Happy Wednesday! Last week was National Pet Week (but really, what week isn’t for any of us with pets??) and we’re continuing our nine lives theme. So Wickeds, is there a situation in your life with your pet or a scene you’ve written in one of your books that really brings home the idea of having nine lives?
Edith/Maddie: Any rescue cat has to have used up one or two lives by the time they get to a loving home. My late Birdy, the model for the cat in the Country Store Mysteries, was found in a nest of newborn kittens by a construction worker who nearly ran over them. He rushed the kitties to the nearest shelter, and only Birdy survived. He was bottle fed and fostered by a caring woman named Fran, and I was the lucky beneficiary. Robbie Jordan doesn’t know where her Birdy had been before he found her, but he’s sure to have used up a life or two already.
Julie: Edith, what a great way to look at our rescues. In my books, Luna is rescued as a kitten by Delia and Lilly. Luna is based on my sister’s cat Luna, who was rescued by my niece while trick or treating fourteen years ago. In the series, Max lived a full life with his previous owner, but was abandoned and rescued by Lilly. Both cats have used up a couple of lives, but will have wonderful long lives in Windward. In my personal life, I have two rescues. I suspect Fred and Ginger used up several lives before they came to me, but we’re all settled now.
Barb: When we moved from Newton, MA to Somerville, MA our new house was gut-renovated. As is so often the case, there was a punch list when we moved in. Our daughter, home from college, returned from her summer job to discover our cocker spaniel, MacKenzie, was missing. Sure enough, a workman had left an obscure door ajar–and MacKenzie had found it. There followed A Night. It was pouring rain and driving wind. I said it was like The Tempest. We were all out searching the neighborhood, calling his name. The police suggested calling Public Works to see if they’d picked up his body. The next day at work I got a call. The MSPCA had tracked MacKenzie’s chip and found me. He had run into a lovely man walking his dog just minutes after the big escape and spent the night warm, dry, fed, and playing with his new friend, while we roamed the streets until all hours. MacKenzie didn’t lose a life that night, but the rest of us did.
Liz: Omg, Barb. I can’t even imagine. Totally agree that our rescues have used up a few lives on their way to us. One of my original kitty rescues really stands out for me as an example. Ferris the cat showed up at the rescued league where I was volunteering. He’d been found living on the streets, eating out of trash cans and hiding in people’s garages to survive. He had a big scar on his back suggesting that something bad had happened to him along the way. When he was picked up by someone, he was, unfortunately, brought to a kill shelter and they had him on the euthanasia list. Luckily, someone told someone affiliated with our rescued, and he was saved–again. Then he got to our shelter and I decided to adopt him, but the shelter had to shut down due to a virus breakout among the cats so he had to stay there an extra month. By the time I brought him home, he was super grateful…actually, that’s a lie. He spent the first few weeks biting me, LOL. And even though he remained fresh for his entire life, that was just part of his appeal. He will always have a special place in my heart even though he’s been gone for 10 years now.
Jessie: Wow, Barb! That is just harrowing! I love reading everyone’s pet stories! In my first Beryl and Edwina novel, Crumpet, Edwina’s little terrier narrowly escapes being run over by a motorcar. I still cannot believe I did that to her! As for my own pets, for many years I had an African Grey parrot named Miss Kim. On the way to the ve
Readers, what about you? Any rescue stories (preferably with happy endings) to share? Leave us a comment below!
I had just lost my Sammie kitty to cancer and, in my grief, wandered into the cat room at PetsMart. Everyone was sleeping…except for one torte who reached through the cage door toward me and loved when I stopped to pet her. Unfortunately, my mom was about to go through major surgery and rehab, and I didn’t think it fair to rescue a cat only to leave her alone at home for weeks while I cared for my mom. It was a no-kill shelter, so I promised the torte if she was still there when I got my mom settled, I’d bring her home. Mom’s rehab took longer than expected, but the torte was still there, unadopted, when I returned. I kept to my promise and brought Skye home. I learned some of her sad story. So badly infested with fleas that she lost all her fur and had scratched herself raw before a sweet foster mom took her in and lovingly nursed her back to health. Once I adopted Skye, I took her to the vet and learned she had a severe case of Bartonella’s, which is treatable but had no cure. I managed to get the disease into remission for several years before it finally came back with a vengeance and Skye ran out of lives. But I still count it as a happy ending because I rescued her and gave her a great life, AND she rescued me from a very sad time in my life..
