Moving to a new city is never easy, especially when you know absolutely no one. Not a single soul. As I drove off on that cloudy day in November, I knew what I was leaving behind. Everything and everyone I'd ever known. Every speckle of a memory but yet I was trying to be as optimistic as I could. Hoping that I would make new friends and find a decent job after leaving my short-lived career in Manhattan. I was without work for four months and almost drove myself mad being by myself from 9-5. I remember talking out loud and alone as I watched CNN and tried to make the best of my days. It wasn't until I started working that I began to meet new people and life started to go back to normal. Jay and I could go out and experience all of the life that an old industrial city could offer us.
Almost five months had gone by and my birthday weekend approached. We ended up spending a night in Toronto, Canada with some friends and on the way home decided to get breakfast. Next to the restaurant on Elmwood Ave was an old store that sold pet supplies and had some cats in the window. I teased Jay, "Can we get a fish? I really want a fish." We walked in thinking we'd leave with a goldfish, but fell in love with an orange tabby. We learned from the cashier that this marmalade cat had been there almost a week and was moved from place to place in hopes of finding a home. Jay stuck his finger in the grid of the cage and the little cat started playing with his hand! Here I was nervously skeptical and reiterating, "I'm a dog person" and could barely hold the cat. All while Jay was ready to sign the adoption papers. I look back and thank him for that moment, because in the next couple days, we went back and took Rocky home. He has brought nothing but absolute joy into our life and I am forever grateful.
Rocky is no ordinary cat, we named him after the great Rocky Balboa since he impressed us with a mean hook and punch. He's not one of those 'fraidy-cats that runs and hides when people come over. He'd rather be in the center of the action, whether he watches over us from atop the cable box, or makes himself comfortable on a plush pillow. Being the "dog" people that we are, we taught Rocky how to sit and give his paw for a treat. And on top of it all, the cat doesn't meow. He says his own rendition of "hello." Rocky is always very playful and spends most of his day napping in his kitty condo next to the window (Jay actually built this wonderful contraption). He sits perched up, arm dangling over the side, and watches the birds fly by. What a life!
The best part about saving Rocky is knowing we are giving him a life of happiness. Sure, there are bumps in the road because he's been sick several times and more recently I've been medicating his swollen lip (and let me tell you it's not easy feeding a cat liquid-meds. I have been chasing him around the apartment the past couple days trying to feed him this crap). He really has no clue that his presence has also made me become a better person. A more responsible, patient, and maternal woman. If I'm this crazy about a cat, God only knows how I will be with a child. But at least now I know I can not only just take care of my husband, I can take care of a pet and maybe someday a baby.
Without further ado, here's my handsome little man, Rocky. Rocky - if you could only understand me when I say you have no idea how much I love you and how I would do anything to keep you safe.
I'm sure a lot of you are thinking I'm a crazy cat lady, and I confess I totally am. And damn proud.
This last picture is another hint to what else happened in August, 2012..