Cat Mom

Rediscovering Joy: The Unexpected Journey of Adopting Bagel

Today is Bagel’s gotcha day! After March passed away, the sadness of losing him was excruciating and I vowed that I will not have any pets in the future because I don’t want to go through that painful experience again; March was with me throughout most of my time here in America. The loss of March was an emotionally challenging experience for me, and it seemed impossible to fill in the emptiness inside me. It took me a few months to accept that he is no longer with me and begin the transition to my newfound sense of freedom and independence.

Life without a pet was amazing and I had so much freedom! I can make any travel plans whenever I want without worrying about leaving March on his own. I can decorate my room however I want without worrying a cat would break things. I can leave things around; I didn’t have to put my food away right away because no one is stealing it the moment I turned around! The best thing is no one disturbs my sleeping schedule; I can finally sleep in whenever I want because there’s no demanding cat waking us up for food at 6am every morning. I was enjoying the simplicity of my pet-free life. Until the holiday season came…

Uh Oh…

Everything happened two years ago. As the calendar flipped to November, I found myself idly browsing through pet adoption websites, breeder’s web pages, and shelter’s adoption lists. On Saturdays, I would drive to PetSmart to check out the pet adoption event for my entertainment. Just looking at those tiny kittens made me so happy, and I would reminisce about the joy March had brought. Yet, the thought of a new commitment and all the responsibilities of a new pet felt daunting to me when I was enjoying my pet-free life.

However, all those visits to shelters and PetSmarts started to make it difficult to resist those adorable furballs. People don’t think straight during the holiday season and all those holiday vibes will help you make impulsive decisions; I believe that’s why people break their wallet during the holiday season too! The kitten that started me down this path towards adoption is a gray tabby called Potato. When I showed Potato to my husband, we both knew right away that we wanted to bring Potato home. Every time we got close to committing and calling the shelter, we stopped ourselves. Was this the right choice? It’s been a bit over a year since March passed away; do we want to give up the freedom of a pet-free life so soon? We debated for a few more days and decided to at least go see Potato. We may want to bring him home but will he want to leave with us? We scrolled and scrolled but could not find Potato! We’re guessing he was adopted while we were indecisive; it was another disappointment for us, but we were happy that he found his forever home.

So It Begins…

At first, we thought that missing out on Potato was a good thing; maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves and we’re not quite ready yet. However, all those late-night scrolling sessions and the fear of missing out on a kitten we like made me start contacting shelters for some of the kittens that I was very interested in adopting. As I sent emails and messages, and it seemed like having a new kitten wasn’t meant for me because most of them were either adopted or in the process of getting adopted by others.

In a flash, I went all in on adopting a kitten and any doubts from the pain of losing a pet were quickly erased. I knew I wanted a cat that was more energetic and playful than March and started watching videos on Bengals and Egyptian Maus. The Maus were the more economical choice, but the more videos I watched the more I wanted a Bengal. Their athleticism, playfulness, and semi-wild nature were so appealing to me. My brain said to find a Mau but my heart said Bengal.

Face-to-Face with Kittens…

One day, I saw two posts – one for a Mau and one for Bengals. I was so excited about the Mau; it was very rare to see Maus up for adoption. The second post was from a lady who was looking to rehome two of her Bengal kittens, a boy and a girl. My initial thought was, “I’ll message her about the kittens, but with my luck, I’m probably not going to meet the cat again; they were Bengal kittens, after all.” Surprisingly, the lady told me they are still available, and asked me if I wanted to meet them. In the blink of an eye, I went from no pets to someone actively looking for a new cat.

We woke up with an extra tingle of excitement that Saturday morning. We had a 45-minute drive to see the Mau. The closer we got to the destination the more confused we were. Why are we at a school? We called and found out we were in the right place. I was not expecting to meet a cat in a middle school parking lot! I held the gray Mau in my arms while hoping he wouldn’t jump off of me and run away. The whole experience was quite weird.

After a 5-minute meet and greet, we set off to see the Bengals. When I met with them, they were so adorable. The little male Bengal was a marble pattern and the little female was rosetta. I couldn’t believe that I got to meet a Bengal kitten in person, and they are available as well! The lady told us, we can pet or play with them if we want. At the beginning of the meeting, I was leaning toward adopting Bagel’s sister because of her beautiful rosetta pattern. However, as I met Bagel, the interactions and his playfulness melted away all my hesitation of having a pet! I told Stanley, OK! Let’s do it! I am ready to get a new kitten; he was shocked and he told the lady to give us a day to think about it since it’s a big decision. She agreed and told us to take our time to think it through and also do research on Bengal cats.

The Commitment…

Once we were home, armed with coffee, we started talking about the 3 kittens we met earlier in the day. The Mau was not an attractive choice; not because of the kitten but because of the person. They did not take the kitten to a vet so we didn’t know the kitten’s health status. Adopting the Mau was 1/3 of the cost of 1 of the Bengals but the cost difference was not enough to overcome the uneasiness of not knowing the kitten’s health.

We narrowed our choices down to 1 of the 2 Bengals. At first, we were leaning towards the female rosetta. The pattern is absolutely beautiful and she seemed mild-mannered compared to the wild male kitten with the marble coat. As we kept talking about which one we like better, I kept remembering 1 specific comment. The lady said that female Bengals have milder temperaments than males, but are very possessive. Having a child was still an option for us, so it would not be good to have a cat that could create problems if we grew our family.

That is how we chose the male kitten instead of the female. We called and confirmed our choice; we were told we would have to pay a deposit immediately. We got the cash and drove back to pay the deposit. The lady offered us another opportunity to interact with the male kitten and we pounced at it right away. There were less nerves knowing that this is the kitten that we would be taking home so we were able to be more assertive while playing with him. We didn’t take him home that night; we asked for a few days before picking him up since we needed to make the house cat-friendly.

Coming Home…

Three days later, on a Tuesday evening, my husband rushed back from work. We set off to pick up the kitten with the backpack carrier we ordered over the weekend (shoutout to Amazon Prime for fast 2-day shipping). And the rest, is history! Bagel has been with us for 2 years now. These 2 years have gone by very quickly and we have enjoyed many adventures with Bagel. We scratch our heads every time he climbs up onto the top of cabinets and shelves, but that is the exact reason why we wanted a Bengal. At the same time, we’re filled with pride and love for this ball of energy we call Bagel!

You can follow Bagel’s adventure here : Bagel & Latte | Adventure Cats ( • Instagram photos and videos

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