Baby, Sweetheart of PetSmart Charities Office

Saturday, June 22, 2013

At PetSmart Charities, we see adoptable pets all the time. They all have wonderful stories with happy endings.Bbut for purely practical reasons, I’m rarely tempted to actually take them home.

However, Baby was special. Our friendship started in 2010 with a co-worker’s email and a photo of three kittens.

The power of the cute furball
The picture showed three tiny kittens huddled together in a cardboard box.  The two orange tabbies were cute, but nestled in with them was a little puff of black and brown fur.

I knew I had to have her and quickly forwarded the photo to my husband. But I couldn’t wait for him to decide. I responded to the e-mail, asking for more pictures of the little one.

I wasn’t planning to add any new family members at the time. We had what I felt was the perfect balance with my two cats and 10-year-old Boxer.  But when the heart takes over, it very often overrules common sense.

Preparing for forever home
However, all 3 kittens were very young . So I was thankful when my co-worker offered to foster all 3 together until they had learned more about being kittens.   There’s always a critical need for foster homes, and my girl was fortunate enough to have the best foster mom.

In her foster family, my little tortoiseshell demonstrated a unique confidence and down-right air of royalty. Monica sent us regular news and photos of how well she was blossoming.

When the adoption day finally arrived, I could hardly wait to get her home to cuddle and play.  I hadn’t had a kitten that young since I was 13.  We took the transition slowly, to see how the resident pets felt about her.

Perfect balance, plus one
Our Boxer intimidated her a little at first because of his size, but he was always a gentleman.  Zoe, our female cat, learned she had someone to keep up with her while she zoomed through the house. Zeus, the king cat, now had someone to keep Zoe busy so he could nap in peace.

We named our little tortoiseshell  “Baby,” because she’s the darling of the family. And, to quote Patrick Swayze from Dirty Dancing, “nobody puts Baby in a corner!”  She’s the star of the show wherever she goes. At home, she provides endless entertainment.  She loves chasing and fetching her favorite balls of crumpled paper. This and other forms of “dog-like” behavior earned her special points with my husband.

From office pal to TV star
She’s been my little shadow right from the start, including in the PetSmart Charities office on Fridays.  She’s perfectly happy to stay in my cubicle.  She enjoys flirting shamelessly with Steve, our media relations manager, and napping on my desk. One blink from those big golden eyes, and the rumble of that sweet purr, make the best cat therapy for any tough day.

Because of her calm and regal personality, Baby even appeared on local TV with Jackson Galaxy last year, promoting a charity event.  She worked that “cat mojo” like a pro; I was bursting with pride!  She’s also done a few photo shoots promoting cat tunnels and toys.

It has been amazing watching her grow from that frightened little kitten in a box to the confident cat she is today.  I love all of my pets dearly, but I’ve developed a very special bond with Baby. I’ve heard so often: “I’m not really a cat person, but Baby’s so cool.”  I personally feel all cats are cool, but Baby really does have that special something.



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