our cat adoption stories (and paying it forward)

i’ve teamed up with HP again, this time they asked me to reflect on a moment that has inspired my life, and to give back to my community in return! especially this time of year, it’s so easy to focus on the material, of course, so it feels so good to take a moment to sway and help out in other ways.

when i had the chance to reflect, i immediately thought about operation adopt, where i adopted rocky two years ago. they are such a great organization and you can quickly see how much they truly care about their animals. since moving to the valley two years ago, i definitely feel more of a sense of community than i did in the city — which is a really nice feeling! my dry cleaner knows my name. just thought you should know. the sense of community is strong here and i’m happy to have a part in it.

my cats have been so important in my adulthood, because they totally paved the way for me to care for something besides just myself, and they taught me that animals really need our kindness too. giving them a home is probably the kindest thing you could do (for both of you!). you might have already seen on instagram that i posted for world kindness day about them, because they really changed my life!

five years ago, my best friend took in a pregnant stray cat. i assisted in the birth because their mom wasn’t the most maternal, so we had to make sure she’d keep them alive. it was pretty disgusting, but we gently nudged her towards each sack to make sure she’d tend to all of them and get them out. and even though i’d never really liked cats — being there for that moment changed that for life. i think in a way, witnessing and assisting in the birth made me feel kind of maternal, like i had delivered 5 kittens myself lol. i wasn’t planning on taking any of them home, but i would go visit them regularly and i just loved bodhi so much. he was always playing on his back and could not have been cuter — so i decided i needed to adopt him. lucy was kind of the belle of the ball, she was the only girl in the litter, and was so rambunctious and funny and by far the best hunter. gid loved her the most. but more importantly, bodhi and lucy were best friends, so i didn’t want to separate them. and that’s how someone who never even liked cats ended up adopting two at once…  we adopted 2 of the 5, and then found loving homes for the others.

and then two years ago, i was walking by operation adopt with my dad and stepmom and walked in for no reason, and then i saw rocky! her name was dolly at the time and she had really short hair (they’d cut off her long fur to clean her). she had belonged to a hoarder who had 120 cats! they adopted out everyone but kept a couple of cats as evidence for months. three of them made it to operation adopt — three ragdoll girls, one kitten and two adults. they were all sooooo cute in different ways, but “dolly” stood out to me with her feisty personality. i asked to hold her and immediately texted gid a photo saying “can we adopt her?” without hesitation he responded “yes”. he’s pretty chill huh? so i filled out an application right then and there and a few days later she moved in with us!

i wasn’t sure what adopting an adult cat would be like, but it was actually so nice to skip those rough kitten months where they climb and jump on everything. rocky still has the energy of a kitten here and there, but as i said, she really has fulfilled all my elmira dreams. she’s only half rag doll (and half calico, which according to the vet, is the feisty side), but she lets me carry her around like my own little cat doll, and she sleeps next to my head every night, all night!

i was so happy when operation adopt accepted my offer to redesign the posters for each animal up for adoption. i used my HP spectre x360 to design and then i used the inking capabilities to hand draw on it. i think it turned out really cute, simple and clean but definitely a modern update to what they had before.

when i saw laser lemon on their website up for adoption, i knew he had to be my muse, because he looked like a baby bodhi! arlo has really taken a liking to the cats lately, so i thought meeting laser lemon would be so fun — well, turns out kittens are completely terrifying. who knew!?

how cute is laser lemon? someone needs to adopt him right now!

it felt so good to give back, and i hope you also feel inspired to #ReinventGiving this holiday. it doesn’t take much effort or time to help someone in need out, so i hope you’ll consider doing the same. would love to hear if you’re planning to!

this post was in partnership with HP. all opinions are my own.

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  1. this is so sweet! thanks for paying it forward – and being an advocate for adoption. i got my own feisty calico from a local rescue this february & i’ve never been happier. <3

  2. Kimmie Rodriguez says:

    I want him for his name alone, that is the coolest name ever!

  3. SUCH a cool story! I love seeing your cute kitties pop up on social media and your blog, so hearing more about how they came to be yours is so fun. Love those poster designs, too!!

  4. Great story ! Thank you for cats ! I help an asssociation too in my city and I want to offer them some portraits of cats !
    I love your blog,
    See you

  5. That pic of Arlo’s terrified face with the cat is hilarious!! lol. We have one cat, an all-black cat named Smokey (who I lovingly refer to as Satan, because of his tendencies to hide under my bed like a troll and vomit there). Even though Smokey is a piece of shit most of the time and wakes me up before my alarm (I really wish he could speak English so I knew wtf he was meowing about all the time), he keeps things interesting at my house and always on edge, haha! Funny story, even though my family collectively is not the hugest fan of him and his claws, he got out of our house when we had the door open loading up the car for a week-long trip to the beach and we all realized how much we loved him at that point!! Luckily he came back covered in leaves and with a cold, but alive. My brother said “Smokey’s seen some shit.” We’ll never know what he did or where he went that entire week we were gone..