When I think about what brings me joy I can’t help but think of the family I’ve created throughout the years. 

I have four precious pets. One golden retriever puppy named Herman Lucas, Two tabby feline sisters Olivia Love and Jade Marie, and a rescue Maine Coon we got from the shelter named Robert Leroy. We call him Bob. When I think about them my heart feels full and happy. 

I found Olivia and Jade in my ex’s mother’s neighbors backyard five years ago. It was the only thing I wanted for my birthday that year. I desperately needed something to make me feel whole and needed, loved and appreciated. Because during that time I was with the most horrible man. My ex abused me and made me feel inferior and less than dirt. He made me wish I was dead because he made me believe I would amount to nothing and no one would ever love me. 

I remember the day I got them. It was really hot out and I pulled up to the house with my rusty Nissan Sentra. When the lady opened the door I was greeted with the ear piercing sound of children crying and playing. The lady had run a daycare out of her house. She led me to the backyard where her cat had given birth to six kittens eight weeks earlier. All but one of them were hiding under the porch. I looked around the backyard and in the tree to my right was a kitten staring at me with huge and stunning green eyes. I plucked her out of the tree like a ripe apple and cradled her in my arms. 

I don’t know what possessed my ex to be kind that day but he told me to pick out two healthy kittens to take home with me. The neighbor had mentioned there were only two girls so it was a no-brainer I would take the two sisters so they could grow up together. 

On the way home they cried and cried but thankfully I didn’t live too far away. When I walked in the door with them they immediately ran to the sliding glass backdoor and tried to escape. They were so scared and for two days they hid from me. I put out water and food and filled a litter box for them and checked it everyday. To my surprise, they were eating and drinking and using the litter box and there were no accidents in the house. I was grateful but wanted so much to cuddle and hold them in my arms. I remember the day I got my wish. 

It was a quiet afternoon and I planned on giving the girls a bath since their whole life had been lived outside up until I got them. They protested and disagreed heavily with the bath, but it needed to be done. After the baths were done I wrapped them in warm towels and dried them off and something magical happened. 

Olivia began to pur! I remember being so excited and relieved that they were starting to get comfortable with me. From that moment on we were inseparable. Our days consisted of cuddling and taking naps together, playing with toys, and sharing treats. I discovered they loved leafy greens like spinach and romaine lettuce. 

I’m so grateful for these girls. I believe without them I wouldn’t have had the strength to leave my abusive ex and start the life I wanted. Things got really bad toward the end because I think my ex knew I was planning on leaving. He would constantly threaten to hurt my girls if I left and I began to fear for my safety and there’s. 

The last straw came when I was coming home one day from closing at work. I was closing at a clothing store in town and all I wanted after a long day of hard work was a tall beer and some macaroni and cheese. My ex came to pick me up from work. I had let him borrow my car since his was no longer drivable (karma’s a bitch). The whole ride back he threw a fit because I wanted to stop at Kroger and get my well earned treat. I remember the anger boiling up in me and I snapped. 

I told him that I was tired of being with him and I wanted to be free. I left that night with my precious girls in my back seat and as much as I could store in my little Nissan and drove to my parent’s house. The whole night he kept blowing up my phone with voicemails that went from violent and aggressive to submissive and apologetic, but I wasn’t falling for his bullshit anymore. Leaving him was the best thing that I could have done for myself. 

Since then I’ve gotten two degrees from two different colleges, bought a new car, and have built the life I wanted. I stopped being the victim that day and I realized I had the strength in me all along. I made the promise to never put my darling fur children in a situation like that ever again. I also promised myself the same. 

When I met AJ I wasn’t looking for a forever boy, but I soon realized that’s what I was in for. He was the whole package and more. When we met I was down on my luck. I was living with a friend and planning on getting my own place but then Covid happened. I felt like a failure and my drinking had gotten to the point where I had a glass of wine or a beer with every meal no matter how early I had lunch. I drank when I was sad, bored, or happy. It seemed I could never get drunk enough. 

AJ helped me realize how unstable and unhappy I was. He held my hand and carried me through so much turmoil. He was there when my dad died. He was there when I bought my car and got my own apartment. He was there when I was feeling down on myself and he was there to celebrate my victories. I owe a lot to man because he made me realize how much power and worth I have inside myself. 

Our love bloomed and blossomed and as time went on we decided it would be wonderful to get a dog. AJ had a yellow labrador for fifteen years. Her name was Edy Boo Boo Butters and she was the best girl ever. We miss her a lot but AJ realized how much he needed a dog to help him stay responsible. He wanted something to take care of too. He loved Olivia and Jade as his own and by the way they treated him I would say his adoration was reciprocated. 

So one rainy day in Detroit we explored three shelters looking for the perfect dog. We came across lots of dogs but none of them had the qualities we wanted. He searched and searched the Detroit area and that’s when we found Bob the Maine Coon. 

In the front of the lobby of the shelter was a glass window where the kitties were displayed. The moment I saw Bob I fell in love. He was so beautiful and majestic. He had the thickest, fluffiest grey fur and he was super soft. I think I visited his cage a dozen times to squeal and fawn over him. AJ was hesitant at first, but after meeting him he knew he was smitten. He had always wanted a Maine Coon cat and his chance finally came that day. 

We went home with a bucket of treats, food and toys and loaded Bob into the car. He was pretty chill the whole ride and didn’t cry at all. When we got him home we were worried that the girls wouldn’t like him, but to our surprise they didn’t mind him. At first they were both standoffish and didn’t want to approach him, but they watched him from afar. 

Despite having three cats, AJ still wanted a dog so we reached out to a breeder and after a few weeks we had our little Herman! We drove the few hours it took to meet him and his siblings and finally met him and the breeders. They were the nicest people and we all shared a moment together before we traveled back home. They passed Herman around and gave me love and affection and said their goodbyes. 

Getting Herman was the best thing for us. I love my morning routine of snuggling between him and AJ and waking up to Bob mewing in my face asking for breakfast. Then we all wake up and get ready for the day. The house starts to wake up and coffee brews quietly in the kitchen. 

Family isn’t always blood. I’ve learned that family is what you create for yourself. Family is whatever makes you feel whole and loved, appreciated and wanted. Family makes your heart feel full. 

Take care, 

Maggie xo

By itsmaggie92

Hi I'm Maggie and I'm a 28 year old cat lady that loves writing and anything fun and adventurous.

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