Maria Dominguez never had a cat before an unexpected visitor showed up at her door several years ago. Here, the manager of Kemp Memorial Library shares the story of how she adopted her first cat:

She was a frequent visitor to my first apartment in Florida. I’d seen her often roaming throughout the complex, a cat living seemingly on her own. Then, she was gone.

Weeks later, early on a Sunday morning, there was a meow cry at my door. That cat, a thin gray tabby, had returned. She rushed into my apartment. It was immediately obvious that she needed veterinary care. I figured out that she actually had an owner, but that person told me the cat was fine and I could take her. That person’s neglect of the cat was very frustrating to me, but I couldn’t dwell on that. The reality was the cat was in terrible, life-threatening physical shape.

Since I grew up with a dog, I never considered myself a “cat person.”  But, that weekend nearly 20 years ago would make me one. I took the cat to the vet and, over the course of several days, she was saved.

I named her Ellie. Taking in a pet is a major commitment. For me, caring for and living with Ellie meant turning to the library for assistance. This was in 1995, pre-Internet days, so I armed myself with every cat book I could find at my library. My first challenge was how to make an outdoor cat an indoor one. I found that answer in a book.

EllieAndTina
Ellie and Tina

My second challenge came a few months later when I adopted Tina, a beautiful tuxedo kitten, as a playmate for the now indoor healthy and happy Ellie. Tina was fine for awhile, but did you know female cats can spray? Surprise!  I sure didn’t. Back to the books, and I learned why cats spray and how to deter the behavior. Unfortunately, I had to replace the carpeting, but that’s another expensive story.

The point is that the library has always been my “go to” place for information, and even with the changes in technology over the years, libraries are still information factories. If you and your family are of thinking of adopting a new Fluffy, the library is a great place to start.

MangoCat
Mango

There are numerous books for children and adults on all kinds of pets – furry, feathered or scaly – available through the Cobb County Public Library System, along with online databases that can help with your search. There are even databases for kids so they can learn about animals and other subjects that interest them.

As a children’s librarian for many years, I know kids truly enjoy the pet section. I loved it when a child came in, all excited because he was getting ready to adopt a new puppy and wanted to learn how to care for it.

As any pet owner knows, keeping a pet is a constant adventure. No matter how much you think you know there is always so much more to learn.

SashaAndBaby
Sasha, left, and Baby

I’ll never forget the woman who came into the library at which I worked in Florida with a totally chewed up book.  She told us her dog took it off the shelf and pretty much destroyed it. Name of the book?  Dog Training for Dummies.

– Maria Dominguez

Maria Dominguez now has three cats, a male named Mango, a female named Sasha and her daughter Baby. The beloved felines from Florida lived long lives. Tina was 16 when she passed away in 2011. Ellie was 19 when she died in March of this year.

The Cobb County Animal Control FURever Fest! is Saturday, October 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 1060 Al Bishop Drive SW, Marietta. The event will feature special adoption rates, vendors, police K-9 demonstrations, food, prizes and more. For more information, please call Billy Mayfield at (770) 590-5614 or visit www.cobbanimalcontrol.org or www.facebook.com/CobbAC.

‘I Never Considered Myself a Cat Person’
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