January 6, 2014

Hey There Lonely Girl: A Story of Adoption and Love

In the 11 years that I have known Todd (we met when I was 17) he has been home more this year than any other. It’s one of the perks of a band being in “writing season” and I’ve been lapping up the time together like no one’s business. This, however, hasn’t always been the case. We have also had years where he was gone about 8 months or so out of year and those time are always hard. It wasn’t as big of a deal when we were dating, but once we got married and I moved into his house, his absence was intensely palpable. All the sudden, I’m in sitting in his house, surrounded by his stuff, and completely aware of how alone I am. I knew the answer to my problem was as simple as four paws, a furry tail, little whiskers, and a soothing friendly purr: I needed a kitten. Problem was, we were renting that house and you couldn’t have a pet without a doctor’s note that you needed an animal around. Todd and I had joked before about going to a doctor and just saying whatever we needed to in order to get that signed note, but we weren’t serious enough about the scheme to go through with it.

As the loneliness grew and grew, I decided that the doctor’s note was a path worth looking into. I mean, what’s the harm in asking? I would just inquire what was necessary in order to get that note, and maybe the answer would be easier than I thought. I began to pour all my hope into the hair-brained scheme and made an appointment at the walk-in clinic nearby. I met with a doctor that I hadn’t been to before and calmly explained that my husband traveled a lot and I would like to know what the procedure was to get a note for an animal. “Well,” the doctor said, “You would first need to be diagnosed as clinically depressed.” Uh oh. “And you would need to be in counseling for depression.” This is not looking good. “And you would need to be on medication for depression.” Say what?? “And this would all be on your medical record.” Wowzers.

I could feel any hope I had for my situation immediately melt away. I mean, I was feeling lonely and sad to be sure, but I wasn’t clinically depressed in need of medication and counseling. As I realized it was game over for my one shot at a companion, I did what any grown adult would do in front of a strange doctor that just told her she couldn’t get a kitten- I burst into tears. The doctor was visibly taken aback by my sudden waterworks. “Uh, can you tell me what’s happing here?” he gently asked. I looked up through my hot tears and choked out between sobs, “I’m sorry (breath) I just wanted (breath) another heartbeat (breath) around the house (breath).” The doctor paused a second and said that he would be willing to write a note saying that it appears I am experiencing some separation anxiety (I vigorously nodded to that idea) and that he suggests a feline animal would be soothing since I’ve found them to be so in the past. He told me to take that note to my landlord company and see if it would work.

I gratefully rushed over to the management office and handed them the note with as much confidence as I could muster. The girl at the front barely glanced at it, threw it in a pile and said, “The animal must be at least 6 months old and declawed in the front. Fill this out.” I could barely contain my excitement-it worked! As soon as I could, I raced over to the humane society and fell in love with a little grey girl named Greta and filled out the papers to take her home. I picked her up the next day, changed her name to Charlie, and we have been together ever since.Of course I still miss Todd lots when he is away, but in the 2 1/2 years that I’ve had her, I’ve never again felt that deep lonely pain since I got my little girl. We play, we take naps, watch tv, she sits next to me while I work on projects (or right on the project I’m trying to do), and she’s completely changed my single life world when he’s away. At times I picture a little movie scene in my headΒ of someone learning that I got Charlie at the humane society: they would say, “Oh, you rescued her from a shelter! How wonderful of you!” and I would reply (with tears in my eyes), “No. It was she who rescued me. It was she who rescued me.” It’s also probably raining in this scene. That’s an important detail.

We are actually in the process of trying to adopt a new fur baby for Charlie to (hopefully!) be best buds with, so stay tuned for that!

Final thoughts: 1. Cats are great. 2. Animal adoption is great. 3. This bawling-in-a-doctor’s-office story will be worked into the screenplay of my life FOR SURE.

xo. Laura

25 thoughts on “Hey There Lonely Girl: A Story of Adoption and Love

  1. Allison

    This just melted my heart. I’m in a long-term long-distance relationship right now and I’m so inspired by your blog and the strength and flexibility of your relationship with your husband no matter the distance. Thank you so much for reminding me that its possible and worthwhile!

