This is Ripley. He’s the first cat my wife and I got together after her previous cat Rover passed away.
We got Ripley—and all the cats to follow—from the Orphans of the Storm animal shelter about 10 miles north of Chicago. Orphans has some of the cats and all the kittens displayed in a bunch of little cages, like at a pet store. In addition, they have a couple of rooms in which adult cats are allowed to just wander around by themselves. It’s kind of like the difference between segregation and population in a prison. We got Ripley out of population when he was a 1-year old.
We decided to get an adult cat for a couple of reasons. In part, of course, it’s just kind of sad to see all those cats languishing in there because most people prefer to get kittens. Our main reason for getting an adult cat, however, is that what you see is what you get. The cat has all his shots and has survived whatever diseases cats can get. His coat has grown in in full color.
Most importantly, the cat’s personality is fully developed. You might start out with a playful kitten, but she could grow up into a skittish and unpleasant cat. Some of this is under your control, of course. You can pick a cat from a breed that is genetically predisposed to have a good personality, and you can shape a kitten’s personality quite a bit as it matures. Many kittens grow up to be very nice cats. But if you adopt an adult cat, you can make sure it’s already a very nice cat.
We did that with Ripley. We sat down in the adult cat room and paid attention to which cats came over to play with us. We also watched how the visiting cats got along with other cats: We knew we’d eventually get at least one more cat, and we wanted this one to socialize well.
Cat D51 (back then Orphans didn’t name them) came over to both of us several times and climbed right up into our laps. He responded to attention and purred and didn’t pick fights with the other cats. He had an eye infection and having been through one sick cat already we weren’t sure we wanted to risk another. We decided to take a chance and bring him home with us. After a bit of deliberation, we named him Ripley, after Sigourney Weaver’s character in Aliens. (Yes, he’s named after a woman. He’s also been neutered, so we figure his name is the least of his gender identity problems.)
Have another picture: