Stevie the Shop Cat: An Adoption Love Story

“I’m praying we get to keep Stevie…” For a parent who dislikes animals, these are dangerous words to hear.

"I’m praying we get to keep Stevie..." For a parent who dislikes animals, these are dangerous words to hear. Find out how our family came to love Stevie, the shop cat.

We didn’t want a cat.

We didn’t want any pet, for that matter. My husband and I were absolutely determined (especially since I am allergic to cats) that our family household would remain pet-free forever. And I think it would have, had it not been for the arrival of six cuddly kittens at my parents’ homestead last spring. 

Our kids were ecstatic when they heard that Grandpa’s and Grandma’s cat had had babies. “When can we go play with them?” they begged.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In the weeks that followed, we often popped in to visit the kittens. The kids would hover like mother hens over their new fur-ball friends. They named each one. There was Shadow, Fuzzball, Puss-in-Boots, Griffin, Midnight, and Acorn. I could see the delight in my children’s faces as “their” kittens romped through the grass, pounced on grasshoppers, and chased tails. I knew the kids were absorbing as much kitty-love as they could before the kittens had to leave for new homes.

The Warming of our Hearts

I began to wonder if maybe it was time to get our own pet. Not sure how to convince my husband, or myself for that matter, I prayed:

God, do my kids need a cat? And if they do, could you suggest that idea to my husband? Because I think he wants the responsibility of a pet even less than I do.

Two months passed. Then, one day, after a long day of working at his shop in the city, my husband arrived home with an intriguing story.

“It’s the strangest thing,” he said, shaking his head. “I was sitting on the couch by the door and thought I saw something move.”

“At the shop?” I asked.

“Yeah. I turned and saw the reflection of a cat on the side of the race car. But then it was gone. Couldn’t find it. It’s probably hiding in the shelves or something. Better not pee on the floor.”

I shrugged it off, but my husband couldn’t. For the entire weekend, whenever he tinkered at the shop, he kept an eye out for the illusive cat. He suspected it was still lurking. That, and I think, maybe, he wanted to prove that he hadn’t been seeing things. The weekend passed uneventfully, however.

A Shop Visitor

Monday arrived and with it, miserable weather. All morning and afternoon, it had been cold, windy, and raining. Just before dinnertime, while the kids and I made supper and waited for Dad to get home from work, the phone rang. It was my husband.

“Did you get my text?” he asked.

I checked my cell phone. Sure enough, he had sent me a text earlier that afternoon with a picture of a cat.

Or a kitten.

Or a teenage-itten.

It was hard to tell; it was terribly scrawny and had wet, matted fur.

“Is that a cat in your shop?” I said.

My husband then proceeded to explain how this malnourished kitty had shown up at noon that day. He’d seen it trying to lick grease off the barbecue by the back door. So, he had let the cat in and offered it the chicken he’d packed for his own lunch. The cat scarfed down the food, crawled straight onto his lap, and settled in for a snuggle. Since he had to get back to work, my husband created a make-shift litter box and put the cat in the shop bathroom for the afternoon. Now, he had stopped in at the shop on his way home to check on the cat and was calling me for advice.

“See? I did see a cat the other day,” my husband said. “What do I do with her? Stevie’s so cute…

I groaned. “You named it?”

“Well, it was Steve. But then I realized it was a girl, so now it’s Stevie.”

I Don’t Want to Adopt a Stray Cat

“Can’t it stay in the shop for tonight?”

“There’s toxic chemicals everywhere. I’d have to lock her in the bathroom again. She can’t stay here.”

I was quiet for a moment. I stood in the kitchen with the phone to my ear, looking across the room at our three unsuspecting children. I sighed. “I’m allergic.”

“I already asked the guys at the shop next to me. They’re not missing a cat. I tried to get someone from work to bring it home. No one will take her.”

Even though adopting a stray cat was never, ever, EVER on our list of things we’d like to do one day, I think we both knew Stevie had to come home. Finally, we agreed to shelter the cat for the night and decide what to do with her in the morning.

Rubbermaid Cat House

While the kids and I waited for Stevie and my husband to arrive, we made a cat house.

We cut a little square door out of the side of a Rubbermaid bin and hot-glued an overhang to keep out the rain. My children selflessly sacrificed a plush green froggy-print blanket to pad the bottom of the bin for warmth and comfort. We checked online to find out what kind of leftovers we could feed the cat from the fridge and got her supper ready.

Stevie the Shop Cat - an adoptive love story

When my husband drove up, Stevie was greeted like royalty. She was petted, carried, fed, protected from wandering too far, and fed some more. She responded well and seemed to like us – especially Dad. We all went back inside to wash our hands and have supper.

Later, my husband and I did our best to explain to the kids that Stevie would probably only stay for one night.

“Well, I’m praying we get to keep Stevie,” my oldest child said.

“Ooo, yes! Let’s everyone pray everyday to keep Stevie!” my youngest agreed.

My middle child drew a picture with a message. It read, “I love Stevie. Meow.”

Stevie the Shop Cat - an adopt a pet love story
Stevie

At bedtime, the kids stepped outside into the cold, wet darkness to say goodnight to the cat. She was curled up inside her warm Rubbermaid house, snug as a cub in a cave.

Pet Owners

In the morning, the kids brought Stevie fresh water and played with her while I scrambled eggs for her breakfast. I checked my schedule for the day and added two tasks to my list: buy cat food and book a vet appointment.

And that was that. Stevie never left. How could she? We’d already fallen in love with her.

One evening, after a few weeks of being pet owners, my husband came home from another long day of work. I saw him come up the driveway, but he didn’t come into the house right away like he usually did. Finally, I heard the backdoor creak open and the shuffling sounds of work boots falling to the floor. When he walked into the living room, I sneezed.

“What were you doing outside?” I asked with a smirk. “I saw you drive up a while ago.”

He shrugged. “Was just in the garage saying hi to Stevie,” he said, trying not to smile.

Turns out, Stevie’s good for the soul. And I’m so glad we adopted a stray cat.


This is Stevie helping me write and keeping me company while the kids are at school.
I seem to be developing a certain level of tolerance to Stevie (with respect to my allergies), so we let her inside to visit sometimes.
Isn’t she cute?

How Did You End up With a Pet?

Do you have a pet? If yes, are you a natural animal lover, or an initially reluctant pet owner – like I was?

I would love to hear the story of how you ended up with a pet. Please share in the comments below. 🙂


Looking for More?

  • Love cats? There’s a hashtag for that! Check out #CatsOfTwitter.

With love,

17 thoughts on “Stevie the Shop Cat: An Adoption Love Story

Add yours

  1. Stevie is a cutie! My husband and I were reluctant pet owners as well. We both grew up with pets, but weren’t ready to bring them in our home. Then the cutest and friendliest black kitten showed up at our backdoor right after Thanksgiving. He was only going to stay the night, but his name is Dunkin and he’s now 4. We also have 2 female kittens that we rescued from our backyard in October. We are fostering them, but they feel like part of the family and will probably stay. They are good for the soul and keep me company when I am writing or reading. I honestly don’t know how we lived so long without the cats!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally get that! I’ve turned into one of those people who takes pictures of their pets and buys them presents. Never, ever would have imagined I could love a fur-ball so much. And, yes, my favourite part of her company is when I’m writing. Writing is a lonely job. She’s comforting to have around. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: