Are you a pet lover living in Korea? Are you thinking about adopting a pet here? Then check out my story “How we Adopted our Pets in Korea” as we tell you about how both Rudolph and Lulu joined our little family here in Daejeon.
Our Little Furry Family
As many of you may already know from my past articles, my husband and I brought our two furry children with us when we first came to Korea. Lucy was a rescue from an animal shelter in Summerville, SC, and Tigger was a stray cat that had been abandoned near our house by his previous owner, but had stolen the heart of the entire neighborhood.
We adopted Lucy when she was a puppy to keep our older dog Benny company in his later years. She has been an amazing addition to our family and I don’t know what I would do without her.
Tigger came a bit later when we moved to a new house and we learned about his story from a couple of our neighbors. It began with letting him come inside during bad weather and then one day he just decided to stay.
Tigger was the first animal that I had the privilege of saving and while it can be hard when you adopt an older animal that has lived in the street for awhile, it is definitely rewarding as well. It was this rewarding feeling that led to my adoption of our first Korean cat Rudolph!!!
The Story of Rudolph the Christmas Cat
We first met Rudolph while taking our daughter (Puppy) Lucy for her morning walk. It was late in the Fall and my goofy husband was already singing Christmas Carols and not very well I might add… hehehe… sorry honey…
Anyway, as we were walking, I swore that I heard a baby crying… at first it was hard to tell because my husband wouldn’t stop singing (I use the term loosely)… so I yelled at him to STOPPPPP… and eventually he listened…
There it was again, but this time I could hear that it wasn’t a baby but a cat meowing… it was obviously in a lot of pain and sounded truly miserable.
As I followed the cries, we saw this little ball of fur shivering and meowing in a parking spot near our neighborhood store… he was in rough shape. Because we already had a couple of pets and our apartment is pretty small, my husband suggested that I buy some wet food and see if it helps.
Unfortunately, Rudolph was in no shape to eat and appeared to be injured as well. Every time he stood up to walk he just went in a circle and fell back down… well that was all I could take and I picked his little furry body up and told my husband in no uncertain terms that this cat needed a vet.
Being new to the area, we had not yet found a good animal doctor but I had heard about an older gentlemen with a shop just down the street so we tried there. The doctor was amazing and has become our new family vet.
At the Vets Office
The man was absolutely amazing and really cared about this poor little kitten. He did not care that it was a stray an went above and beyond to help us nurse the animal back to health. For a while, it was touch and go and the vet was not sure our little hero was going to make it.
But after a few visits and some great pet doctoring, Rudolph eventually got better though he still has breathing issues to this day. It turns out that Rudolph had not been injured at all, he just got sick and dehydrated and for a new Kitten, this can be deadly.
Thankfully we found him in time and with the help of the good doctor he has joined our little family and stolen our hearts.
Our Ever Expanding Family
While Rudolph stole our hearts, I am not sure that was the case for our other two children Lucy and Tigger. In fact, I am pretty sure that Tigger hated Rudolph and actually started to withdraw from the family a bit as well.
Lucy took it a little better, but as Rudolph grew bigger and stronger, he really began to show his street cat heritage, even challenging Lucy if she was on a floor without any carpets. It was strange to see such a little Kitty start to take over an entire house like that.
A New Friend
Well with all of this going on, I still had to take Lucy for her daily walks and one day, a few months later, I again heard the small meow of a cat in trouble. As I looked around to figure out where that little voice was coming from, it was actually my daughter (Puppy) Lucy that figured it out first.
While I was looking all over the place, Lucy was sniffing at a door frame of a local business and sure enough, that was where the sound was coming from. No, not near the door frame, but actually inside of it. It appears she had fallen from the roof into the frame. Luckily, a handy man was walking by and helped me to rescue this new poor kitty.
I carried it home and placed it in a box with some food and water but left it outside in the hall. I knew if I brought another stray cat home my husband would kill me… and not just with his bad singing…
So instead, I called around to all of my friends and proceeded to try and find a home. To my surprise, when my husband came home he wanted to bring the new kitty inside. I knew we had a couple of people interested and that made my husband a little less worried I guess.
Well, once inside, the little kitten began to play with Lucy and Rudolph. Tigger was still a little hesitant, but the others quickly accepted this new comer. I honestly believe that my husband was thinking about adopting this strange little creature himself when I received a phone call from a friend who agreed to give the kitty a home.
When he finally picked the kitten up, Rudolph was heart broken. He moped around for several days and really seemed depressed. Even my husband commented about how Rudolph seemed to miss the little kitten.