How lovely you found each other, Annette!
Fun stories, Liz and Wickeds! As our beloved black Labrador “Pepper” entered the last season of her life, we brought home a Boston terrier and named him “Ike.” Pepper adopted the puppy and taught him her many intricate hand commands. When Pepper passed, her legacy lived on through Ike, who loved showing all he had learned from her.
Our first dog, Casey, was something of an escape artist. But he was so friendly, he never got very far before he ran into someone who’d bring him back. Although one man threatened to call the cops on us for “pet neglect.” No one could have looked at Casey and thought he was neglected.
Koda has escaped a couple of times, but again, he never gets very far. Too many interesting smells in nearby houses – and he makes friends with everybody he sees.
There is a stray cat in my Homefront Mysteries series, Cat, who I’m sure has used up a couple of lives by now since he lives on the streets.
All of my cats are/were rescues but Elvis comes to mind. My husband was working in New Hampshire and he got out of his car late one night only to have a cat climb up his trouser leg. The cat was scrawny in the extreme and my husband is an animal lover. He found a can of tuna and fed the cat, who disappeared, but who returned every night for a week. At the end of the week, hubs found the cat sleeping on a rock pile in the morning. That was it. He bought cat equipment and moved the cat into his rental with the intention of bringing him home to northern Maine. We already had five cats and I told hubs, no new cats unless they have been vetted for infectious diseases. Hubs took the cat to the vet – who told hubs the cat was unfixed, about nine months old, and healthy. Hubs brought him home. I took one look at the guy who weighed all of six pounds despite constant eating. We took him to our local vet who pronounced him neutered, somewhere between 9 and 11 years old, and suffering from thyroid illness. We got the thyroid under control and Elvis turned into a healthy, happy, cat who was with us for six more years. Elvis was the only one of my cats who expressed gratitude. He was enormously thankful for everything you did for him, and always gave you a pat and a purr to let you know it. He is also the only cat I’ve ever had who fought with the vacuum!
Maria, Princess of the House, is a rescue from the local Humane Society chapter. Older kiddo Shea was struggling with their anxiety and depression in late 2013 and thought a cat would help alleviate some of the anxiety.
We went to the shelter’s room for FIC positive cats because a special needs kitty resonated with us. When we went into the room, Maria casually walked up to me, and let me pet and scratch her. It was like she was claiming me and I’ve been her servant ever since!
Wonderful stories. Every one of them warmed my heart. We’ve had quite a few cats over the years and they have all been rescues of one sort or another. And all of them had clearly gone through a life or two already. As far as we know, they all had been born outside (tho’ not feral) and all had survived through a lot of crap. We’ve had many, many years of being paid back by loving, affectionate kitties. We are catless for the first time in 49 years. We’re waiting for another one to find us soon. 🙂
A few years ago, a cat wandered into our yard and onto our porch. Of course, we fed it, and it showed up a couple of times every day after that. After ten days, we saw a poster with his picture on it saying that his name was Fritz and his owner wanted him back. We were able to reunite Fritz with his owner!
My cat Lucky was under the hood of my husband’s car in New Haven Mo when he left work. He drove to the bank in Union not knowing he had a passenger. He went through the drive thru and then headed home to our place outside of Washington. When he opened the hood because he could hear meowing that poor cat sought refuge under the chest freezer in the garage. I eventually coaxed him out and we became BFFs. He became diabetic. Twice he came back to me from a coma when I cried and blubbered and begged him not to leave me. Oh yeah, the vet helped, but without all the ugly crying. She left that part to me. In August he will have been here 21 years and we figure he was about a year when he came to us so in August we will celebrate his 22nd birthday.
We have a lot of stray cats in our area. We have had issues with dogs being out running. Have had issues with the dogs jumping our fence and into our yard after the stray cats. I cannot remember one time that we had to rescue one of the cats. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.
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