Kittens are a girl’s best friend

CATS Chance discoveries can lead to great things.

Kittens are a girl’s best friend

Photo courtesy Opus Fidelis.

I have two cats. Dinah, the oldest, was adopted from a shelter. Sophie, the youngest, was found in a dumpster. My girls, as I call them, have been an enormous blessing to me.

Due to some unfortunate occurrences in my life, I tend to have really bad nightmares. Occasionally, I go weeks without sleeping a full night. At the time when this was at its worst, I lived by myself in a one bedroom apartment. It was suggested I get a pet to help ease the fear the nightmares brought on. Since I had grown up with cats, I decided to adopt a kitten.

Cats, if you don’t know, have just about as many personalities as humans do. Picking the right one for you is incredibly important, otherwise you end up miserable with an even more miserable feline. It’s a bad situation for both parties. Knowing this, I decided to take my time looking for a kitten. I would check a few shelters out around my hometown and then make my decision after a couple of days.

The first shelter I looked at kept their kittens in a separate room from the adult cats. The kittens were able to run free within the room, allowing them to socialize and live happy lives while in a dreary place. A volunteer showed me to the kitten room, accidentally letting a little grey ball of fur zoom by and off into the hallway. She ran after it while I examined the kittens.

Now, I had volunteered at shelters before and was often the person the workers went to when they had a “tough” case. Cats in shelters don’t often act like they would in the real world. Think about it, if you were confined to a tiny metal cage that smelled funny, you’d probably throw a hissy fit too.

For one reason or another, I’m very good with cats; I can calm them down and bring them out of their shell. I have yet to find a cat who didn’t at least tolerate me. I bring this up to illustrate how strange it was, then, that when I walked into the kitten room, none of the cats would come near me. Not a single one. I sat down in a corner and waited. For five minutes, I sat by myself.

The volunteer came back in, holding the grey fluffball who’d escaped earlier and plopped it down in my lap.

“This one always gives us trouble,” she wheezed. “It’s a shame she hasn’t been adopted yet, she’s so cute. But she isn’t nice. She doesn’t play well with the other kittens and is scared of humans.”

I looked down into my lap, where the little troublemaker remained. She looked back up at me, put her paws on my cheeks, licked my nose, and then curled up into a ball to take a nap. The volunteer was dumbfounded, “She doesn’t like anyone.” I spent a little time with the kitten, called Tweet by the staff, and had adopted her within half an hour. So much for looking around. After some internal debate, I renamed her Dinah and have had her ever since.

Sophie didn’t come from a shelter. About half a year after I had adopted Dinah, I received a call from my mother. A few weeks prior, she had heard meowing coming from a dumpster behind her place of work. Sure enough, there was little starved Sophie. My mother took her home, no questions asked. However, Sophie did not get along with my mother’s other cats. For such a small little thing, she was sure scrappy. My mother begged me to give Sophie a try with Dinah; she was running out of options.

I was skeptical. Dinah is incredibly particular about humans, and she hates all other cats. If Sophie had a history of picking fights, I doubted she would fit in with the two of us. Yet, when my mother brought Sophie with on her next visit, not only did Sophie hit it off with me, but also with Dinah. To this day, I’m not sure why the two get along, but they are inseparable

I came by these cats in ways I didn’t expect, but they have done so much for me. I may be the one giving them food and shelter, but they are the ones giving me comfort. They can light up even my dreariest day. They can keep me warm and safe at night. I may not be a crazy cat lady, but I am definitely crazy about my cats.

Kjerstine Trooien is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at