Of all the great mysteries of life, “love at first sight” is one of the most puzzling. If you’ve ever experienced this phenomenon – whether with a person or a pet – you know it defies rational explanation. Nothing about love at first sight makes sense to our logical human minds. There’s no scientific evidence for how it can happen, and it’s nearly impossible to explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced it themselves. I’ve experienced it twice: once with a person many years ago, and more recently with a beautiful kitten named Kimber.
The best description I can give is that there is a very strong “pull” combined with intense emotion and a feeling that you’ve known them forever. You also know without question that you love them. You might not understand how or why you could love them given that you just met, but you absolutely know you do.
I’ve loved many pets deeply throughout my life, but I’d never fallen in love with one at first sight. It happened while I was casually reading the Facebook posts of friends, acquaintances and pet rescue groups. I certainly wasn’t looking for a cat to adopt; in fact, that was probably the furthest thing from my mind. Yet all of a sudden, there she was – the most beautiful, long-haired calico kitten I’d ever seen.
So what, right? It’s not like I don’t see dozens of beautiful cats every day on Facebook, all in need of a good home. I don’t linger, because although I have room in my heart for a thousand cats, my small home is full with three. I definitely didn’t “need” another cat, especially one that just happened to be 1,300 miles away!
But I couldn’t look away. I stared at the photo of this lovely little kitten, and I was smitten. I didn’t know a thing about her other than her name. I guessed that she was about three months old, and she had the sweetest, wisest, gentlest face. I knew without a doubt that I loved her, and wanted her to join my family. I didn’t know how I’d make it work, but I knew I would do everything humanly possible to see that it did.
At this point, I’m feeling like the craziest person on earth for even considering adopting a cat sight unseen, thousands of miles away. I tried to “talk some sense into me” but it didn’t work. I couldn’t forget her face, and she already had my heart. I emailed the rescue, Carol’s Ferals, told them I was interested in adopting the kitten, and asked about options for transporting her from Michigan to Montana.
They wrote back and explained that due to policy, they couldn’t approve adoptions without meeting the family first … in person. I broke down and cried; I felt that deep, soul-searing pain that only comes from losing a loved one. After the crying subsided, I decided that if they wouldn’t let me have her without meeting me, I was going to Michigan.
Some might call it an act of madness, but I went on the internet and searched for flights. Of course, it was right before Christmas, and the airfare was outrageous. How could I justify spending $1,400 to go get a cat I’d never met and knew nothing about? Was I crazy? Yes, because I was in love, and sometimes love makes you do crazy things.
Instead of booking the flight (a moment of sanity perhaps?), I emailed the rescue again to ask if there was any way to work this out a little more affordably. Could we video chat, perhaps? I told them that I treated my cats like family and would always take great care of Kimber. I kind of begged. I’m sure they thought I was loony.
They replied that there was a local family interested in the kitten. Naturally, it made sense to focus on them first. It wasn’t a done deal because the family had to resolve some issues. My heart sank. I said I understood, and to let me know if it didn’t work out.
My sister came for Christmas, and we decided that if the family didn’t take the kitten, we would drive to Michigan to get her. It would be a very long trip, but my sister loves to drive, and it would be fun. On Christmas Day, I checked the rescue’s Facebook page. They told of recent adoptions, and among them was a post and photo of Kimber with her new family.
So it was over. Just like that, I had loved and lost a kitten I didn’t even know. It broke my heart, because I so wanted her to join my family. I felt she was meant to be with me. Yet if I truly loved her, I had to be happy for her – she has a family who adores her, and she was “home” for Christmas.
Photo courtesy of Carol’s Ferals Cat Rescue
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