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"Sirius came to live with me under nothing less than sheer providence. The sequence of events leading up to it was more or less one giant coincidence after another. I firmly believe that he was meant to be my companion from the moment he was born, and it just took a stranger path than usual for him to arrive in my arms.

When I moved to Erie, I moved into a rather large apartment. While the place is quite big, I live here alone, and so I got lonely rather quickly. Having a love for cats, and receiving some great advice from a future old cat lady friend of mine, I decided to adopt a Maine Coon. I really liked the way they looked, their size, and their general demeanor. I was patient for months, but finally the local humane society picked up a cast off fellow they'd given the moniker "Xander" to. I adopted him at once, and gave him his current much better name, Regulus. The name comes from the heart star of the constellation Leo. Regulus looks just like a little lion what with his mane and chest ruff, and so "Lionheart" seemed apt.

Regulus is an amazing cat. He's friendly, loving, and an all around great feline. Though, I had to admit, when i'd return home from being at class all day, I felt as if he'd been lonely. He'd come to the door and more or less spring into my arms, so happy that he hadn't been abandoned again.I decided that he needed a companion, and wanting to keep with my astral naming scheme, I decided I would name his future adoptive brother Sirius. I was searching the internet high and low to see what cats named Sirius looked like. I wanted the name to match the cat, as being the brightest and most brilliant star in the night sky, he better be a shining example of cat-dom. While browsing the online listings for cats all over the United States named Sirius, I happened across a photo of the most bizarre looking cat I'd ever seen. Truly orange, with black stripes and a sheen up and down his coat.

This cat was listed in Indiana, much too far away for me to adopt him. He would never have showed up on my local searches due to his region, but popped up in the search listings due to my having used his name. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the cat was being fostered in East Springfield PA. I had no idea where that was, but you can be sure I was Google mapping it seconds later. Upon realizing it was within 30 minutes of Erie, I picked up my phone and pretty much called the number listed for him instantly. I spoke to Janet Saltzman, and found out that other people had been inquiring about him as well, some willing to even cross the entire US to get there. She encouraged me to fill out an application, which I did.

Along with the application, I included a photo of Regulus's cat tree. Upon seeing the monstrosity I constructed in my kitchen for Regulus, I think I convinced Janet of how much he'd be loved. Sirius had a pretty hard life up to this point. He'd been bred by a breeder who had fallen on hard economic times. The breeder abandoned his house, leaving the cats inside to fend for themselves. In order to not starve, they would go outside to hunt, and the neighbors eventually spotted these feral cats going in and out of this house.Sirius was rescued and transferred up to his foster home in East Springfield. This is where I first met him. Sirius was a skittish cat. Until they'd been separated, one of the other cats in the foster home pretty much terrorized him. His whiskers were all nipped up, his ears were nicked, he was pretty banged up. He did not like to be touched, and if you could manage to capture him, would shudder at human contact. He yowled for days upon getting him home, hiding in the farthest reaches of the house.

For months he would remain skittish, if you approached him, he would run away terrified. If you followed and placed your hand on him, he would spasm in fear and cry. Occasionally, when hungry or possibly lonely, he would come out and demand attention. After a few moments of petting though, he would again escape off into some hidey hole.

I kept at it with Sirius, both trying to love him as best as I could, and acclimate him to his foster brother Regulus, who at first took with a degree of strained tolerance. I tried everything, feliway, co feeding/playtimes and countless tricks to both tame a cat and introduce a cat to a new household. I don't want to say nothing worked, but rather everything worked a tiny bit. A gradual change came over Sirius, he got along better with Regulus, and he was less fearful of me and any guests I had over.

This sort of improvement continued every month, with Sirius becoming more playful. Regulus loves his laser pointer, and Sirius has always ignored the dot as if it didn't exist. It wasn't until January, four months after having adopted him that he began to play with it. The two boys now are best friends. Currently they are curled up on my bed, spooning with each other.Sirius sleeps with me every night. Just this morning I woke up with Sirius cuddled up between my chest and my arm. When I get home from class he cries and cries until I pick him up and give him at least a 20 minute petting session. He's gone from being nearly totally feral to a loving lap cat that greets strangers who visit my home warmly.

Some people would tell you that with enough love and attention, even the most mentally scarred rescue cats can be warmed up and become loving. A cat which hid, cried, and shuddered at a human's touch has completely transformed into a loving, face rubbing, and toilet using wondercat.

Adopting my boys from rescue organizations like the humane society and Great Lakes Bengal Rescue has made me happy in multiple ways. Not only do I have two of the most loving and awesome cats anyone could ask for, those cats came into my life from places where they would have otherwise died, been euthanized, or been treated badly. Thanks to Great Lakes Bengal Rescue, I wake up every morning with a little loving leopard spooning up to me. I couldn't be happier with my decision, and I hope that from reading the story of Sirius you too will decide to rescue one of these truly beautiful and amazing animals."