i’m fairly certain that i’ll never forget the day that i adopted my cats, milo & otis. i was tagging along with my brother-in-law to pick up his and my sister’s new kitten at an adoption event at a local pet store. i had just moved to north carolina and was all settled into my loft-style townhouse. new city, no roommates, the only souls i know are Kate and Justin (sister and brother-in-law). needless to say, i was a tad lonely and it quickly hit me how quiet the townhouse was. i just neede something else that was breathing to live with me. anyway, we were waiting to speak with the founder of the cat rescue so that Justin could pick up Grits when i spotted the boys in their cage together, Otis huddled just behind Milo. it was clear that Milo was the alpha of the two, the protector and caretaker. Otis was happy to take on the roll of the cared for, willingly allowing Milo to be the brave one that looked at all the strangers ‘aawww’ing over them. they were the cutest little things i’d ever seen and i knew that they had to be mine. after a couple minutes of hanging out with them and holding them, the paperwork was signed and i was officially a cat mom! (this is the abridged version of their adoption story, by the way)
…fast forward to a couple years later when i started considering what would happen to the cats if something were to happen to me…
i had lived with my best friend, Sam, in North Carolina for a year, from 2012-2013. she was the only other person that has lived with the boys, so she knows them very well. she knows their eating habits, their favorite toys, their preferred treats, and their desired methods of being pet. she watched me take care of them for the year that she lived with us, so i’d say she has a pretty good idea of how to maintain their ‘lifestyle’ if i were to no longer be here. after a particularly turbulent airplane ride (i’m an incredibly anxious flyer these days, it’s obnoxious), i realized that i should probably consider the fate of the cats if i were to be unable to care for them any longer. once the plane was safely on the ground, i quickly texted Sam and told her that she gets custody of them if anything ever happens to me. she happily accepted the responsibility and it was settled. for awhile, at least.
…fast forward to a couple years later when my boyfriend developed an undeniable love for the other two gingers in my life…
Mike wasn’t exactly a cat person when we met. he had some family members that had cats in the past, but he’d never lived with one himself. the first time he came to North Carolina, before we were even dating or knew that we would, he probably picked up and held Milo like a baby about 87 times in the span of three days. seriously, ask anybody who was there. he was smitten from the start. now that he’s spent quite a bit more time with them and has developed a bond with them, especially Otis, he’s taken them on as if they were his own. let me clarify, if i were to leave him alone with the cats for a weekend, i’d probably get about 7 texts an hour asking me what to do, how to scoop the litter box, when to feed them, etc. so, he hasn’t exactly taken the care-taking aspect on, but he’s certainly got the love for them. Otis is particularly fond of his lap and will beg for food from him in a way that is different from anybody else.
i can’t remember where we were, but i will never forget the look on Mike’s face when i told him that Sam would get the cats if something happened to me. it was a mix between horror, sadness, and shock, truly. he’s reaction was so strong that i quickly tried to back-pedal and say anything that would get that heart-wrenching look off his face. the conversation went something like this:
me | well, ya know, if something ever happened to me, i told Sam that she could have the cats. she knows how to take care of them and doesn’t have any of her own, so yeah. anyway…(carries on to the next subject)
mike | (looks horrified, shocked, and heartbroken…can’t even mutter a word…are those tears?!)
me | ohh, oh my gosh, wait, would you want the cats if something happened?
mike | of course! i can’t believe you would give them to Sam! (very real feelings of betrayal were spread across his face)
me | well, i didn’t know! you’ve never said that you’d want them and i just figured you wouldn’t want to take care of them…
mike | i’d want to have them because i know how much you love them, so it would be like i would have a part of you with me still.
(and then i melted into a puddle on the floor and felt immense guilt for ever considering anybody else to take care of my babies if i were to be gone)
|as seen on instagram | clearly, i’m fond of this photo. i just can’t get enough!|
so, consider this my official will for Milo & Otis. they are to be taken care of by their father, that sweet little bundle of love. one thing i know for sure, lots of bird-watching would be done together.