We had the world’s cutest kitty for twenty-one glorious years. Like in Garfield, his name was Nermal and from the moment, we saw him at the vet, he and his brother, whom we named Doom, had our hearts.
That cat had gone through thick and thin with us and when he passed, I was lost. My DH didn’t want to get just any other cat, he wanted another Nermal.
It was a sad thing but we had gotten all our animals about the same time and when Tippy the dog died, we knew it was a matter of time. Our other dog, Bomber, was nearly inconsolable when the old gal died and if it hadn’t been for Patches the cat, who loved him, it would have been nights full of howling.
The youngest cat, Sam, was my youngest son’s and adopted when my DH was overseas as the cat bonded to him immediately. She loved him and would sleep with under the covers in the kid’s bed. She was a joy as well but played with the eighty-pound dog daily and we had a bad feeling about the whole thing. Sure enough, not long after Tippy died, Sam was pounced on and we had another inconsolable dog next door as she couldn’t understand why her friend wouldn’t get back up and play. We got a new cat the same day, black as midnight, once again Sam and loving the kid just as much.
Next went Nermal. He talked to me that morning as if saying his goodbyes and followed me around. I knew he was going to go but had to go to work. My youngest found him and we all gathered to say goodbye. He and Tippy are buried together in a place where the sun always shines. This cat wouldn’t be easily replaced and I knew that.
Just three weeks later, Patches died in my DH’s arms and I thought he was going to go with her. He insisted we go and look for another cat right away. Lo and behold, we went to the same place we got Sam 2 and found another delicate calico who looked almost the same. My DH fell in love immediately and we took her home. She fell for Bomber right away and he always tolerated her cleaning and trying to take care of him.
A month went by, then another and another with no orange tabby in sight. When we weren’t looking, we found tons of little orange kitties but not this time. It took us almost three months of constantly looking then one day during a Petco event, there he was except he wasn’t a tabby with the tiger stripes. He was what they called a mackerel and looked like he had a cinnamon bun stuck on his side.
I called my husband and told him we’d found the one. We told the rescue people we would be back for him the next day and even went as far as getting the paperwork done. We just had to exchange the fee the next day. I was that sure.
We showed up at the time they told us to come back and went to the cage. No kitten. I asked what had happened to our cat. They told us someone had come in after us, paid the fee and took him. They would have more orange kittens later in the month. I could come back then. I let them know they had done me and my family a disservice as that cat was meant to be with us. They just shook their heads and apologized.
I went home with my family in tow very disheartened and angry at how callously these people acted. It took me a couple of weeks before I could go to another Petco event because during this whole time there were no orange kittens to be had anywhere. My son convinced me to go and I slowly walked into the store. The same group was there with their cages of cats and kittens.
Moreover, right in the center of all this was our cat. Our orange mackerel sitting as pretty as can be meowing. He was timid whenever someone came to the cage. When we approached, he just sat there and looked at us. I was right...this cat was meant to be ours...and nothing was going to keep me from taking him home this time.
I went to the people there and they remembered me. I asked why he was back and was told he wasn’t good with people or other animals. Frankly, they weren’t sure what they were going to do with him as he had been returned twice already. This last set of people had to be very sure they wanted him. I was sure. I whipped out my cash and laid it on the table. They already had my paperwork and pulled it out. Realizing I had been the one they treated badly before, they tried to give me the run around.
I just smiled at them and told them the cat was meant to be ours. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be here. The owner of the non-profit facility told me she would need to call me every week to make sure he was a good fit. She didn’t want this cat euthanized any more than I did. I told it was fine to call me but assured her I would have no such problems. To me, animals are like children, you are in it for the long haul, and I expressed this sentiment to her.
We put him in his box and took him home. He was frightened and immediately hid from everything when we let him go. The others were curious but wouldn’t go near him. For almost ten days, I didn’t see this guy except at feedings and my DH wondered if I was right. I told him to leave the cat alone and he’d see. Within a month, he was talking to us and wrapping himself around our legs to ask to be feed much to the surprise of the rescue group we got him from.
He wasn’t a social cat except with us. We had always wondered if he would grow into his paws and he has. He is huge and maybe we should have named him Garfield as he weighs in at a hefty twenty pounds. And he’s one big kitty that puts Jasper the dog on notice. He completes our family in a way that no other cat has. We named him Cinnamon because of the huge bun swirled on his side.
What’s your favorite cat story? Let me know...I’ll look forward to hearing from you!
See you tomorrow.