Throughout our lives, we pass by many people. We pass each other at work, in the grocery store, in our own neighborhood. Some we stop and talk to and others we pass up. Some we downright run away from. In a split second we make a decision based on their looks, the way they walk, their mannerism. We know nothing about them yet we make our choice. We don’t do this with anything else; we don’t choose our cars, our homes or even the clothes that we are wearing that fast. First impressions can make or break a great thing in our lives.
Way too soon after a special pet passed away, I was handed a piece of paper. On this piece of paper were two pictures of two flame part Siamese kittens at the local animal shelter. The two kittens, brothers, were scrunched up, eyes wide and looked ready to attack or run from the camera man. They looked mean and grungy. I wasn’t in the mood for more animals at the time. I declined. After hours and hours of debate I was talked into “at least going to look”.
At the shelter we looked at the dogs, rabbits, ducks and finally the cat house. The cat house had rows and rows of cages filled with cute, lovable little kittens and cats, any of which would make a great pet. I was directed to two cages off in the corner. In the first cage was the first flame pt. Siamese that was in the picture and in the second cage was his brother. There they were, both of them, hunched in the back and eyes wide just like their pictures. I stuck my fingers up to the bars of the first cage and was awarded with ears pulled back and a hiss. I stuck my fingers up to the bars of the second cage and was awarded with the same thing. Yes, they were brothers alright.
There was a little glass room at the end of the cat house that you can have an animal taken to interact with. I declined. I did not want a mean grungy cat. We debated again. I lost again. As the shelter employee was taking the first cat to the room, she remarked that if the cat bites or scratches us, it will be put down immediately. I commented on how nice her big leather gloves looked that she was wearing. We got to the room and she placed the kitten on a chair and left us alone with the little terror. At one end of the room was a little kitten sitting on a chair with it ears pulled back, hair standing up and a glare in its eyes looking ready to eat us, at the other end were two grown people afraid of a little kitten. Worried that it would be put down if it scratched us. I say it’s time to leave. The reply I got back was “let’s get them”. Are you INSANE?!, I think to myself, except the words actually came out of my mouth. I looked over and saw that I was getting the stink eye and it wasn’t from the kitten. We debated yet once again. I only half lost, as we decide to just take one of the brothers.
After the paperwork was done we were told they would call in about two days for us to pick up the kitten. Two days go by and we were off to the shelter. Sitting in the waiting area a shelter employee came out with an animal box in her hands and a horrible screeching sound emanating from it. I rolled my eyes and got the stink eye again. The box, hissing and growling, shook on my lap the whole way home.
When we got home, I sat the box in the middle of the living room. There it sat making the meanest noises I’ve heard in a long time. “Ready” I asked. I sat on the couch with the box on the floor facing away from me and opened the lid. Out sprang this mad kitten that ran around the coffee table two or three times, stopped, looked up at me, and jumped in my lap. He purred. Lifting my jaw off my chest, all I could do was pet it, I was struck for words.
Two days later we went and picked up his brother.
Worried that lightning wasn’t going to strike twice I sat down on the couch in our living room again with another box growling at me. I faced the box away from me so as not to be attacked when the brother was released. I opened the new box. Out sprang the second mad kitten, he ran around the coffee table two or three times, sniffed his brother’s butt, looked up at me and jumped on the couch right next to me and fell asleep. My jaw fell again. What were the chances? We named them Fuego and Toby and as I write this it’s been two years of pure entertainment and love.
First impressions and quick decisions are not always a good thing. Sometimes, it’s important to get to know someone. I don’t know why Fuego and Toby acted the way they did at the shelter, bad day maybe. We all have those. I think about all the things I would have missed out on had I not gotten to know these two cats. Imagine all the people we pass up throughout our lives and never said hello to because we didn’t like their clothes or their ears were pulled back and their eyes wide. Could they be a Fuego or a Toby? Next time you pass up someone, think of Fuego and Toby and ask yourself, did you just pass up someone who could have become your greatest friend?