-Guest post by Melanie H., Cat Adoption Team adopter
After losing my two dear senior cats in 2013, my chronic depression worsened. Cats are crucial to my well-being, so after some time, I made the trek to Cat Adoption Team. October 26, 2013 was the day my life would be changed forever after adopting my deaf #AdventureCat Rumi.
At the shelter, a gorgeous white fluffy cotton ball in the back of the kennel grabbed my attention immediately. I learned he was born deaf (common in white cats), and felt hesitant about adopting a special needs kitty. I placed him on a 24-hour hold to do research. He cried so loudly when being placed back in his kennel! I only made it a few miles down the road before realizing being deaf didn’t matter, and he was my SOUL cat! What I would later find out, was his deafness would be his superpower!
We bonded instantly, and not a day goes by without him cheering me up with his goofiness. He is incredibly intuitive and knows when to comfort me during times of anxiety and depression, which is something I often struggle with. What I never imagined, was being able to bring Rumi along on my nature adventures!
When he turned 3, we moved from Portland to the Blue Ridge Mountains, which is where his adventure cat journey started.
We lived in the country with a creek and forest out back, and this felt like a safe space to try taking him out on a leash and harness. He took to it instantly, and his eyes lit up! This was clearly a form of therapy for him just as much as it was for me!
I realized being deaf made Rumi fearless and confident in the forest, and filled him with endless joy. I look down and smile big seeing my faithful forest cloud enjoying nature. I love watching his playful kitten energy come out as he leaps from rock to rock, tightrope walks logs and flops down on the trail for a dirt bath. He brings giant smiles to anyone we pass on the trail, too!
My depression and anxiety melt away when I’m with Rumi on an adventure! — Melanie H., adopter
His constant need for adventures (and car rides) is a great motivator to get out of the house when I’m feeling particularly down. One of my favorite depression hacks is to take him for a ride to see his “car ride smile”, where he beams from ear to ear, making biscuits and enjoying the ride.
We’ve traveled cross country twice, camped in a yurt, spent a week along the Oregon coast in our camper van, and have had almost daily car rides in our 10 years together! He loves to share his adventures on social media, bringing joy to others too! This bond is like none other, and I am grateful to Rumi every single day, and Cat Adoption Team for uniting us! My days have been much brighter ever since.