Have you watched When Marnie Was There? It is one of my favourite movies, and I would gladly recommend it to any Studio Ghibli fans. This, of course, has little to do with the newest feline addition to our household: Marnee. When we adopted Marnee, she was around 3 pounds of grey fluff and chutzpah. Despite being smaller than the average jug of milk, Marnee quickly established herself as the top of the status quo, leaving the two other pets in the house —Ohio, another former resident of Tails to Tell, as well as our three-year Goldendoodle— thoroughly cowed. From day one she has been gleefully exploring every nook-and-cranny of our house and attacking any toys that strike her fancy, only to fall asleep on someone’s lap mere moments later. I once caught her attempting to take a nap, not beside, but on top of Ohio who was, by now, well accustomed to Marnee’s antics. While I suppose it is impossible to truly know how Marnee feels about her current lifestyle, from what I can tell, she seems to be thoroughly enjoying life. Maybe too much in fact, I think sometimes when I see her nudging cups off of the counter just to get our attention.
As an adopter, I don’t know much of the early details of Marnee’s life. If I remember correctly, she came to Tails to Tell with two other siblings (both of which were quickly adopted), sans mother. Of course, she seemed none the worse for this, and spent her days running around with the other kittens at the shelter. Still, in my six years volunteering for this shelter I have seen countless cats who have struggled. It sometimes feels that for every cute little kitten adopted out within days of being brought in, there is a scared adult cat that remains unseen hidden in a quiet cat tower for years on end. It is often these cats that I think of when I recommend Tails to Tell to acquaintances and friends who are searching for a new cat.
The process of discovering and selecting a cat to bring home can be surprisingly anticlimactic. Contrary to what movies and books have taught me, there is often no irrefutable feeling of destiny, no melodramatic swell of an orchestra as you lock eyes with your feline soulmate. This is not to say that never happens, of course, I can only speak for myself. However, in place of a sense of overwhelming certainty that I had come to expect, I remember a feeling of vague anxiety as I worried whether we would really be the best family for Marnee. I have felt the same anxiety when choosing the other two cats we have adopted from Tails to Tell and I imagine I will feel the same during any future adoptions. Still, while I cannot tell you what Marnee or my two other cats would say, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that adopting Marnee, Ohio and Mae were some of the best decisions that my family has made. I would encourage anyone looking for a cat to come to Tails to Tell and meet the legion of cats that live there. Maybe a cat will meet your eye while you are there. There may be no feeling of destiny, and no sudden shining of a spotlight upon the pair of you. But wait a little longer, spend a little more time together and you may find that that cat fits into your life as if they’ve always been there.