Four years ago I received a call from my sister-in-law saying that her friend wanted to go see her mother for Thanksgiving and needed someone to cat-sit her cat until Monday. If she couldn’t find a sitter she was just going to take the cat to the animal shelter (a kill shelter).
I asked a few questions and learned the cat was ten years old and not friendly with other cats. Hmmm. I didn’t want to do it, but decided to set up the kennel and keep her. I knew a ten year old cat would not be adopted and would end up another sad statistic if left at the shelter.
They arrived with the cat, a pure white beauty named “Mama”. I was told she had never been spayed due to a heart murmur. I asked if she had had kittens (due to her name) and was told no. She had always been an inside cat, said her owner.
The owner had brought a litter box, food and water dishes, and a big container of cat food. I thought that was nice, to not make me provide all the necessities while Mama was visiting. She even brought some cat litter.
When time came to take Mama from the carrier, she attacked her owner. The woman promptly slapped her and grabbed her roughly by the scruff of the neck. Pulling Mama from the carrier, she gave Mama a good shake and another hard slap in the face before tossing her into the kennel.
My sister-in-law and her friend left soon after Mama was in the kennel.
I never saw the woman again. Monday came and went with no word. I called my sister-in-law and questioned when her friend was going to return for her cat. Finally the woman called and told me she had moved across country and if I didn’t want Mama I could take her to the animal shelter.
By then Mama had been here several weeks. I let her out of the kennel and learned quickly she had issues. Sudden movements, especially toward her face would elicit an immediate defense attack. She was fearful of everyone and every animal. The poor kitty was a nervous wreck.
It took over a year before I could safely pet her. To this day, four years later, I am the only one who can handle her without serious injury. Even now, there are times she reverts back into fear and paranoia and I have to be careful.
She roams the downstairs, lurking around the woodshop and craft room, climbing on shelves and watching chipmunks from the windows. She has made friends with Maggie Mae. Maggie loves the downstairs rooms too, and spends much of each day with Mama.
This Thanksgiving weekend marks the fourth year Mama has been at Shady Hollow. She is our “problem child” and our sweet baby all in one. Mama will live out her life here. She has her forever home.
Happy Gotcha Day, Mama. Finally, when all is said and done, you are loved.
~ The Kitties Mommy