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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Happiness Is ... Fitting In

Warning - Incoming - Long Story:

A few years ago we saved a cat from the cold of the winter. The story is that we were putting styrofoam "houses" out for some strays so that they had a place to keep warm. There is a longer story which would explain why there was a feral cat problem in our neighborhood but I will spare you the details of all of that. Needless to say, we struggled with calling the shelter and having them taken in, and a few of them we did because we knew they could get adopted. Some of them however were far too skittish to catch, or just not healthy enough and would have been put down. So we built our little "hobo kitty city" and at least provided some shelter in the winter.

One night, we heard loud mewing and one of the strays was desperate to get inside. We brought him in and he was all scratched up, with blood on him. We put him in another room, to keep him away from our cats, fearful of disease spreading, and we nursed him to health. In that time he was so loving, you could tell he was thankful. He would purr loudly, butt heads with us, rub his big fat head all over our faces, and just was the most loving cat ever. We were in love with him. So we got him his shots, and did all the responsible stuff and he became ours. His name is Nub.

He was an outcast in our animal family however, sadly none of the other cats took to him. I am sure there were territory issues and whatnot, but he was more a "people" cat.

Then about two years later, and after somewhat controlling the stray issue around our neighborhood, a new cat shows up. This cat came back and forth for over a years time. We literally would track it's comings and goings trying to find where it lived. We narrowed things down to our home, which it did not come from, and one other, which of course was across a very busy street! After literally stalking this cat for months we realized it was simply going back and forth between our house, for food, and water, and the other house because there was a field next to it. I guess this is where the kitty honed it's hunting skills.

Then one night, it was very stormy, thunder, lightening, and pouring rain. This kitty mewed and mewed at our door until finally I opened it. I could not take the poor kitty's mews any longer. I was very careful upon opening the door because we have dogs, and I did not want a confrontation to occur. That kitty darted in so very fast and ran upstairs, as if it knew exactly where to go. There was no stopping it. Of course this kitty stayed in the house overnight, sequestered from the other animals, just as Nub had been a couple of years before.

The next day we put the kitty back out and things were fine, for awhile except that I hated how much she wanted to come inside. How much she wanted to be a part of our family. It broke my heart as she was the most loving kitty ever! She also loved all of our animals and even the animals that were mean to her did not phase her at all!

Finally we let her in, but our house at the time was so small, and it seemed unfair to our other animals to have yet another member of the furry family. So we set out to find her a new home. Let me tell you, it is not easy to find a home for a cat, especially when you want to find a good home! Finally my mother told me that some renters of hers, good people, would like to adopt the kitty. We were so happy and we talked to the people for a couple of days, sending photos of the kitty to them, and getting photos back of their cats that they already had. We discussed her personality, likes, dislikes etc. You would have thought we were giving them a child! We met, gave them the kitty, and for a few days all was well.

Then we heard from them that kitty was not settling in well. That she was terrorizing their other cats (what this did not sound like her at all!?) and would not let the other cats near them! They felt bad, but had to give her back. We went and picked her back up. I have to admit, I was happy as I had missed her terribly.

Now before you think I am one of those crazy cat ladies, I have in fact given up many animals we had rescued over our years living in the cat neighborhood. I also admit I was not totally helping the issue much by feeding strays, but I did do my best to take care of the sick ones, and send the healthy ones off to the shelter to be adopted. Regardless, I have my limits, and the animals we have now, are the last animals I will have. They are all inside cats, spayed, or nurtured, and healthy. They get vet care and meds when needed, etc. So with that said, I just loved this little cat so much and when we were asked to come get her, truth be told, I was not upset.

I don't know if maybe this cat also missed us, and wanted to come to what she knew as home, therefore was a hellcat at this other place, or if I willed it by missing her so much, I admit one night I cried for letting her go. Either way, she was HOME now!

Over the course of a few months she began to fit in better with the other cats, but one amazing friendship developed. Remember Nub? The social outcat? Oops I mean outcast.... Nub, and Pumpkin (the cat that came back), which is aka Butters, Pumpkin butters, etc ... became the best of friends! And in becoming connected as friends the other cats began to be a little more accepting of them as well!

We now live in a bigger home with room for all this herd of animals and Nub and Pumpkin have found their nesting space, on the top of my bed!

Fashion Beyond Forty - Happiness Is ... Fitting In
Pumpkin (Tiger Stripped) Nub (Black and White) 
We all just want to fit in, to find a space that we can be accepted, and to be loved. Today for me, happiness is ... walking in on this sweet happening and capturing a photo before they both looked up at me with that "GO AWAY" stare.

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