The story of how I met Sophie is sort of my favorite one to tell; mostly because I have no idea how or why it happened. I had always heard that pets choose their owners but I never really believed in that until now. I had spent years just browsing the cats for adoption at PetSmart I figured this was any other day like that.
It was a Tampa day when I lived in Florida and one of my main stops was PetSmart since it was right next to Whole Foods. I was talking to my friend Adonis and walked over to the adoption center. I saw Sophie, through the window and immediately felt drawn to her. She wasn’t doing anything special, she was just there. She wasn’t super active and she wasn’t a kitten as her info card said she was 10. But she was tiny. Too small to believe that she was 10. I don’t exactly remember what her info card had said (and I wish I did). I went to find an associate because I wanted to meet Sophie.
She was really skittish. And yes, small. The associate told me that a woman runs the adoption agency they work with and that Sophie was found. She also told me Sophie had been at that PetSmart for 3 years. It was harder to get her adopted since she wasn’t young.
I should probably explain where I was in this point of my life: a year earlier I had a mental breakdown to the point where I almost called 5150 on myself and it triggered hallucinations. It wasn’t anything big or serious at the time — I just kept seeing a cat follow me around my apartment or stare at me. And I didn’t have a cat. I was frequently home alone. Because of the mental breakdown I was also going through a separation/divorce though my ex at the time didn’t want to acknowledge it… or the divorce papers he hid somewhere in his closet. This wasn’t some short marriage either; we had been together since we were 17. He was the bestest friend I had even known and he was literally my partner in crime. Until one day he just wasn’t anymore. Until one day he said my anxiety and OCD make him feel trapped and he turned to other girls to help him feel normal. Our relationship was broken and there wasn’t a way to fix it, we both knew that. We had been together for 12 years and literally grew up together. Learned how to be adults together.
One month after I adopted Sophie, we filed for divorce.
My mom paid for Sophie’s deposit at my apartment for my birthday. She didn’t agree that I should adopt a senior cat, but I would not let it go. I went to visit Sophie every week (yes, in Tampa) for about 4 weeks before I was able to take her home. And thanks to my friends Jeanette and Mae, I was able to adopt her!
Over the last 6 years we’ve moved 7 times. Between 2 states. And she’s been by my side through 4 really dark and hard moments. I never thought that when I adopted her this is where life would take us; but I am forever thankful she chose me and has stuck by my side all these years.
The signs of her aging are starting to show and they make me nervous. I remember I promised myself when I had adopted Sophie that all I wanted was to give her a place to call home for the rest of her life. No matter how much longer or shorter that may be.
Seeing her relationship with Tums makes my soul sing. I don’t know how else to explain it. But the way she follows Tums around and the way Tums sits on the floor petting and hugging her while talking to her in baby babble is one of my favorite every day sights to see. Sophie is my guard cat – she likes to stand between me and whoever is making me upset. But it wasn’t until Tums that Sophie had her own guard. Tums hates when anyone yells at Sophie or tells her no (we tend to step on her a lot, she likes to park herself behind you, quietly. A lot).
Happy 6 years Sophie, we’re glad you’re part of this family.