A few weeks ago, a friend called me in a panic, and the first words were “feel free to say no.” She had a twelve year old cat who was supposed to be taken care of by the rescue with which she works, but no foster home had yet been arranged. She couldn’t take him due to her already having two cats and several roommates, one of whom she thought might not appreciate having a cat in the bathroom all of a sudden. Fair enough.
Long story short. I took in the kitty whose name is Bonkers, thinking it would only be for two nights. That turned into five, and then a visit to the vet confirmed it would be longer. He was way too underweight to be put up for adoption. I could definitely see that. He was eating food like every meal would be his last. Most people notice the uniqueness of his ears first. He suffered frostbite as a kitten, so they are a lot smaller than normal. I think they make him look even more adorable.
After a couple of weeks, the Bonk-Man, as I like to call him, started to get antsy in my kitchen. He wanted to get out and explore and my resident cats had figured out he was in there. So, I let him out so I could see how he acted around other cats. My thinking was that with his age, if he could at least get along with other cats, that would make him that much more adoptable. Luckily, he’s pretty chill around the other cats and little Osito, my senior chihuahua. (She is also 13, and a recent adoption. Yes, I am a sap when it comes to animals, especially the older ones.)
My smallest, Callie, is a bit fearful around him and hissed, but he simply walks away and I have been giving her lots of love to reassure her that she’s still my littlest girl. The alpha male cat, Max, has needed some reassuring too, but he seems to be understanding his position is not in jeopardy. Bonkers seemed to know he was auditioning for the role of Newest Family Member, i swear. Bonkers simply wants a place to hang his head, and sleep. So, I’m giving it to him.
When I tell people I decided to adopt him, they laugh. There is definitely some judging going on and the phrase Crazy Cat Lady has definitely been thrown around. If they want to mock, fine. I know the love I receive from these animals is priceless. I feel proud knowing I can provide for them, and they never want for a thing. I. Keep my place as clean as possible for myself and for them. And the nights that I sit on the couch with several of them around me (usually one or two on my lap), I know we are a family. And that’s all that matters.
Do you have any animals in your life? And if so, how have they changed it?
6 thoughts on “And Then, They Were One More”
Great story Terri!
All but two of the two dozen cats I’ve sheltered in 35 years were either feral or abandoned. The ferals are wiser for having lived in the wild where they must always be vigilant. They’re also grateful for what you provide but maintain a dignity and self-respect that I don’t see in house cats. I’m not the only one who’s noticed this phenomena. Animal scientist, Temple Grandin, points out that “nervous animals investigate their environments more, learn more, and get smarter in the process.”
So generous of you to feature my blog in your blog roll Terri, thank you!
Of course I would feature your blog!! It’s absolutely gorgeous! There are a few others I have been meaning to add, but as you know, the best intentions….
And yes, I have seen a difference in my one cat, HoneyBun, whose ear is tipped. She came into the shelter with a fix-a-feral clinic and then they thought she was friendly enough to get adopted. She doesn’t come up and solicit attention as much as the rest but she appreciates it just the same. She’s not like my Max, who had first been adopted as a kitten, and clearly doted on for his whole life, even before me.
Also, no judgement should ever be tossed around regarding feral or abandoned animals. It’s a societal deficit that this is such a problem in our country. We are ALL to blame. The people who offer shelter, food, care and compassion are the most humane of humanity.
Yep, too many unspayed and unneutered animals out there. I would love to give shelter to more of them, but for now, I may have a full “inn.” 🙂 I’ll still keep on working with all of them though! I’ve just decided people can think what they want, it won’t affect me and my decisions.
You rock!!!! I knew you wouldn’t be able to let him go! Way to go, Terri!
You knew me better than you know myself, Jan….I kept waivering over the weekend and then finally, I was like, “oh you know you’re falling for him” and then when I heard him purr a few times, I was like “ok, he seems happy here.” 🙂