Meet Lauren & Emma!

After yesterday’s heavy post, I’m excited to bring you a guest post today that is very uplifting! Lauren from the blog Lauren Runs is going to share the story of how she adopted her cat, Emma, from PAWS Chicago! After reading her post I am even more excited to be running Chicago this year as part of Team Paws!

Hi everyone!   I’m honored that Kristina asked me to share my PAWS adoption story on her blog today.  If you know me from my blog Lauren Runs, I’ve had my fur baby Emma for just over two years now.  What you may not know is how we got to know Emma, which was through the PAWS Foster program.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 8.18.17 PM

I’d had a friend who fostered kittens (whole litters) and I thought it was such as cool concept! I kind of made up reasons to go over to her place to play with the kitties, who were usually too young to adopt.  I had cats when I was a kid, but nothing at this point in my adult life.  She encouraged me to get into fostering.

At the time, my fiancé (now husband) was starting to travel quite a bit for work, and I was feeling a little lonely at home.  Since the hubs was allergic to cats, I wanted to be thoughtful to him.  We’d done some research and learned that cat allergies are to the dander plus fur, and unique to each cat, like a fingerprint.  So we tried fostering.

We fostered one cat who was a bit rambunctious (let’s just say that he definitely had not been neutered yet… he kept humping my arm!).  Another kitten who was super cute, but Mike was incredibly allergic to.  He came home from a work trip and actually asked to go out to dinner within half an hour of getting home because he was so sneezy already!

There were a few others, but then in November 2012, when Mike was going to be gone over my birthday, I decided to foster another kitten to keep me and my delivery pizza company :).  And that cat was Emma.  She was incredibly friendly and Mike didn’t seem to react to her.  She was it! We decided to adopt her.

When we told the foster program, they told us that they needed her back to finish her vaccinations and spaying.  We “returned her” and then were instructed to pick her up 3 days later at the PAWS Adoption Shelter.  I went right at the time they said that they would put her out, as I was concerned maybe she’d get scooped up too quickly!

We brought her home, and then she was ours! We’ve had a great couple years so far cuddling and playing together, uncovering more of her quirks and behaviors, and how she’s grown from a kitten into cat.

I’m grateful that PAWS is such an awesome organization and is based here in Chicago. I didn’t really have to make any specific decisions on where to look for a cat, as PAWS is the most visible adoption agency here in the city. But the more I learned as time went on about the organization, the more I learned how special they are, that they take in animals from “kill” shelters and guarantee that they are a no-kill facility.

Kristina, I hope this gives you a little more purpose for your next tempo or long run – just think about Emma!  And of course, thanks for letting me take over your space today!

If you have a minute, head over to Lauren Runs and check out my adventures in triathlon and running. You can also find me on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram! Looking forward to “meeting” you soon! And, if you have any questions about running or triathlon training feel free to email me at

If you have a pet, where did you adopt from? Was it love at first sight? 



  1. February 25, 2015 / 7:19 am

    What a sweet story. My dog from childhood/adolescence was adopted from the SPCA. I will definitely be looking into adopting my next pet when the time comes for me to expand my furry family.

    • February 25, 2015 / 10:47 pm

      That’s so great! My mom adopted her cat from the SPCA and she said when she saw him it was love at first sight, haha.

  2. February 25, 2015 / 10:30 am

    This is so sweet! Nice to see you here, Lauren. Your kitty is adorable.

    My family adopted a cat when I was in high school from the local humane society. We were not cat people prior to this (heck, we weren’t even really pet people) but let’s just say that Tessa changed our lives. My mom and I are total cat ladies and Tessa even got my stepdad cooing over her. My mom is convinced that our kitty was the runt of the litter and proceeds to treat her like she’s a queen 🙂

    • February 25, 2015 / 10:49 pm

      Awwww that’s so sweet! Adam was not a cat person AT ALL when I met him, but now he’s such a good cat dad (he would kill me if he knew I was typing that out on the Internet, haha)! He really is though!

      Cecil was the run of his litter and was just the cutest little thing I had ever seen! 🙂

      • February 26, 2015 / 9:57 am

        LOL!!! That’s hilarious. Did you already have Cecil when you met Adam? (Trying to figure out how to convince Zach that cats are the best.)

        • February 26, 2015 / 12:38 pm

          Nope! Adam and I started dating in 2004 and we adopted Cecil in 2007.

          When I moved in with Adam in 2006 I asked him if I could bring my cat Leo down to live with us (my parents were taking care of him while I was in college). Leo was in the end stages of renal failure and I really wanted to get to spend more time with him. Adam said yes and Leo came down to stay with us for a few months before he passed. Leo was the key to getting Adam to change his mind. He would always go lay on top of Adam and spend time with him.

          Even so, Adam viewed that as a special circumstance and when I said I wanted to adopt Cecil Adam was against it. It took a while but he eventually agreed but said that it would be my cat and he wouldn’t help with him at all. Well that all changed once Cecil came home! I mean, how could you not love a little 2lb furball! They are best friends now 🙂

  3. February 25, 2015 / 11:09 am

    Thanks for sharing! This is a really sweet story.

    • February 25, 2015 / 10:50 pm

      Doesn’t Emma sound like the perfect pizza partner? I think I would have needed to keep her too!

  4. February 25, 2015 / 1:12 pm

    I love this – so awesome that you were able to find a kitten that your husband wasn’t allergic to through such a great organization!!
    I’m excited to check out your blog, Lauren!

    • February 25, 2015 / 10:52 pm

      I didn’t know that you could be allergic to one cat and not others. I’m glad Lauren shared that!

      I have a really bad cat dander allergy that I manage. My doctor always says, “well since you’re not going to get rid of Cecil, let’s try this…” 🙂

  5. February 25, 2015 / 5:09 pm

    Thanks for doing the blog swap! I think this is really cool — and best of luck in your Marathon training this summer and 5K training this spring! 🙂