This is not a story that should be imitated, as a general rule. Impulse acquiring a living being nearly always leads to suffering for that creature, and humans should be better than that. My only justification is that at least I accept the lifelong responsibilities from my impulse decisions.
One day, my partner and I went to get eye exams at a little eye shop next to a pet store. My eyes, as usual, passed every test. My partner, as usual, required new glasses. Picking out new frames has never been exciting for me, and I soon excused myself to walk next door and look at animals.
This pet store does not sell kittens or puppies; I avoid those places in part because I fear I’ll impulse buy a dog and nobody should ever do that. They do, however, partner with an area rescue and keep some adoptable cats in the store. Many pet stores in my city do this, which I think is amazing. I often want to head to a pet store just to look at the adoptable cats (and, of course, the pocket pets that are for sale).
On this particular day, at this particular store, I found a handsome black cat. Several other cats were there as well but this was the friendliest. The sign displayed the story. He’d been born of a rescued pregnant cat and raised in foster care. Shortly after being adopted, he was returned due to a child’s allergies. This happens all too commonly. He’d been named as part of the Superhero litter and given the moniker Spongebob.
I am not generally one to give good names. There’s a reason I’ve had four gerbils named GerbilMan and several hamsters named HamsterMan. The two cats and the dog that I had adopted by this time had kept the names they had when I met them.
Somehow, I connected with this particular cat. I decided immediately that he should not be named Spongebob. “Your name should be Samson and you should come home with me,” I told him, and I remember expressing the same sentiment to my partner when they eventually finished picking out glasses and joined me in the pet shop. My partner is a better person than I am, at least at impulse control, and we went home alone that day.
I could not stop thinking about Samson, though. I found his profile page on the rescue’s website and watched, hoping he would be adopted. I spoke with my housemates about him.
A week after I had originally met him, I called the pet store to ask if Spongebob was still available. I nearly asked under the name I had chosen for him, so thoroughly was I already in the habit of calling him Samson. I could leave him in that cage no longer, and applied to adopt.
It so happened that because I had already adopted cats from this rescue, I was approved immediately. That same evening, I brought him home. Luckily, he integrated well with the two cats already living there. I don’t know that I can say he integrates well with the dog; Samson is honestly mean to her and she’s afraid of him. Given that she’s seven times his size and likes to kill squirrels, I think that is preferable to Samson being afraid of the dog.