Luna the Shooting Star
A few weeks later, my husband truly surprised me by saying we need to adopt a kitten so Rudolph has a friend to play with. What about Tigger you say? Well Tigger is getting old and while we are not sure exactly how old he is, he suffered a lot of abuse while he was living out on the streets. and he really is in no mood to play with Rudolph.
It was actually for this reason that my husband wanted another cat. He figured if Rudolph had someone to play with, he would bother Tigger less. So, after a few days, we talked to a couple of vets, and we chose a pet store with a good reputation.
It turned out the pet store was actually cheaper than some of the others as well. When looking for a cat, the store owner took out a tan, grey and white cat and handed it to me but my husband and I continued to look. After about the 4th or 5th cat, my husband commented about how calm the little girl kitty was.
Buying a girl cat was on the top of the my husbands list if priorities as 3 boy cats may end up causing even more problems than they would solve. It turned out that he was right and we found that out when we ended up adopting the little bugger.
We named her Luna and she was exactly what our house of strays needed. A little lady to keep all of the rest of them in line. The whole house immediately fell in love. For Tigger, Luna was a godsend, she kept Rudolph busy but still found time to hang out with him.
Rudolph was a little aggressive at first because he had not been fixed yet and as I said earlier, his street cat came out more and more as he got older. But even he was captivated by Luna, they were best buddies and Rudolph constantly tried to pick her up and carry her wherever he went.
Luna was good and simply accepted it for the most part, but when it bothered her she would just run to Tigger who never tried to boss her around. Even Lucy loved her and tried to play with her. She was so protective and really liked having another girl in the house.
Sadly, though all of the kids loved her, one day Luna got really sick, in the afternoon she was fine but by morning she had passed away. The vet said it was likely some kind of infection. Whatever the cause, this one really hurt and even writing this makes me a little sad.
It was even worse for the fur kids as they had all grown so attached to her, For days they would go to where she died and meow or just mope around. We vowed that we would eventually replace her, but the time just never seemed to be right.
Like a shooting star, she brought brightness to our lives but also went away way too soon.
Lulu the Lemon
Eventually the heart ache of Luna began to fade and once again my husband surprised me by saying it was time. One day we just went back to the pet store where we bought Luna and looked to see if their was another like her.
This time, there were two kittens that looked like her but only one was a girl, I am pretty sure my husband fell in love immediately because no matter how many cats we looked at, he kept coming back to her. He said she is so calm… just like Luna…
After awhile I realized that he was hooked and we brought this new member of our little family home. We called her Lulu and she was indeed calm, but as it turned out, also sick. While we took her to the vet the first day we bought her… the vet said she was fine… within a couple of days she was sneezing and shaking and breathing really weird.
It scared me so much, I called my husband at work and we ended up rushing her right to the vet Thank goodness, because it was touch and go again, a second new kitty and yet another bad infection. I don’t think I slept well for that entire first month… I was so worried!!!
Once she began to feel better though, it was apparent that this kitty was her own cat. While she was still a little lady, she was also tough and when Rudolph tried to bother her she quickly learned to show him who the boss was going to be.
Rudolph was fixed now, but still had a street cat left in him, and really thought he was going to be the new boss. Unfortunately for him, Lulu had other ideas. She quickly took over the whole house and even Lucy seemed to listen to her.
The good thing was she was a nice leader, she always spent time with everyone and really made Tigger feel welcome. To this day, she does not sleep with us at night, but instead stays near Tigger to make sure he doesn’t feel left out.
She really has completed our little family.
The Problem with Boys and Strays
So I hope you enjoyed hearing about how our little family came together. I know some of you are probably disappointed that we ended up purchasing a cat with all the homeless cats around the area. I know I was as well… but my husband had a point…
Sometimes a house full of Boys or a House full of strays needs a Girl from a nice neighborhood to remind them what good manners are about. As it turns out, that is what our little Lulu has done.
She can be tough as nails, but no matter how much she fights with the boy’s she never forgets she is a lady and purposely avoids using her claws or being tooaggressive when fighting with them. Even Lucy doesn’t mind Lulu, and when she does try to chase her Lulu just kind of tries to rub up against her and she settles right down. The little Kitty has No Fear!!!
For us this was subtraction by addition, though our house was already crowded with all of the pets, adding one more created one family instead of 3 separate kids.
I hope you enjoyed my article and I hope you consider adopting a stray animal yourself. For us, they have completely changed our lives. Yes, it can be hard, but there is nothing like the unconditional love you feel from them. To read more about living with cats, check out this great article “REGARDING CATS AS PETS…” from our friend at “DOGPADDLING THROUGH LIFE”
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