A week and a half ago, Neil and I welcomed a new member to our little Bloomington family.
I received an email from the SLIS listserv about a cat that needed a home during Labor Day weekend. A current library student named Mary wrote that she had found a stray cat (which she subsequently named Francine) in July outside her apartment building. Francine was very underfed, matted with dirt and ended up having a respiratory infection. Mary took Francine in, got her up to date on her shots, and nursed her back to health. She also had a dog and two other cats, so she wasn't able to permanently provide a home for Francine--this leads us to the listserv email, which, incidentally, came the very day that I had finally convinced Neil to go to the animal shelter to look into getting a kitten. No joke, the timing was just that spot-on. I emailed Mary back right away and told her we were interested in coming to see if Francine would be a good fit for us.
The next day, Sunday, we ran some errands then went to Mary's apartment complex. Francine lounged on the couch, punctuated by briefs jaunts peering out at us from underneath a small trampoline in Mary's living room. She wasn't unfriendly or averse to our attention, but neither was she overly affectionate. After spending some time with her, Neil and I weren't sure--it's impossible to tell if an animal is the best fit for you after limited time with him/her while you are a complete stranger. However, Mary convinced us that once Ms. F got used to her, she was very loving. Neil and I wanted a cuddle cat, an animal that would want to be around us rather than hiding, so this was good news. It was easy to intuit that she would open up to us after having some time to adjust.
Neil and I decided that Francine was sweet, looked healthy, and we knew many of her tendencies--much more information than we would have if we adopted her from a shelter, where an employee or volunteer wouldn't know the cats' personal characteristics. We decided on a firm yes, that Francine would be one of us, and we took her home! I could tell Mary was sad to see her go, but now we are facebook friends so she can keep up with the adventures of Francine because of the preposterous amount of pictures I take. Francine is the perfect cat for us: playful, loving, incredibly cute AND she is by no means camera shy!
So, without further ado, let me introduce you to her the best way I know how: via a glut of photos spanning from her car ride home to this afternoon, when she sneaked onto the windowsill as it rained outside.