It was the fall of 2005, I was settled into my new apartment and feeling like it was time to introduce a new cat into my life. I called on my co-worker friend, Colleen, to escort me to the local SPCA in Kingston, NY. I had never “adopted” a pet before, always got them from friends and friends of friends. We arrived and were shown to the cat room, it was approximately 20’ x 12‘ with cat cages along the perimeter and cat trees and other types of cat condos going down the middle of the room. I was in search of a new Max/Benji, an orange/buff colored cat with longish hair and a fluffy tail. I went around that room several times searching for the perfect match, looking inside of the condos and other cubbyholes, but to no avail. Finally my friend calls out to me… “What about this one?” I turned and looked down, she says… “He has been following you ever since we got here”, “Really?” I replied. I kneeled down to pet and examine the cat and that’s all it took, I immediately fell in love. He was not what I was looking for but he was looking for me. He was a little tiger cat, approximately five months old and he was adorable. He loved on me like I was his savior. I filled out the application and went home, keeping my fingers crossed that all would work out. I panicked a little that night, wondering if taking on the responsibility of a new pet was too much or not the right time. I reached out to the guy that I had recently started dating, expressing my anxiety and concern. I don’t remember what he said exactly but he calmed me down, he had a way of doing that that would come in handy many more times in the future. When the SPCA reached out to my boss/landlord, he put in a good word for me and told them he approved of my having a pet in the apartment. The next day I received the call from the SPCA telling me that I was approved to adopt “Sam” and the following day (September 15, 2005) I was off to pick up my new furbaby. I named him Henry after a stuffed dog toy that I had as a child; a tan beagle pup with floppy black ears, a black pom-pom nose, a red felt tongue that hung from the side of his mouth, and a patch on his chest that had the word “Henry” embroidered on it. The nose, patch and most of his tongue had been chewed off by previous pets but it was one of the few things that I hung onto from my childhood, it was the most cherished of all of my stuffed animals growing up as a child. I welcomed Henry into my home, completely unaware of just how special he was truly going to be.
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