Jasper was terrified when I brought him home and hide behind the couch for three days, only coming out to potty and eat. Finally he started braving the house. Even now, he is not a cuddly cat. He rarely sits on my lap and until recently, I couldn't even pick him up with major scratch damage. But he likes to be near me and will sit next to me on the couch and sometimes sleep with me.
I still went down to the APL to look at the animals, but I resisted the urge to get any more until I saw Elliott. He was an all white, deaf cat with one green eye and one blue eye. He was very fluffy and after he got over his initial shyness he was a great cat and slept with me every night. Unfortunately, I don't think Riley and Jasper were too fond of him. One night while I was sleeping the cats managed to move the sliding door on the air conditioning unit and Elliott and Jasper got out of the house. Jasper came back that afternoon, but unfortunately, even though I looked all over for him, Elliott never returned. I like to think someone found him and took him in and gave him a good home.
So, it was back to me and the two kitties. But I seemed to have become, at the very least, an animal liker. Knowing that I needed to lose weight and have a reason not to avoid exercising, and because I live alone, I thought that getting a dog would help with all those issues. So, back to the APL I went and got a beagle mix I named Ruby.
Then there was the kitten that someone left in the vestibule of the bank I worked at. I brought him home, fed him and gave him a bath. I named him Mr. Banks, but Ruby hated him and went crazy whenever he was around. Fortunately, the mother of a girl I work with had just lost her cat and agreed to take Mr. Banks. He is now healthy and happy and sassy and is still named Mr. Banks. :)
I did a lot of things wrong when I got Ruby. I'd never had a dog before and I didn't know what to look for. I brought her home but she had issues. Whoever had her before was not honest about her and they broke her somehow. After taking her to doggie training and working with her and talking to the APL and the trainers, after four months with her behavior and aggression getting worse, her indifference to me and catching her dragging Riley into the living room by his head, I had to admit defeat and return her to the APL. It broke my heart to do it but I had no other choice.
So, to relieve my guilt about taking Ruby back, I got two adult cats. Emmett is a white short haired cat with a tabby striped tail and tabby spots and green eyes and Jack is an orange tabby with green eyes. They fit right in and got along well with Jasper and Riley. They are both cuddly cats and I always have a least one of them in bed with me at night. Most often Jack, who knows when I turn out the lights it's time for bed and will jump up on it and wait for me before he lays down as close to me as he can get. :)
I like having a dog and thought I would try again, but I was going to wait until the spring or summer when I was on vacation and had time to spend with a new dog. Then I saw Frasier's picture on the APL website. I went down there and they brought him into a room for a meet and greet. He was so scared, but he walked over to me, I picked him up and he snuggled right into my chest and reached up and licked my chin. That was it for me. He was only 8 weeks old and weighed 10 pounds. After some discussion with the director of the APL (they didn't want to let me take him because I had adopted 4 animals in the last year without talking to my vet) but in the end, they let me bring him home.
Frasier is now almost 6 months old, over 40 pounds and still growing. :) He is the best dog in the world. He loves other dogs, people and especially kids. He gets along with the cats, although they steer pretty clear of him. Best of all, he loves me. I am clearly his person. And I love him right back.