For me and my partner, Ashley, one seemed like enough.

The one we had was loud, he'd cry whenever we left the room, we'd have to pick up after him, he'd cry if he wasn't fed on time, he'd try to climb on everything, but we still loved him anyway.

Eventually we fell into the conversation all young couples find themselves in, we wanted a second.

I am, of course, talking about cats.

My description of our first cat, Zeus, probably makes him sound like a real miscreant, but honestly, he's probably one of the tamest cats I've ever met.

He's (mostly) quiet, he loves being picked up and held, he loves attention and he really loves cuddling up next to us in bed.

There's a stereotype in the cat-owner community that your first cat is always a lovebug and well-behaved and they're in your life specifically to plant the idea in your head that a second cat would be just as kind and loving and well-behaved.

Most of the time, that's a fairytale.

Even knowing that, Ashley and I fell into the second cat trap. We wanted a little buddy for our little buddy, so we kept an eye on the Marion County Humane Society's listings for a cat we thought would suit us.

We had a few qualities that were musts — we wanted an older cat, we wanted to adopt locally and any cat candidates had to play well with other cats.

Several notable cats crossed our search — a elderly cat named Vinny nearly made us fall in love, but we didn't think we were ready quite yet and he found another loving home.

We stopped searching for about a year and on a whim decided to look at the society right around Christmas time.

That was when we found Olive.

Out of all the cats at the Humane Society, Olive had nearly been there the longest. She was one of around six cats that were brought into the shelter after their previous owners passed away. She was the last of the bunch that needed a home.

Her photos on the webpage were adorable, she checked all our boxes, so we scheduled a visit to meet her.

Let me say, Olive takes the term scaredy cat to the next level. This poor girl was glued to the inside of this little hut bed with her own personal food bowl.

She was in the "cat room" where the friendly cats all live in an open area, free to roam, but it was obvious she was not very trusting. I was hesitant, and the staff at the humane society said that her demeanor is the reason she hasn't found a home.

I was having second thoughts, but Ashley was determined. She reached in to pet Olive and there was a switch that flipped like a totally different cat was sitting in that bed.

As soon as I saw that, I knew we were the family Olive needed.

We took her home and the society was kind enough to give us Olive's favorite bed. It took her a few days to warm up to the place and to warm up to Zeus, but they're getting along well now.

She's not perfect though. She begs for human food like a dog, she tracks litter all over the house, she plays in the water bowl, but we love her all the same.

She still runs and hides when someone walks in the room, she's still skittish and scared, but when I lay down on the living room couch and she climbs up on the back, she's ready to be loved.

Olive is our second cat and we're her second home. When she sniffs my hand and lets me pet her, I think she understands how special that is.

Reach David Kirk at 304-367-2522 or by email at

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