Applications, Boards and Home Inspections


Okay, this isn't really about milspouse issues, but here goes. Three months ago, my husband and I lost our dog to canine lymphoma. Two weeks ago, we lost our cat of 16 years. I had her longer than I've been married. Animals are great companions for anyone, but I think they were placed on this earth especially for milspouses. Our pets have seen me through countless TDYs, two deployments and everything in between. 

We can never replace our lost pets, but I've had animals all my life and I can't function without them. I found out that my local pet store was having "adoption day" last Saturday, so off I went to see if I could find a pet. I did, very quickly. A beautiful cat whose name is Max.

After spending quite a bit of time with Max, I called my husband to discuss my findings. He had been to the pet store with me earlier because we wanted this to be a family affair, but the pets were not at the store when we arrived. My husband had to go into the office for a while, so he told me to go back to the store and see if I found a pet that I wanted (and only one, he clarified), he trusted my judgment. After we agreed on Max, I told the lady in charge of adoptions, who I deemed the "adoption mistress," that I wanted to adopt Max.

Great, he's a lovable cat, very affectionate.

Yes, I see.

Okay, well, we need to have you fill out a pre-application which will be reviewed by one of our board members. If it's approved, you will then be interviewed by a board member. If that's approved, you will then be interviewed by the full board. If that's approved, we will conduct a home visit and if you pass, he is yours.

Gulp. This is going to take a few days. "Okay, I said - let's get started."

I fill out the application and hand it over. While it was being reviewed, I ducked down the pet food aisle and called my husband.

I'm nervous.


I went on to relay the complicated process of adopting a cat.

What if they don't like something I wrote on the application? I had to be honest on one question and they might not like it.

It'll be fine.

The interview began shortly thereafter and I felt like I was applying for a top-secret security clearance. I really couldn't tell what the adoption mistress was thinking, but I did "demonstrate an ability to take care of my pets and hold onto them" since my dog had been 13 when he died and my cat was 16. A few points. I was then told me to hang around for the board members who would be there shortly.

Meanwhile, I ducked back in the pet food aisle and called my husband back.

Interview is over, waiting for the full board. They should arrive shortly. I have no idea how it went, but I think I did well. They're going to call our vet to be sure we've taken care of our pets and Dr. D will certainly attest to that. Round three should begin soon. Waiting on the board members.

I think my husband was snickering, but I'm not sure.

Calm down, it'll be fine.

It wasn't on the application, but what if they ask if we're military and how often we move? They're not going to like that.

It'll be fine.

Board members arrived. I saw them. I was spying on them from the toy aisle, sizing them up. I head back to Max's cage and ask one of the workers to open it again so I can pet him. Plus, another couple was hoovering over him and I wanted them to know he was off-limits and already spoken for. 

Adoption mistress approaches and I try to appear relaxed.

The board reviewed your pre-app and I told them about our interview. Congratulations, he's yours pending the home visit.

Wow - no interview by the full board. One step eliminated. I begin to relax.

When would you like to do the home visit?

Give me a minute and I'll follow you home.

Oh, now?

Yes, you can keep Max if the home visit goes well. I'll bring him with me.

Now I'm nervous about the home visit. Is there anything there they won't like?

We pull out of the parking lot, adoption mistress and Max behind me. I low-dial my husband and put him on speaker phone so adoption mistress can't tell I'm talking while driving, lest she think I might be distracted while driving Max to/from the vet in the future.

Hey. They're behind me now, we're going to the house. Oops, I started to run the yellow light, but had to brake suddenly. Hope she didn't notice.

More snickering, I'm sure of it.

Okay, do we get him today?

Yes, if it goes well.

It will.

Thank goodness the toilet is out of the kitchen.

Exactly what I was thinking.

The toilet had just been moved a few hours before and yes, I know I still owe you that story.

We arrive at the house. Adoption mistress and Max walk in. First thing she sees on my foyer table is a photo of my dog and cat.

Oh, yes, those were my babies.

Clearly, adoption mistress is impressed.

Very nice.

Picks up frame and studies the photo. Points, I'm racking up points right away. Adoption mistress inspects every floor of the house and found no torture mechanisms. She appeared satisfied and turned Max over to his new mother.

I thank the adoption mistress, close the door behind her and sign heavily. I call my husband.

We passed inspection, he's ours.

Max acts like he's been here for years and I now know I'm qualified to carry the nuclear codes around for the President.

What a day!

Meet Max.   


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