I was 20 years old and living with my girlfriend, Heather, who decided she wanted to get a kitten. I thought about it for a millisecond and said, "No way, I don't want the responsibility." The next day we brought home Zoe -- a very sweet, cute and cuddly kitten. But, Zoe was Heather's cat, not mine.
Fast forward a few years. We're broken up, but somehow we've arranged for shared cat-custody. Not that I wanted Zoe to stay with me, but I was willing to take her while Heather visited her folks for Christmas, toured around Europe, or whatever. A few weeks here, a month there, I could handle the responsibility for awhile. But, Zoe was Heather's cat, not mine.
Enter new boyfriend, Rob. "Rob's allergic to cats. Would you take Zoe?" I knew this could turn into a long-term situation, so I said no. Despite his allergies, the three of them moved in together. Things are going well, they get engaged, they start nesting, and they buy some very nice leather furniture. My phone rings. It's Heather. "You have to come get Zoe right now! Rob is on his way home from work..." (BTW, Rob's a cop... a cop with a gun) "... and Zoe clawed his favorite leather chair. He's going to kill her."
Like any good, spineless, ex-boyfriend, SPCA-Volunteer would, I rescued Zoe from the wrath of Rob... 16 years ago. At 19 years old, Zoe outlasted several of my relationships, survived puking into my CRT computer monitor without getting electrocuted, healed from the self-inflicted pencil puncture, and even bossed around my 100 pound German Shepherd. Nine lives? Hell, this cat made a feline-pact with the Devil! I ask myself daily, "how much longer can she live?" She doesn't age! No disease, no feline leukemia, no gingivitis, not even a urinary tract infection! Heather gets her man and fancy leather furniture, and I get Heather's mother's boyfriend's awful rattan furniture (long story) and Zoe.