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July 16, 2012
When I was growing up, we had all kinds of pets. We had dogs, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, rabbits, fish, hedgehogs and even a frog who ate mice. We didn't have cats, though. My dad didn't like them and I was actually afraid of them. If I went to a person's house who had a cat, I would ask them to keep the cat in another room. I was not a cat person.
When I was 19, I was staying with my aunt in Alabama while I worked full time at my Air National Guard unit. I was playing with my younger cousin outside one evening when we heard a noise. It was a meow, but really, it was a cry for help. We looked and looked and finally found the tiny gray kitten way up in a tree...much higher than we could reach.
My 11 year old cousin and I then set out on a rescue mission. It is all a little blurry, most likely because of my panic-state due to my fear of heights, but I remember there being a ladder, and my cousin basically on my shoulders while I was on the ladder. We were finally able to reach that scared kitty and brought her (and ourselves) back down to the ground.
It was that moment when I became a cat person. This sweet kitty was so grateful to us for getting her out of that tree that she just purred and purred. We were told not to bring her into the house, but, well, let's just say that in this case, rules were made to be broken. The cat came into the house, and we named her Smokee.
As the weeks went on, my aunt deeply regretted allowing us to break that rule as that wild kitten tried to destroy her house. She would scale the dark door frames and then slide down them, leaving new lines every day with her claws. She even ate the whole side of a cake that a neighbor brought over! When I moved back to Florida, I got a call one day and all I heard was "you better come get this cat!"
I was a little nervous to bring Smokee to the new apartment that I had just moved into with my best friend, but I knew I had to bring her home before she destroyed my aunt's house. I don't know what happened on that trip from Alabama to Florida, but when we arrived home, I no longer had a wild cat. My Smokee was a little sweetheart.
As the years went on, Smokee was always there for me. She greeted me at the door when I got home from work, and she snuggled up with me every night while I watched TV. I had a particularly bad day once when I ended up curled up in a ball in my bed while I cried my eyes out, and Smokee laid behind me and pawed at my back. I'm not even kidding. She knew I needed her, and she was there for me.
Smokee was the one who made me a cat person. I have owned a few other cats over the years, but Smokee was always the ONE. Smokee passed away from cancer several years ago, and our last day together broke my heart. To this day, I still miss that little ball of fur curled up in my lap. She really was the best cat, and I will always be grateful for her for making me a cat person.
Are you a cat person? If you are, then you have a story too, and Purina wants you to share it. Purina Cat Chow is committed to telling and highlighting the real stories of everyday cat owners. From how you came to own your first cat to the way she greets you at the door every day – there is now a place to share the once-in-a-lifetime events and everyday moments that make your relationship unique.
The Purina Cat Chow Real Stories Project is a nationwide search to find, showcase and celebrate cat stories that highlight the special relationships between cat people and their cats, as well as the many ways our cats are always there for us. Purina Cat Chow is asking you to share your story for an opportunity to be one of five grand prize winners who will each receive a $5,000 cash prize, a one year supply of Purina Cat Chow brand cat food for one cat, and have their cat relationship story told through a Purina Cat Chow brand online video.
From now until July 31, you can participate in the Purina Cat Chow Real Stories Project Contest by submitting your cat relationship story at www.yourcatstory.com. What is your story?
If you want to read another cat story that is sure to bring a smile to your face, make sure you visit my friend Liz over at A Nut in a Nutshell. You will love her Real Story!
Disclosure: Purina Cat Chow partnered with bloggers such as me to help educate us all about their Real Stories Project. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to say. Purina Cat Chow believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Purina Cat Chow’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.