It all started this summer….quite often I would find Nicky leaning into a window, staring intensely. He was looking at a cat, an intruder in his mind! Sometimes there would be two; A black female and a gray and white male who was NOT neutered. There would be yowling and howling and Nicky would run from window to window to keep track of their whereabouts. I would dash out and shoo them away, sometimes even throwing water on them! I know that sounds terrible especially coming from an animal-lover BUT my own cats are my first concern and Nicky always got visibly upset over this invasion.
Fast forward to mid-September – the gray and white cat has disappeared but the black cat keeps coming back. She would come up on the porch and look in through the screen doors or she would be on the back steps earnestly looking at the door, perhaps to see if it would open and let her in.
Please Ma’am may I come in!
She showed up one day when Peter was out in the yard and of course he petted her. And she kept coming back…. It wasn’t long before it was apparent she was spending most of her days and nights on our porch so of course we started giving her small amounts of food. However as a week went by and we knew we would be heading back to NYC, we got concerned as to who would feed her? Would she have to resort to scavenging and/or hunting for mice or worse, birds?
We had already started asking everybody we knew if they wanted a cat. I begged our neighbor (who loves cats) to take as she had been visiting their doorstep also. He wanted her but alas, his wife did not and besides they often took care of their son’s dog. What to do? We called all the rescue groups we could find and it was always the same story; There are so many abandoned and stray cats in the county that the rescue groups are overwhelmed and the shelters are full. We gave our neighbor some food and asked him to feed her while we were gone.
Another week went by, we posted a plea on the town blog, put up Free Adoption posters in a couple of places and the temperature was starting to drop. Finally a rescue group agreed to take her and find a foster home for her. Peter delivered her to them, the next day she was taken to a Vet who confirmed she was spayed, no microchip, healthy and he updated all vaccinations and said “This cat is well-fed and healthy, she must belong to someone, you can’t give her away” AND SO THEY DROPPED HER OFF AGAIN AT OUR HOUSE! When we returned from NYC a day later, Peter thought he was seeing things when this little black cat came up to him and rubbed herself against his legs. OMG!
NOW the push to find a home for her was getting desperate! And I was getting obsessive! I couldn’t stand the fact that she spent night after lonely night sleeping on a chair on our porch. It was getting colder each night.
Our friend Murray came to visit over Columbus Day weekend and the little sweet cat captured his heart BUT he proclaimed he just didn’t want a cat at this point. He sent photos of her to our mutual friend, Rosemarie, a true lover of all wildlife AND…she said she would take Annie (I named this little orphan on the day of Finley’s Orphan Annie birthday party). Rosemarie has never owned a cat but she was willing and eager to take on her new charge and planned on naming her Belle. AHhhhh a sigh of relief, gratitude and happiness. Belle was going to have a new home!
We kept Annie/Belle with us in the house for the next two days hoping that we would see signs of a past domestic life return to this cat who seemingly had been living outside (but we weren’t entirely sure about that) albeit she does weigh 13 lb. and always wanted to come in the house. That night she sat on my lap and then when we went to bed, up the stairs came the cat and plopped herself in the middle of the bed where she stayed all night much to the dismay of Nicky and Nora.
This fairy tale came true and has a very happy ending. We delivered Belle to her new home yesterday. She spent the afternoon exploring her new digs and ate dinner out of her new dish and lapped up lots of water. A picture is worth a 1000 words so the following should tell the whole story!
Belle Is Beautiful
Me and My Mommy
All photos courtesy of Murray Head
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