I didn't pick Sam. I heard about him, he was being fostered at a kennel, and needed a home, so I said, bring him over, I'll give him a try. The girl opened the carrier, and he slunk out, and ran up the stairs. Then he rolled and rolled on the carpet, stretching and rubbing. Later we found out that he had been a family pet, given up for adoption, and had refused to leave his cage for the three months he was at the kennel. He must have been so happy to see a house again, and have carpet to roll around on.
I found Bailey at PetsMart. I already knew that I wanted an adult cat, female, and not too agressive. I also was more interested in a long hair cat, because they are not as popular to adopt, apparently, and my life was already full of cat hair, so what difference could it make.
I had been looking for months. There were several lovely cats at the store that day, but it was Bailey who caught my eye, because she was just sitting and watching, not running up to the front and asking for attention. (I knew that Sam would need a friend who was not too pushy). Then I read her story - she had been found a stray, pregnant, and her kittens had finally all been placed, so, as they put it, it was time for mommy cat to find a home. They took her out of the cage, she wrapped her paws around my neck, snuggled her head under my chin, and purred so loud she vibrated. And I took her home the next day.
Oh, and this was the day after my mother's funeral. I had told mom that I wanted a second cat, and she looked at me and said, nobody better be looking after cats instead of me! So I think that mom was letting me know that it was ok to get another baby now.