The Story of Walter

Well, it’s been officially 24 hours since we became parents. And we are in love.

How, you ask? Here’s how.

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His name is Walter and this is how he became ours.

Steve and I both grew up with cats in the family, but 6-10 years ago, both of our best feline friends died – one due to tainted cat food and one due to an unfortunate accident involving a canoe, a woodpile and a tire. Simon and Jean-Claude ruined us for all other cats, or so we thought.

Around Christmastime, we started talking about kitties. But in our home, this is not unusual – at least once a day, babies or puppies or kitties or anything else small and adorable are mentioned.

This time was different. Out of curiousity, we started perusing Craigslist to see if there were any free cats.

Heh. Only about 500!

We narrowed the search. “Neutered/Spayed,” “Ginger,” “Under 10 years old”.
Long story short, we ended up calling a number in Chilliwack, which is almost a good hour away from us. But this cat was beautiful and we had to take a look. So we made an appointment over the phone to come see the kitty the next day by 10am. We woke up early, shivering and excited. We were almost out the door when we thought that maybe we should give a quick call over just to say that we were on our way.

“Oh hey, sorry, I forgot to tell you, but I actually gave the cat away last night.”

We accepted this graciously, but I’m inclined to think that if we had driven all the way there only to be told this, some fecal matter might have hit a whirling dervish.

Not long after that, we found another gorgeous cat that was being advertised because the owner’s apartment wouldn’t allow cats. Because of pedigree and perks it came with, he was $100, but we were willing to work with that so we emailed them.

The response was a little weird: “I’m sorry, but I’ve had SO MANY HITS on this cat that I’ve had to raise the price to $250; you’re better off looking elsewhere.”

I’m sorry, is this an auction? Does the price of the cat go up with each person that’s interested? Scammer. We SHUN you.

Two strikes in two days. We were feeling kind of “over it” so we let Christmas and New Year’s happen with great rejoicing and happy times. But we still kept a portfolio of  our favourite cat ads on the back burner.

This is where we would find Walter.

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May I divert for a moment to introduce you to another Walter?

He is from a show that JUST ENDED *sniff* called Fringe. It’s a super out-there story with supernatural science, alternate universes and an overall conspiracy to control the world by…well, how about I just shut up.

The Fringe Walter is adorable. He has made Steve and I cry real tears more than once in 5 seasons. He’s brilliant to a fault, and even though you know that he is capable of doing some pretty freaky experiments, you still want to put him in your pocket and take him home at the end of the day and feed him endless amounts of strawberry milkshakes, red licorice and maybe, just maybe, a shot of LSD.

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You may recognize him as “Bad Father of the Year” award-winner Denethor from LOTR’s The Return of the King, but you can’t let that bias your opinion of him as Walter.
Denethor = no, Walter = yes.

Anyways.

Back to the cat.

Basically, when we learned his name was Walter, we knew we had to give it a try.

Fast forward through emails and calls to last Sunday, when we learned that in order for us to even SEE Walter, his rescuer would need to come to OUR house first to make sure it would be a good place for him. She was in the serious business of rescuing cats and she wasn’t going to hand her baby over to us just because we looked nice.

So, for the first time since we moved in, we into **CRAZY** mode on the house organization and cleaning up. I will say that, even if we’d been rejected at the end of the day, it would have been worth the effort; our house has never been more functional or looked more awesome.

On Monday, Super Kitty Rescue Ranger came to the house and only stayed 20 minutes before deeming us as decent members of society, but with the concern that the house might be too small for Walter’s wandering tendencies.

On Tuesday, stuff got real. We went to the house where Walter was being kept, and saw firsthand what abandonment and neglect had done to Walter’s trust, even though he was now safely esconced in a mansion that provided for his every need. Super Kitty Rescue Ranger left us alone in his room and we sat in there for an hour, just waiting for him to come out of hiding. I guess we weren’t the only ones who thought we were ruined by previous experience.

Despite his severe shyness, we decided we would try and take him for a week anyway. (We paid $75 and not only did we get a cat, but we got his kennel, litterbox, scratching post, toys, catnip and food!) Our time with him yesterday was spent saying his name a lot, petting him gently (he’s softer than the underside of a duck’s feathers, I swear!) and telling him how great our house was and how much fun he was going to have being loved.

At one point, tears gathered in my eyes as I realized that this practice is not new. How many times have we as humans heard the voice of Love saying, “Come out, come out wherever you are! I know you’ve been hurt before, but have I got a plan for you! You’re going to love where I will take you if you let me.” How many wonderful things have I missed out on because I refused to let myself be adopted and taken in? This motivated me all the more to prove to Walter that this time, things were going to be different.

Now, here we are 24 hours later, and I cannot believe the change that has been brought about in this boy. After he spent 9 hours in the bathroom, he finally decided that we were his best friends with the best food and the best laps and the best bed ever. And our hearts have been opened again as well, to the possibility of loving another living thing that you could very possibly lose.

It will be interesting to see where we are at the end of our one-week trial. I’m hoping the word used will be “inseparable.”

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Welcome home, Walter. You’re one of us now! (mwahahaha….)

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