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I’ve always been more of a cat person than a dog person, as controversial as it is. So when my roommate informed me a few months ago she was considering getting a kitten, I was fully supportive. She had a lot of valid reasons for wanting one, and because I wanted to see her succeed, I had no problem with her doing whatever it took to do so. You can imagine my excitement when I saw her pop up on my Instagram days after Christmas with a precious gray kitten in her hands.

I arrived in Blacksburg a couple of weeks before classes began so I could get a head start on work. The entire time, I was anxious for her to arrive with the cat. I was curious about what he was going to be like. Would he like to play with toys? Would he be too nervous to leave my roommate’s room? Would he be afraid of me?

I have my own cat at home, but I knew better than to think all cats were the same. They’re like us humans in a way, each with their own personalities and quirks. Expect the unexpected when meeting any new creature, in my opinion, especially with something as small and frail as a kitten.

My roommate arrived a few days before classes started — I believe it was on a Thursday. She’s from New Jersey, so her car was completely packed and she had to make multiple trips to get all of her things out. As soon as she walked through our door for the first time, she sat the cat’s carrier on the floor, lifted him out of it, and sat him on the floor. He was timid at first, but quickly began to explore the apartment. He walked through the kitchen, my roommate’s room, and my room. 

One of the first things I noticed about him was how little his legs were. He seemed to have such a long body that looked almost disproportionate to his legs, which I found adorable and hilarious. My cat at home is almost four years old and fully grown, so having a cat so much smaller in front of me was quite a shock.

Over the first couple of days, I tried and failed at getting him to come close to me. I have never been afraid of cats — not even in the slightest — so I was more than willing to get close enough to pet him. He just always ran away, and he was the same way with my boyfriend. However, we didn’t fret. We knew we would win him over soon enough.

Finally, on a random morning about three weeks into classes, I was sitting on my living room couch eating breakfast. He came out of my roommate’s room, drowsy from sleep, jumped into my lap, and stuck his nose towards me. I optimistically reached my hand to pet his little forehead, and he was more than happy to let me. I was ecstatic, to say the least.

So here we are a month after meeting, and he’s lying at the foot of my bed with me as I watch Encanto for the first time. He now loves pets from both me and my boyfriend, whether that’s on his stomach, back, or under his chin. Winning his trust feels like such an accomplishment.

My roommate getting a cat has also been good for me in a lot of ways. As a cat person who doesn’t get to see their own cat daily, I’ve seen a significant boost in my mood every day because of him. I’m excited to eat breakfast or do homework and have him sit and watch me. I’ve found something small to look forward to every day, which can sometimes be hard in college.

So, when my roommate got a cat, I was as supportive as I could be. I became excited to meet him, but felt apprehensive of scaring him once he was physically in front of me. Now we’re besties, to say the least. I’m so thankful to my roommate, Jaimie, for bringing Ollie into my life and adding so much more excitement to it.

Gabby Taylor

Virginia Tech '22

I am a senior at Virginia Tech pursuing a degree in Communication Science with minors in Psychology and Sociology. While writing is one of my greatest passions, I also enjoy spending time with my friends, my cat, and living in my daydreams :) enjoy my stories!
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