Over the years, I’ve attempted to take in or care for cats when other people couldn’t. I counted the other day, and I’ve tried to take in nine. It doesn’t always work out.
There’s always some self-righteous judgmental person who attacks people like me, “Pets are forever!” Yeah, but no. Sorry, I don’t see it that way at all. I think there’s a huge difference between re-homing an animal or returning it to the shelter because it’s not working out, compared to dropping it off in the countryside or abandoning it because it peed on your bed. Situations vary. Everyone’s different.
Sometimes love means giving up what YOU want for what’s best for another.
This is Casey. I have a pile of pictures of Casey, because we had her from 2007 to 2011.
Casey was one of our accidental cats. She worked out.
We took her in when she was almost a year old. A friend of mine got a sudden onset of allergies with her new pregnancy, and couldn’t keep her, so I said we’d take her.
She is an intrepid kitty.
Here she is, having climbed the pergola, meowing her head off because she can’t figure out how to get down. The Mister had to rescue her.
Casey is one of those cats who just loves to be outside. She was an indoor-outdoor cat. (People judge that too.) Casey once took a two-day vacation and we were NOT happy about it.
It drove her crazy when the kids went outside and she couldn’t be with them. She roamed frequently, and always came home. She absolutely guarded the children and the house like a dog would. She also played fetch.
If she wasn’t in, I called for her before I went to bed at night, but usually I’d find her as soon as I opened the door. This is Casey telling us she wanted to come back in.
Quirky things about Casey:
Tattling: This is a cat who will alert you to any number of things, like how another cat is trapped in the linen closet, or how there’s a package at the door, or how water is running in the kids’ bathroom. Seriously.
Bringing down dirty laundry: This is a cat who will drag pieces of clothing into the living room and meow to you about it. If you wait long enough, she’ll bring all the stray socks. With only her six-pound frame and her front teeth, she can even bring a pair of men’s jeans downstairs, and who doesn’t like to see a cat pull a bra out of the hamper and drag it into the living room during a party?
Rubbing herself all over purses, backpacks, and baby bags. She’s especially fond of True’s things, perhaps because lotsa kid and animal smells.
We didn’t decide so much not to keep Casey in 2011 so much as we decided to gift her. (More judgement.) FIL had such an affinity with Casey. She looked like this cat his father had had, and because of that, he kept calling her Tiger. Whenever he interacted with her, there was something about his face that reminded me of Bubba’s happy five-year-old face, and with each visit, this happiness only grew.
Cats choose their people, you know.
My mother taught me that. You don’t take the cat you want, you take the cat who chooses you. Even still, when you bring them home, they may choose someone else. They claim their humans.
My in-laws had cats before, but since the second one passed, they hadn’t had a cat in over a decade. FIL commented now and again how much he missed having a cat, but MIL was not in favor of another one.
I told him he should take her home. I told them to talk about it and decide. She was spayed, she wasn’t prone to hairballs, never made a mess, she wasn’t a picky eater, and she had her front claws out. (More judgment.)
They took her back to Indiana with them the following day.
Casey is very happy in her ‘new’ ‘fourth’ home. — From kitten in a box, to my friend’s house, to our house, to The Palace of Rules — She’s completely spoiled. She’s got FIL wrapped around her dew claw, demanding her food on schedule, and alerting him to his neglect, how cats do.
“Excuse me. I see you’re reading a book, but I am going to walk on your book and rub my face on you now. Look at meee, I’m so pretty and fluffy! Don’t you want to brush me?”
She was never much of a lap cat at our house, but she loves to be in FIL’s lap.
She is beloved.
She now sports a rhinestone collar with a bejeweled tag.
When they take trips, they always have someone go over to check on and feed Casey. Sometimes us — We enjoy visiting her, for any reason.
She enjoys clicking at the birds from the sunroom and chasing the paths of critters from window to window.
She still tries to escape outdoors. When we arrive, “Watch for Casey!” is yelled out before a hello. It’s almost always our girls who catch her and bring her back in, because it’s almost always our girls who let her out.
She still tattles. MIL told me just last week, Casey told her the phone was ringing. MIL had the ironing out, and her music on. I was calling her cell phone, and Casey cried and cried. She’d look at MIL and look at the plant shelf, back and forth with the crying. Finally, Casey attempted to point to the phone. Tattle tale kitty!
Casey was absolutely the most interesting cat we ever took in.
We were delighted to have her, but we’re also delighted for placing her elsewhere.
Do you want to express your outrage or are you smiling inside?