I’ve told the story of how Haddie, my “foster fail,” came to be my third cat so often it wasn’t until a few days ago it hit me that I’d never written about it on I HAVE CAT!
Photo by Bradley Lau Photography
The last I wrote about her it was when I was debating if I should adopt, her outlining all the reasons I should NOT in a post titled, “Is She The One?“. The post was originally named “The Tipping Point” as I consider three of anything to be the tipping point be it cats, dogs, bicycles, guitars, cars – ya catch my drift.
If you’re curious, that post also goes into why her eyes look the way they do (it’s a miracle they didn’t have to be removed and that she can see actually). But that post was written back in 2010, so I feel badly if I’ve kept anyone in suspense! As you may have gleaned by now, Miss Haddie (aka Little Girl, Pinchy Face) “won” in the end.
So at long last, here’s the story of how she came to stay, officially making me a three-cat household.
I used to foster (more on why “used to” foster later) and have fostered around 22 odd cats and kittens for City Critters over the years. They rescue cats from the streets, pull from the city shelter and occasionally take-in cats from community colonies, using their network of foster homes for them (after they’ve been vetted) between adoption weekends as they don’t have a physical shelter. If you’ve ever considered fostering a feline, I wrote a post about it a while back with cute pictures so you may want to check it out!
There have been cats I’ve fostered, tempted to adopt, and later thought of as the “one that got away” (e.g, Jasper who hugged and kissed and little Marvin RIP who sucked on any piece of natural fabric only I wore). It just dawn on me that they were all male cats, though I’ve yet to feel that way about a male of the human kinds! Ha! I tell myself that if they found good homes, then they weren’t meant for me.
Haddie isn’t so much of a foster failure, which to me connotes I fell in love with her and couldn’t stand to part with her, as she was a squatter. A cat squatter. I now know from personally experience this is a thing. Don’t even try and talk me out of it because that’s exactly what Haddie is.
Miss Haddie seems to have a very good internal clock that alerts her to the days of the week. City Critters would put cages up at a local Petco Saturday morning through Sunday early evening for potential adopters to come see the available cats and kittens and hopefully take one or more home (after a complete reference check and home visit!).
The first few Saturday mornings were fine. Though the minute I walked into Petco on Sunday to pick her up, Haddie would hear my voice as I chatted with the volunteers and start meowing like a mad woman: “Get me outta here! I wanna run around and annoy some humans and other cats! HURRY!”
She soon wised up because Haddie would literally vanish the moment I took the carrier out on Saturday mornings. This led to several weekends of my spending upwards of an hour:
A) Searching for cat in my 1 bedroom apartment (she’s very creative)
B) Chasing her up and down the stairs, around the coffee table, back up the stairs and ultimately having to get under the bed and drag her out by the scruff – the entire episode must have looked like a scene right out of Benny Hill (I know I’m dating myself, and for those who don’t know Benny Hill, think Laurel and Hardy!)
Thinking I could outsmart her, I’d put the carrier out on a Thursday. No dice. The girl knew and the moment I even THOUGHT about about going to Petco she was MIA.
Week after week I called my City Critter contact to say I’d been defeated yet again, and wouldn’t be coming to Petco with Haddie. I ultimately tired of the routine and didn’t even try. She was basically my common law cat until City Critters called and suggested I make her official. It was fair I guess, she’d been an “orphan” long enough. About a year.
So there you have it, the story of how I got my third cat, and why she’s called Haddie – I didn’t get to name her, she came from a litter named Maddie, Haddie and Nattie (Nattie was also one of my foster who I “pawned” off to my sister who changed her name to Birdie because of the chirping sounds she made).
Oh, and why I can no longer foster? The few times I tried, pee would suddenly appear outside the litterbox – the carpet, my sofa, my down comforter! I’d never understood it when people complained about the smell of cat pee and figured they must not clean the litter box or change the litter. Oh boy, now I knew what they meant.
My City Critter contact who also cat sites for me finally broke it to me: “I don’t think Haddie wants you to foster anymore.” Maybe she thought I’d find a cuter, cuddlier replacement? So now Miss Haddie has a home and no younger competition!