Have you ever had a “simple” decision turn into an extended hunt for the perfect car/book/apartment/vacation/etc.?

I had this happen when I was looking for a unique item: a cat.

When asked “what are you looking for?” at adoption events, I said I wanted an affectionate teenage cat. Color, size, and gender didn’t matter at all.

My boyfriend and I went to a few events, but didn’t find “the one.” Another week of looking, then another. I would say “so cute!” to the gray kittens and move on to the cats, none of which were exactly right. 

After another long day of looking, my boyfriend thought he found the one. Jojo was sweet and affectionate, right in that teenage sweet spot. 

I wasn’t sold. 

“So sweet. But… not soft enough,” I said.

As we got back into the car without a cat once again, my boyfriend said, “you need to stop lying to these people.’


“If you want a fluffy gray cat, just say that.”

I had talked about how soft my very first cat was and how I thought gray kittens were the cutest. But I maintained I’d be happy with any cat. Maybe that wasn’t true…

People rarely question us so blatantly, but when they do, it can help us shift perspective quickly. My boyfriend’s direct assessment forced me to get real.

A search may become endless when you haven’t clearly and honestly defined what you want in the first place. 

I wanted to be the person who loved every cat equally. But deep down, I knew I had some preferences. 

Once I realized I was denying my true feelings, I could see my tells:

  • Spending extra time on simple tasks. There were a million cats available in Los Angeles. I was making the process harder.
  • Creating a mismatch between words and actions. I eyed gray kittens when I said I didn’t want one. 
  • Making excuses for good options. Jojo was a perfectly lovely cat–I created reasons why he wasn’t.  

The thing is, we’ll never find the “right” fit until we get honest about our underlying truth. You can’t find the gap until you identify the ideal you’re trying to match. 

Soon after my realization, we found a cat–two actually.

One is a sweet tuxedo boy (see, I’m not a monster!). The other…

She’s the fluffiest gray cat you’ve ever seen. 

To being better without denying what you really really want,