When I approached her cage, she was leaning back, nonchalantly, as if she had no cares in the world. As if, being adopted, was the last thing on her mind. The room was dimly lit with rows of cages filled with cats of all sizes and colors lining the walls of this cramped space. The cats were crying and I wished I could scoop them into my arms and give them their “forever homes.” But, I returned to this black and white female tuxedo cat and read her bio: “She was the runt of a litter of five and the only female. Her name was BeBe and she had a ‘cloudy eye.’ “ I took her out of the cage, but it was clear she wasn’t a “lap cat.” She seemed like she was willing to put up with me, so I took her home. It was October 10, 2009. She was seven months old, having been born on April 15, 2009.
I only had a cardboard carrier in order to transport BeBe and the woman at the shelter was afraid BeBe might claw her way out of it. I assured her I was going a short distance. As it was, there were no holes in the carrier for BeBe to look out. She was in complete darkness! But, I talked to her all the way home, telling her there was nothing to be afraid about. We were going to her “forever home.” I carried her up the stairs leading to my condo and opened the door. I let her out of the carrier and pointed inside: “This is all yours,” I said. She looked around and walked from one room to another. The arrangement seem acceptable to her. I decided, at that point, to change her name to Abby Mae in light of her new life.
My previous black and white female lived for 21 years before she became very sick and had to be put to sleep. Dancer was a gem and a “mother hubbard.” But Abby turned out to be more vocal than Dancer was. In fact, she’s a non-stop talker. She meows for every occasion but mostly when she wants “crunchies.” I never thought I could love another cat as much as I loved Dancer, but Abby has stolen my heart. She loves to play and often carries her toy in her mouth, moaning all the way down the hallway of my condo where she deposits it in the doorway of my bedroom. The first time the vet saw Abby, she marveled at Abby’s beauty. The vet discovered, though, that Abby was blind in one eye! It explained her ‘cloudy eye’ and it was amazing how well Abby compensated for it.
Abby and I have a unique relationship. I love her with a passion. I enjoy just hanging out with her and watching her take a bath or watch television. She seems to be partial to football! Abby never liked to be held or kissed and hugged. And yet, one day I was walking down the hallway of my condo and Abby brushed up against my legs. I knew, then, that she really loved me! Abby frequently brushes up against me now.
Abby gets very lonely when I leave to go out. My heart aches for her because she brings such joy to my life and I never want her to feel abandoned again. Once was enough.
Debra Deptula is a freelance writer and OLC retreatant.