Always Trust The Shy One  

, | Hopeless | January 3, 2017

(I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder when I was 19, and have always found that animals help me cope. I had recently adopted an older, special needs cat from the shelter before I moved away to school, and she lived very happily with us for a few months before passing away from cancer. I was extremely torn up about it, but the vet had told me there was nothing we could do. I go to the local animal shelter planning to adopt again, and it just happens to be during their “Home for the Holidays” special, so adoption is free, which makes it easier on a broke college student like me. I spend a fair amount of time walking around the shelter, visiting with some of the cats and talking with the shelter workers. My roommate has come with me and keeps pushing me to adopt the kitten she wants, but I am waiting to feel that special connection with the right animal. Thinking I should come back next week and check again, I am about to leave when out of the corner of my eye I see what I’d thought was an empty cage, with a little grey cat hiding in his litter box in the corner. The following conversation occurs:)

Me: *to a shelter worker* “Excuse me? Can I see him?”

Shelter Worker: *looks uncomfortable* “Uh, well, he’s our shyest cat so he probably won’t do anything but hide.”

Me: “That’s okay. Can I see him?”

(She goes and gets the cat out, and he curls up as tight as he can, stuffing his face into her arm and shaking. She hands him to me and I go sit down with him, talking quietly and petting him. His fur is grimy and he is sick with a cold and has crust dried all over his face and is very thin. After a minute of sitting with me, he starts to uncurl and suddenly starts purring very loudly. He pokes his head up out of my arm and starts looking around the shelter curiously, while the shelter worker looks at me like I’ve performed some kind of witchcraft.)

Me: *smiling* “I’d like an application, please.”

(Just a few days later, little Giovanni came home with me! He was very shy and timid at first, but quickly became healthier and began to warm up to people. Since then I’ve had the joy of watching him come out of his shell. Now he’s a curious, sweet little guy. He sleeps by me on my bed every night and waits for me to get up in the morning to play, and is truly a little ray of sunshine in my life. He saved me just as much as I saved him!)

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