A year without Genie was harder than I could ever imagine. I knew we were very co-dependent, but the last few years I relied on the company of my beloved cat and best friend more to cope with “the treatments”. I still can’t really talk about this loss.

Finally in December I mentioned to my husband that I need a new companion that is just mine (I am selfish that way). However I wanted a grey cat – and definitely not a cat that reminded me of my Genie. I started looking at the photos loaded by the SPCA and Kitty & Puppy Haven and spotted the Russian Blues at Polokwane’s SPCA. (Not a deal breaker as I have family that side and would anyway like to see them.)

We went to the SPCA just after Christmas to look at the Russian Blues. They were beautiful, but I didn’t feel that any of them were the right cat for me. Then one of the caretakers walked past us with these miserable looking tiny black cats with grey backs. They were dwarfed in my hands and I just fell in love with the little boy. We immediately started the paperwork and booked our home inspection.

Then we got bad news…

The little black and grey cats were really ill – and the little boy was touch-and-go. They were quarantined for 2 weeks and nursed back to health by the fabulous staff at the SPCA. Bonus, they also kept me in the loop on his progress.

Two weeks after I fell in love with a tiny little kitten we finally could bring him home.

We drove down to Polokwane and scheduled the visit so I would see my dad before a hospital procedure. At the SPCA they joked and said they called him Sandton… and as we drove back to Jozi, hubby and I started joking about keeping the name as it would be quite unique.

On his homecoming day we also got a little gift from Hill’s Science Diet to make sure this little fighter recuperates. That was a lovely going home prezzie for the little cat.

Hills Science Diet for Cats

Yes, my cat is officially called Sandton – his records at my vet confirms it. Yes, I took Sandton for a check-up at my vet as his tummy wasn’t well and he wasn’t drinking any liquid. I bawled my eyes out at the vet as this is where my Genie passed, but I know that Paulshof Vet has really amazing staff. Grant, who treated Genie for 10 years, just had to hold my new little kitten.

Adjustment and integration

We already have 5 and 7 year old (female) cats and knew that there would be a period of hissing and fighting. Our 7 year old (very paranoid roadside rescue) cat Miss Mona started playing with Sandton on day 2. Miss Penny, whom we adopted from Kitty & Puppy Haven, was the angriest about the addition. She has started playing with him too.

Lexa, the kid, thinks Sandton is her new friend and they play together quite a bit. She even kisses him on the forehead – just like I do.

Sandton shares his time with everyone, but at the end of the day he spends more time with me. He is a real charmer and I have fallen in love with this little SPCA cat.

What you need to know about adopting from the SPCA

  • Adoption fee was R450 in Polokwane, but my cat was chipped for free and if I had stayed there I would’ve had his second vaccination and sterilisation for free as well. He got his first vaccination there for free.
  • Inspection – before you can actually adopt a pet from the SPCA they will be sending out one of their inspectors to check your house. They will make sure that you have a pet-friendly home, place for food and water – and a place to sleep for your new pet. Obviously, they also check you and your people.
  • If you live in a residential estate, they also want a letter from your estate manager giving permission for the adoption. I had to get special permission as we actually have a 2 pet limit, but my circumstances are quite unique… I am at home all the time plus I begged and I think the estate manager realised that I really needed this.
  • Since I took the cat outside of the Polokwane SPCA area I had to sign a contract that I would have my cat sterilised and vaccinated. Fortunately for them, I take my cats to the vet more than my own doctor sees me. Sandton is in good hands.

This is just me, but if you adopt a pet from a shelter – you will have a friend for life.


Susann is a travel, parenting, beauty and lifestyle blogger in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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