It’s The Stray Details That Matter

, , , | Hopeless | April 15, 2018

I work in an animal shelter, and I know how difficult it is to find owners for certain pets. The older a pet is, the harder it is to get them adopted.

One day, a man walked in to give up an animal, and I sighed inwardly because it was an adult female cat. They are some of the hardest to find homes for. The cat was a beautiful torbie, young and in perfect health, but absolutely terrified.

She never really calmed down around us. She did nothing but hide and freak out whenever someone got too close. We could tell that she wasn’t doing well, as she was losing weight, and her fur was getting a lot thinner.

Then, after almost two months, a girl walked in. She looked like she was about to cry; she was shaking and biting her lip and blinking rapidly. She asked to look at our cats, especially if we had any nervous females. I was surprised and confused by her very unusual request, but I immediately thought of the torbie and took the girl to see her.

As soon as the girl saw the cat, she broke down in tears. To my surprise, the cat responded by letting out a meow, the only sound I’d ever heard her make, and instead of trying to run away, she started to carefully sneak closer.

I couldn’t think of anything to do but watch silently as the girl grabbed the cage, sobbing and blubbering incoherently, and the cat pressed herself against the girls’ fingers.

It took close to twenty minutes before the girl calmed down enough to explain things to me. The cat used to be hers, but her dad gave it away, because neither the cat nor the girl got along well with the rest of the family. Apparently, the cat was a stray that had snuck into their house and stuck around, eventually growing close to the girl, but never really settling in with the rest of the family.

The father had threatened to get rid of the cat and eventually went through with it. Now, the girl had moved out and she’d been looking all over for her cat, desperately hoping she was still alive.

I was overjoyed to see the cat return to her rightful owner. By pure coincidence, I ran into the girl a few months later at a grocery store. She showed me pictures of the cat in their new home. She had adopted an older female cat who got along famously with the first one, and both cats looked like they loved their life. The girl was even buying a grilled chicken just for her cats!

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