Today I am celebrating the fourth adoption anniversary of my blue point Siamese Tiki. I’d always wanted to own a Siamese cat (despite the stories I’ve heard about their infant-like crying, which isn’t true for all Siamese — at least not Tiki).

Like everything else you can find online, I stumbled upon the Michigan Siamese Rescue’s website. Call it a ‘dating’ site for potential human owners looking for felines! Tiki’s photo was the first I saw. He was the equivalent of a feline Hindenburg. But he also looked absolutely adorable!

Tiki

Tiki weighed in at a solid 19 pounds. As the description on his profile said, he had passed through the rescue’s doors a couple times and was an ’emotional eater.’ It didn’t help that he had been subsisting on a diet of cat treats, or as Tiki’s “godmother” Denise described it, a diet akin to ‘crack and Doritos.’  He had claws, which made me nervous, and he was almost eight years old. But at the time, I was working full time and going to school part-time. I didn’t really have the energy to take on a kitten, cute though they may be. I wanted a cat that would sit with me while I did homework in the evenings.

Tiki’s previous mom had unfortunately passed away and her husband was moving from the family home to a place that didn’t accept cats. So, considering Tiki was portly, clawed and mature, it’s safe to say his fate was shaky.

I fell in love with Tiki from the moment I saw his picture online. Somehow, you just know when a cat will fit with you. The adoption process was interesting. I had to fill out a multi-page adoption application, had two friends provide personal references for me (yeah, references, which they require to make sure you’re not a cat hoarder), and designated Denise as the “godmother” who would care for Tiki if I couldn’t.

When I went with Denise to meet Tiki in person, he was tucked in a corner, curled up on a blanket. He had the sweetest face and purred almost immediately when I petted him. How do cats know they’ve got you at the sound of a purr? I pretty much knew even before seeing Tiki in person that I was going home with him that day. I wouldn’t have to think twice about it.

Perhaps it’s because I chose Tiki myself that I love him so much. To me, he’s a true companion. Despite my reservations about adopting an obese, clawed, aging cat, it’s the best thing I ever did!

Today, Tiki has slimmed down thanks to “designer” diet cat food. This morning, I found him in a closet, nestled amid a bunch of quilts I put away for the summer season. Yeah, he still likes his cushy privacy!

Having adopted Tiki, I’ve also converted most of my beauty and health care products to cruelty-free brands.  Additionally, I’ve cut down on meat consumption, adopting a vegetarian diet some days of the week. I’ve become much more cognizant of how animals are treated and have contributed financially to organizations that care for abused animals.

For me, adopting Tiki was a lesson in facing a fear and about taking care of a life that could easily be passed over. Happy Fourth Adoption Birthday, Mr. Tiki!