After a move last summer, Susan Wilson intended to adopt a kitten as soon as she was settled into her new place. However, as she says, “The COVID-19 pandemic helped me prepare for it a lot sooner than I expected!”
Enter Merlin. The little orange-and-white cat was the only kitten available when Wilson was looking to adopt at the end of April 2020. “We bonded with each other as soon as I saw him,” she recalls.
Little Merlin was not in good shape when he was brought into the branch in early March by a kind citizen. He was experiencing seizures and needed to stay with the veterinarian for monitoring. However, a couple days into his stay with the local clinic, and his seizures stopped. After some TLC from foster volunteers, he was strong enough for adoption.
“I was sure I wanted him regardless of the possible medical issues, so I adopted him,” says Wilson who adds that Merlin is now “thriving” and living without seizures.
Prior to adopting Merlin, Wilson says she was all alone for six weeks. “I live alone and the driveway visits I had been having with other people weren’t very long due to the weather. When I got Merlin, he was the first living thing I had touched for almost two months. He sure felt good!”
Now with Merlin by her side, life feels “great” to Wilson despite this year’s holidays looking a lot different than seasons past.
“Due to COVID-19, my Christmas will be quiet,” she says. “Merlin’s company to me at Christmas is special because I love him so much and I know that he loves me too.” Wilson says the friends in her bubble have also embraced Merlin. “He loves to play with his uncle and get scratches from grandma. It’s going to be nice to have another loved one around at Christmas, but also every day. Merlin’s company is important to me any day of the year. He’s my family.”
Wilson is looking forward to seeing what her furry friend thinks about the Christmas tree. “I’m sure he’s going to find a decoration or two to play with,” she says. “My tree will have cat-friendly ornaments for him just in case. I already have a stocking for Merlin too. I’m pretty sure Santa will stuff it for him. Everyone gets a gift at Christmas, and Merlin is no exception!”
As for whether she would recommend adopting a pet during the pandemic, Wilson says yes “but only if you know that your pet is going to continue to get love and care no matter the circumstances. Don’t get a pet unless you have the time and are ready to treat them like the other members of your family.”
Wilson says she feel very blessed to be Merlin’s guardian. “The love and friendship that Merlin gives me makes my life much better,” she says. “The future looks good.”
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