  2. maria

    I love this post! My husband hates cats and will not let me get one though I’ve been asking for two years. Maybe I should burst into tears since all the cute cat videos and memes I show him don’t seem to be working.

  3. Lisa

    a wonderful story! Me and my husband saved a little cat on a beach in greece.
    We tought it would be very complicated to take her back home to Austria by plane, but it was no problem. we just had to bring her to a doctor to check if she was healthy and had to buy her a planeticket for about $15!
    Since then Georgia is like a familymember and she changed our life in such a positive way…

  4. Melodie

    That is such a lovely story! And you really seem to be so happy together, it was truly meant to be! πŸ˜‰
    And i also think that encouraging people to adopt is wonderful, i try to do it as often as possible and it’s nice to know that other fabulous bloggers are spreading the word πŸ˜‰ I recently discovered your blog through A Beautiful Mess and i really enjoyed walking into your little world, very charming and authentique, love it!
    Many kisses from Paris dear girl!

  5. Hetty

    Mrs Band Wife – this was a brilliant, hilarious post. Despite having 101 things to do each day I spend far too long looking at blogs and you are BY FAR the wittiest in all the land. You should write more friend. Charlie would agree (I feel). Regards πŸ™‚

  6. Accidental Londoner

    Ah, what a lovely story. And I totally know what you mean about how nice it is to have someone else (even a furry someone) on those lonely days. There’s something so nicely undemanding yet totally companionable about a cat around one’s house. I know I am way happier and less stressed when I have one…they are the best! And your Charlie looks like a sweetie!

  7. Melissa

    That was such a sweet story! I got my kitty a little over a year ago when I began living alone after going through a breakup. It really really does make all of the difference to have something else there that loves you and cares about you! Stay strong πŸ™‚

  8. Holly

    So glad you chose to adopt. It’s sad that declawing is a requirement, was she already declawed when you adopted her?

  9. Miranda

    HAHAHA! This is the most awesome pet adoption story ever! My husband works late most nights. I don’t know what I’d do without my two little furry companions. I’ve never had a cat as an adult but I had one as a kid and she was so entertaining. Glad you have your little lady to keep you company…

  10. jennifer

    β€œOh, you rescued her from a shelter! How wonderful of you!”

    If I ever meet you (highly unlikely), then this will be the first thing I say to you.

  11. Kathrine

    This is amazing!! I loved reading your little story πŸ™‚ I can totally picture the scene where you claim the cat have rescued you – reminds me of the final scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s πŸ™‚ xo Kat

  12. Jenn

    My husband is frequently gone for work also, but I have a full-time job and it makes it a lot easier. When I am home, I’m usually exhausted. It’s the weekends that he’s gone that are the toughest, but my puppy does his best to fill my time πŸ™‚ Congrats on the new family member!

  13. Dylann

    I love this. I felt the same exact way when my husband had to leave after we got married, so we got a kitten too and it was the greatest decision of our marriage. Hoping to get another furry friend soon, as well!

  14. Melissa Belanger

    This is a wonderful story. I’ve been struggling with loneliness too lately. My husband is a hockey player, and we’re living in Kazakhstan this year. He’s gone for weeks at a time, and I have no family or friends here. I’m actually leaving to go stay with my parents because I can’t stand the loneliness while he is away (at least he has his team to keep him company). I think you have made up my mind. I’m going to get a furry friend of some sort. I’m allergic to cats even though I seriously love them, so it’s going to have to be a dog, but either way. I can’t wait to get home and find me a little fur ball. Thanks for the inspiration. I hope you aren’t too lonely lately! πŸ™‚

  15. Hannah S

    This is an adorable story! I too fell in love with a furry companion bc of loneliness. About 3 years ago I adopted Mowgli as a valentines day present to myself. I was 21 single & lonely living away from the town I grew up in. Mowgli was my first cat ever & is now the light of my life! My boyfriend and I just adopted another kitten as a little sister for Mowgli. Adopting with your significant other was a completely different kind of joy! I have to say I’m hooked on cats <3

  16. april

    I love everything about this so much! Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚ I’d love to know what your husband’s reaction to it all was!


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