The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
It all started about a year ago when I saw a stray cat outside my boyfriend’s house. At the time my boyfriend lived in a neighborhood just outside of the city, so I figured the cat must have belonged to a neighbor. I said hello to the furry friend and moved on with my life.
Fast forward and this cat is always showing up outside his doorstep at night, looking into the glass door at his other cats. The cat was small and had black spots on him like a little cow, and at that moment his name, Cow, was born. We couldn’t help ourselves and began feeding him whenever he came by. I found myself getting excited to go over to my boyfriend’s house, not to see him, but to see if my new friend would come by. It took some time to gain Cow’s trust, but gradually, I started to spend longer and longer on the steps, loving and feeding him.
It was the end of winter, and I was thinking about Cow whenever the weather was bad or I knew it would be a cold night. Then came the end of the semester before summer, and the storms became frequent. With every rain and every gust of wind, I thought about if Cow was safe and what I could do to help. As summer ramped up, each heat wave just built up more anxiety and I just wanted to know if he was okay. Finally, I realized this feeling was only going to get worse, as I had fallen in love with Cow.
It was a random night in July, and I was dropping off my boyfriend after having dinner at my mom’s house. I pull into his driveway and my headlights shine directly on Cow, waiting for us at the doorstep. Something switched in me that day as I came to the conclusion that this was not just a cat, it had become my cat. I sat out on the steps for hours that night with Cow, trying to figure out what I was going to do. My apartment had an expensive animal fee, and to be completely honest, I wasn’t even a cat person. Regardless, I knew we had already chosen each other. I just couldn’t get this vision out of my head of it being a snowy day and seeing Cow laying on a cat tree by the window, knowing that he will never have to fight for his life again.
I weighed my options and decided I was going to capture him to make sure he was healthy and find out if he had an owner. Cow was the sweetest cat ever, so I didn’t think it would be all that difficult, although I had never even attempted to pick him up before.
What I thought was going to be a one-night event turned into a two-week process. The first attempt was to pick him up with a towel. Nope; he slipped right out and we didn’t see him for a few days. Second attempt: putting food in a crate. Nope; he wasn’t falling for it. Third attempt: getting a cat trap and putting tuna inside near a pressure plate that would close once it was stepped on. Nope; Cow figured out how to eat the tuna without pressing the plate.
When I tell you this was the most stressful operation, I mean it. I had almost given up many times, wondering if this was a sign to not go through with it. But as difficult as it was, I knew how rewarding it would be once he was in my life for good. Final attempt: I’m hanging out with Cow while he hangs out on the hood of my car, being at hip level with me. At this point, I am wearing the biggest, thickest jacket I own, preparing for the claws about to come out. I gave him lots of treats, and while he was unarmed, I scooped him up and ran into the bathroom.
He was making noises I didn’t even know were possible to come out of such a small animal. I didn’t know who was more scared at this point. Cow was in the corner, I was shaking with adrenaline. It was a mess.
He was solid. He wouldn’t move a muscle, crouched in the corner of the bathroom. The next hour was spent just trying to get him into a carrier so that I could take him to my apartment. When he was finally in there, he seemed to calm down a bit.
Cow did not make a sound the entire car ride home or the first night in the apartment. The next day was spent at the vet, making sure he was healthy and didn’t have an owner. We learned that he was, indeed, a he, and was around two years old. He was perfectly healthy minus a few fleas. Cow was now officially mine.
After the first few nights of him not understanding where he was, hiding under my head all day and meowing at me all night, I think he finally realized he was in his forever home.
Fast forward to now. It’s been about two months, and I thank the universe every single day for having him in my life. You never fully grasp how much you are capable of loving until you are solely responsible for the well-being of an animal. Cow truly is my child, and I will love him every day and make sure he knows he is safe.
Cow loves to watch the window at night and sleep in his cat tree or on the couch all day. He loves to talk to everyone. Like, seriously, he makes the most random noises all the time. When he is ready for bed, he has to make biscuits on my covers before he goes to sleep up against me. He still doesn’t fully understand the concept of playing, but he is still learning and practicing with his play mice.
Now, as fall turns into winter and the snow starts to come down, I will spend my morning in my cozy apartment, drinking a hot cup of coffee, looking over at Cow as he snuggles up on his cat tree by the window, knowing he will never have to fight for his life again.