I heard the meows echoing from the Pet Pride sanctuary as soon as I parked my car. The no-kill shelter was located in an old tutor style home near the freeway interchange where the 10 and the 405 meet. When I entered, the house was staged like any normal home, with furniture in each room, refrigerator in the kitchen, sofa in the living room, beds in the bedrooms. The furniture was old and tattered but that didn't seem to bother the feline occupants as each room was filled with cats. And I mean filled!
It smelled like that too. With that many cats, it was impossible for it not to reek of used kitty litter, no matter how many boxes they had and how many times they cleaned out the clumps. Cats were everywhere, crawling, running, swatting, playing, hiding. Felines of all shapes, sizes and colors, from baby kittens to elderly cats, all living happily under one roof. It was a bit overwhelming at first but I was glad to know that a place like this existed where so many felines could live peacefully together.
My mission: to find a cat for the Perkins, one that would go after the rats that had infested their home in Laurel Canyon. This lucky cat would then become my own pet when the family returned for spending the summer at the Cape.
I wanted to pick a big bruiser cat, a rat killer to go after the monsters that were keeping me up at night. I stood in the corner of each room, surveying my selection as the cats sauntered about, effortlessly jumping on top of the furniture, carelessly playing with one another, cleaning themselves by licking their paws then gracefully patting their faces while they swished their tails.
Of course, I was drawn immediately to the kittens. They were so cute, especially one grey and white one. The kitten with the white whiskers was hiding under a blanket on one of the beds, swatting at the bigger cats near by. While watching the little rascal, I noticed a big black cat with ears that looked like he had been in one too many fights. When he walked, his entire body swayed from side to side. The other cats moved out of his way, giving him room to pass. Even the little kitten didn't mess with this cat.
He came over to me and rubbed against my leg.
“Meow,” he looked up with big green eyes.“Oh you want me to pet you, do you?” And he was bossy too. Just the perfect candidate for the job. “I’ll take this one.”