Willie and Thea
We came to the shelter hoping to adopt a cat (or preferably a bonded pair of cats) after losing our 19 year-old FIV positive Sadie and our two boy cats. Our surviving cat, Gracie, was mourning the loss of her playmates, and our dogs also seemed to be mourning their buddies. We told a volunteer that we were looking for a specific type of cat: they must be confident enough to stand their ground if our large dog tried to play too rough, and they must be cat/dog friendly. The volunteer spoke to an adoption counsellor who contacted their "cat person." Meanwhile, we looked around as we waited for suggestions.
When we walked into the first cat area, Thea was the first one we saw. She looked exactly like our boy cat, Wooster, who passed away two months before. We took that as a sign that we had to get to know Thea. She was very affectionate and we quickly fell in love. After meeting Thea, we went to the FIV room. We decided that the best way for us to honor our beloved Sadie was to try to adopt another FIV positive cat. There were several cats who caught our eye in the FIV room. They were almost all very affectionate and gentle. Willie came up to us and laid down on a mat, inviting us to pay attention to him. It was my wife who felt the instant connection to Willie, and it didn't take much convincing for me to see that he was special.
We made our way back to the main cat room, where we met so many wonderful individuals that it became a bit overwhelming. After struggling to decide between several "perfect" choices, a volunteer came with a list of four names from their "cat person." When we saw Thea and Willie listed as the first two, we knew they were the ones for us.
Arriving at home was pretty stressful for them. We hung out in the bedroom with them while they hid, offering food and water, and slowly introducing Gracie and the dogs, Truman (a chihuahua mix) and Prudence (a chow mix). Willie was pretty laid back about it and was ready to cuddle almost immediately. Thea hid quite a bit the first several weeks, and we had to coax her out of hiding to eat, or we would feed her in the window where the dogs couldn't see.
Now that it has been a few months, Willie and Thea have settled into their new home and are happy as can be. Willie loves to cuddle, even getting under the blanket in bed with us. Thea is very gentle, and likes to grab hands and arms and gently bite (never leaving a mark) when we're playing. She likes to follow us around and check out what we're doing. The pickiest cat I have ever met, Thea, refuses to eat kibble, and it took us a while to find the right moist food for her. Now that we have found it, she tells us when she's ready to eat, and can hardly wait for us to make a plate for her.
We weren't very concerned with the FIV aspect of adopting Willie because of our positive experience with Sadie. He is extremely gentle even when playing, and we cannot imagine any of the cats ever attacking each other in anything other than a playful manner. Willie and Thea are best buddies, probably because they came home together.
Willie and Thea were both terrified of our girl cat Gracie when they first came home. All three cats were cautious around each other, but now they will eat next to each other and all play when we get out the cat toys. Gracie has fully accepted her new cat siblings, and chases them around the house trying to play. We are confident that we found the perfect matches for our family, and we are all very happy together.