Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted Jun 20, 2015
My family adopted Rally Cat from a local shelter when our son (4 years old at the time) discovered that some people kept cats as pets, as well as dogs. Naturally, he wanted one. I had had a great experience with a cat in high school (my dad's cat allergy that prevented cat ownership in my younger years had subsided by then), so I convinced my husband to try a cat with our son.
We didn't know the first thing about specific breeds or finding a reputable breeder, so we decided our best bet would be to find a cat at a local shelter. It didn't take our son long to find the cat we eventually called Rally Cat - a striking white male with unique black markings. Our son (an avid Top Gear and motor sport fan) wanted to call him Ricky-Bobby-NASCAR-Cat. I managed to convince our son that that was a bit of a mouthful, so we settled on Rally Cat (in honor of rally racing and a play on alley cat). As a shelter cat, I'm not sure of his breed or age, but I would guess that he was at least partially American Shorthair and about two years old at the time we adopted him.
After a few days at the vet for a general health check up and neutering, Rally Cat came home with us. It was immediately apparent that Rally Cat was an exceptionally friendly and affectionate cat. It took him no time at all to dispel any fears I had that he might be slightly skittish around humans, given his background as a shelter animal. If you pet him, he purred - without fail. In addition to his human family, Rally Cat also bonded with Codie, our German Shepherd (who was still fairly young at the time we brought Rally Cat home). Rally Cat and Codie played together until Codie reached her full size, and ended up scaring him when she clearly had no idea how large she'd grown.
For the most part, Rally Cat was fairly lazy. But when he wanted to play or wanted affection, he was not shy about demanding it. I loved that Rally Cat seemed to genuinely enjoy spending time with us, but he could become annoying if we were busy with work or family activities. If Rally Cat wanted to sit in someone's lap or have someone pet him, he was going to make it happen, and "no" was not an acceptable answer.
In addition to his wonderfully amiable nature, Rally Cat was also quite intelligent. He knew when it was time to be fed, and would remind us by meowing at someone until we followed him to his food bowl.
The only true drawback to Rally Cat's place in the family was the litter box. Finding the time to clean it daily can become a tedious and irritating task for particularly busy families (as we often were). I'm not certain if my memory is accurate on this issue, but it seemed as though Rally Cat's box smelled significantly stronger than the cat I owned in high school. As my previous cat was female, I'm also not sure if a smellier cat box was simply a function of owning a male cat.
We loved Rally Cat, and at times I swore he was genuinely grateful to have been adopted. However, my husband was getting frequent sinus infections lasted for weeks. After several visits to the doctor, we finally learned that my husband had a very bad cat allergy. Evidently, he had been diagnosed with this allergy at age four, but had forgotten about it until we adopted Rally Cat, as it had never been an issue until then. Sadly, we had no choice but to find Rally Cat a new home.
For anyone looking to adopt a cat, check your local shelter. If you find a cat half as loving as Rally Cat, you're in good shape!