Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Rescue

by Cathy Anderson Corn

We'd been frequenting our local Petsmart store for months, visiting the cats in cages for adoption. I'd been studying these cats at least twice a week, peering in and playing with them, so that I knew their names and stories.

January a year ago, our Maine Coon cat named Anna passed away at home after a six week mystery illness. Just before that, she'd gone blind and all my love,devotion, and care couldn't bring her back. We made her comfortable and tried to let go. Letting go is not my strong point, so after she left us we searched the cat adoption places looking for a cat like our Anna.

A few of the inmates even looked a lot like Anna, but it wasn't the same, so we just kept searching. The cats benefitted from the hole in our hearts; my husband Alan is a wizard at playing with them using a feather wand. They perked up and came alive with his games.

Then one day last June before work, I walked our dog Gypsy behind our townhouses. A four-year-old neighbor girl, Amanda, yelled at me from the woods abutting our yards.

"Look! I found a cat!" she called. It looked like a small brown tabby, and the girl's mother said it had just appeared, and that she didn't want it with her two small children. I moved on and stared from afar, and then went to work.

That night, in the darkness, Gypsy and I cruised by the spot again, and I called for the kitten, with not even a rustle from the woods.

The next morning, I looked for the cat and called. This time the little bundle of energy shot out of the woods and hurtled toward me. She was very small and thin, this brown tabby with the beautiful green eyes and an open sore the size of a dime on her tail.

The wound gave me a sense of urgency. As she purred and rubbed me, the decision was instantaneous--she was part of our family if she wanted to be. She had a new home.

I worried if she would be hard on our elderly cat and dog, but in the end, things only got better. Geebles, the geriatric sister, started eating better and sleeping less, and Gypsy became more active. I increased my writing output.

And of course, Missy the new cat isn't Anna, but she's a wild little character, attacking birds through our window, sleeping with Gypsy, and eating every stray morsel in the house. She provides laughs every day, and our hearts are healing.

I suppose you can say we rescued Missy, but in the end it looks like she rescued us. The joy she's brought is boundless, and her energy and enthusiasm fill our home.


Gina said...

As the keeper of two former strays, I can relate! Are you aware of I like to go there just to look, but you may want to enter your newest housemate.

Joyce said...

Our first cat, Shadow, was a stray. We had her for ten years, then one day she went out and never came back. She loved the outdoors--she wasn't a cat you could keep inside.

Now, Layla, on the other hand, came from a pet store with no street smarts whatsoever. She's the cat equivalent of a blonde in a blonde joke.

Cathy said...

Thanks, Gina, for the website. I'll check that out.

And Joyce, we'd like to meet your Layla and learn her tricks. Even blondes have tricks.

Joyce said...

Cathy, the problem with that is Layla hides under our box spring whenever someone rings the doorbell. And heaven forbid, the UPS truck drive up the street!

Tory said...

It's funny, one of my previous cats was a stray. There was never a kinder, more loving soul than Mr. Pinkle. My two current cats are Persians and were born at the home of a breeder. I thought, with all her loving care, they would be perfect little cat beings!

It turns out, all cats, like all humans, appear to have their issues to work out. Pansy didn't really want to settle into the lap cat she's now become. Thora had this issue with not liking to be touched. Sometimes, it seems like they have more issues than my former stray.

Being a psychologist, I'd like to differentiate cat psyches depending on whether they come from a traumatic past. But I've discovered, with cats, it's not as simple as all that.

Gina said...

Tory -
It only works if you factor in reincarnation.

Tory said...

Gina: I think Mr. Pinkle was the cat equivalent of an ascended master. :-)