Friday, January 11, 2013

Have You Ever Fallen in Love with a Pet at First Sight?

By Julia Williams

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

Read more articles by Julia Williams


  1. She's gorgeous, though of course that has nothing to do with falling in love at first sight.

    I have a few times, fallen in love with cats or kittens, been drawn to them. Two mares, as well. Without exception, they've all appeared quiet, a bit timid, gentle. A couple of them, as it turns out, were sick at the time, so who knows what their real personalities were like.

    Some things aren't meant to be, of course, no matter how strong the pull. The Fates have other ideas. I wish this little one a long and happy life in her new home.

  2. That was completely beautiful. I have to tell you. If she had been just a little bit closer to my house I would have adopted her myself. The second I saw her I was smitten. I hope her new family appreciates her the way that you and I did!

  3. I fell in love with that kitten too so you weren't the only one. But I am lucky, that I am so full, I knew I couldn't fit another one in here. She was too cute but I am sorry that it didn't work out for you. I was hoping for a happy ending. But at least the kitten got a good home.

  4. Hope she is enjoying life with her new family. I enjoyed reading this story, so many emotional draws like this can't be described to our logic self, just like you say.

  5. Oh Julia! I was sure you would have got the kitten!! I really hope the she is happy in her new home!!

  6. I am sorry ti did not work out for you and the kitten. She is beautiful. perhaps there is another love waiting int he wings that is closer to you! I do know how it feels to fall for a tiny critter and how easy they capture your heart.

  7. I was not expecting that ending. I had hoped you got that beautiful little girl. Oh she is so beautiful and I know she would have been so happy with you who loved her so. I am glad that she has a home but I wish it could have been you.

    Yes, I too have fallen in love. I fell in love with Lady Bianca, aka The Admiral. Her face and eyes won me from the first moment.

  8. My Human says she falled in love with a kitty once and had him for a good long time. She assures me *I* was NOT a love-at-first-sight kitten. Well, maybe if she hadn't been bleeding so much all the time she might've been a little more smitten ;-)

  9. Aww, Julia, my heart has broken for you and I deeply feel your pain and the ache you feel. I am sure Kimber will be loved by her new family, but I can assure you I know exactly how you felt. In a word, "Kizmet." When I walked into PetSupermarket this past November to buy some cat food, I had no inkling that my life was about to forevermore change. I certainly did not go to the store with the intention of adopting a kitten - I already had 7 cats. Anyhow, you read my story, so you know how it ended. All I can say is that this kitten so fully and inexplicably stole my heart that I openly wept in the store when our eyes locked. Against every rationale bone in my body, my heart ruled my mind and Kizmet is now part of our family and had brought us unfathomable joy. Kizmet means fate, and that it was meant to be…

    Thank you for sharing this post.

  10. I'm sorry it didn't work out with that precious kitten but it is wonderful she has a forever family although I was hoping it was your family! I have fallen in love at first sight with animals before so I know how you felt. There was one I saw on FB that was in a shelter in Texas and instantly I loved her and felt she was supposed to be in our family. Of course it didn't work out that way but like your kitten, she did get a forever family too. What I'm afraid of is falling in love with a dog when my husband is not at all ready for another dog after our loss of sweet Sadie last June. But, we can't help our feelings can we?

  11. What a beautiful kitten, I can understand why you felt that way about her. I try not to pick animals based on what they look like because they all have the potent to be the best, most loving animal ever. My next cats I've decided will be adopted based on most need. I'd really like a blind one too, just because they are so often overlooked.

  12. That kitten knows you loved her. And I would bet that somewhere VERY close to where you live, there is a cat or kitten who may be spending their LAST day on earth because no one wants themm. Will you consider adopting THAT little creature??? Maybe it won't be head-over-heels love at first sight, but it IS love and BOTH sides know that.

  13. I can see why you fell in love with that beautiful kitten, Julia. But you are right. She is in a forever home where she is loved now. And THAT is beautiful, indeed.


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