christmas eve as a shelter cat

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and suddenly I found myself out of a house…

On Christmas Eve 2008, my family left me at the local animal shelter.   I had always been their pampered indoor kitty, so imagine my surprise when I was suddenly bunking with 20 adult cats from all walks of life.  Most of them had been there for months, and a lot of them were semi-feral tough guys.

I was lucky to be BIG, because I got my own shelf and almost everycat was afraid to challenge me over it.  But I wasn’t feeling very good, so I was worried somecat would notice and confront me.  I’m not much of a fighter…  On the fifth day, my human came into the adult cat room.  I heard her say she was looking for a cuddly geriatric cat, but I head-butted her when she got close enough anyway.  I figured it couldn’t hurt.  She scratched my noggin, and then she left without me.

A week later, my human was driving past the shelter on her way to an appointment when she suddenly found herself at the front desk, asking if the funny cow spotted cat was still there.  She adopted me immediately without meeting me again.  I was so relieved that I didn’t even mind the ride home in a cardboard box.

Minutes after we arrived at my new home, I relaxed for the first time in 2 weeks.  And technicolor snot started pouring out of my eyes and nose, and I was coughing uncontrollably.  I’d had to hold it together and look tough for so long, and as soon as I felt a little safer it all came pouring out.  Literally.  My human immediately quarantined me to her only tiny bathroom, and I was so tired and sick that I just curled up in her sink.  And I stayed there for a month before I was healthy enough to finally meet Kitty.

Life wasn’t perfect in my new bathroom, but at least it was quiet and safe and I wasn’t scared to let my guard down and eat.  (In fact, I gained 3 lbs in the first 2 weeks I was there!)  I spent time getting to know my new human every morning as she got ready for work, and when she had to pee.  She would come in and sit with me, groom me, and try to make me feel better.  And eventually I did feel better.

I had a lot of time to think in my new sink, and I realized that we are in control of our destinies.  Every choice we make and action we take builds our futures…  The head bump I gave my human shaped my future and hers.  I chose her, and now I choose not to live a life of complacency.  I decided from then on that I would make choices and take actions to shape my future into whatever my little heart desires.   Today I desire peace on Earth, goodwill towards creatures (including humans), a meal on every plate or in every bowl, and loving homes for shelter cats all over the world.  I know that’s a lot to ask for, but I just had a long nap and I’m feeling energetic. And hopefully Santa got my letter and is doing his part to help me out.

Merry Christmas to all!

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29 comments on “christmas eve as a shelter cat

  1. What a moving story. You brought me to tears, Pedro. It is amazing how we end up finding the peeps and kitties important to us. It all seems so random, but then we can’t imagine life without each other. If we’re lucky, suffering eventually leads to happiness. You went through a lot to get where you are, but now you are part of a loving family and you are bringing happiness to others. Including to us Miaos. *hugs* Merry Christmas to you and your peep and Kitty.

    • Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to you and all off the furry Miaos! And thank you for doing your part to bring joy to less adoptable kitties – a lot of humans wouldn’t have been able (or willing) to take on a kitty like Sprocket. And now he brings happiness to so many of us. 🙂

      • Sprocket’s story is similar to yours. He wasn’t in a shelter, obviously, but my friend saw him on the roadside, walking towards the road. She heard him mew, even above the car noise, which is amazing considering what a teeny mew Sprocket has. She had passed him by then and she doubled back and found him waiting there for her. By calling to her, he shaped his destiny just like you did. Awww.

        • Sprocket chose exactly the right human to deliver him to you, because you would be able to nurse him back to health, love him despite his asymmetry and “disability”, and share him with the world… Sprocket’s one smart kitty!

  2. Wow, Pedro. I am deeply moved by your story. And what hope I can give to the kitties at HOKAFI when I share it with them! Just maybe their human is out there somewhere, too! You have a very special human. I’m so glad that she could feel that you had chosen her and that she went back to pick you up from the shelter. I agree completely with you that our actions shape our future. Your desires for our planet and our fellow creatures are beautiful. May ALL your Christmas wishes come true!

    • Aloha and Merry Christmas, lemonysqueezes. I wish more than anything that Santa could bring HOKAFI loving families to adopt CATarina, Sox, Holly and the others… Thank you for being willing to spread some love amongst the special needs kitties. I know they appreciate every second you spend with them because I appreciated the volunteers that came to visit and groom me in the shelter.

  3. That is a wonderful story and we so wish that all kitties could find a home for themselves. Especially feral kitties. They have such a bad reputation and they can be the best cats ever. I have 16 that live here and they are all good cats. Merry Christmas to all of you and we wish the same as you so that all homeless kitties can have at least a good meal.

    • Aloha Marg! The feral cat population is really out of control in Hawaii. And feral adults that get rescued are generally “unadoptable” because of health or behavior issues, or even just because so few people want to adopt an adult cat. It’s very sad… Thank you for being able and willing to care for so many. Merry Christmas to you and all of your kitties.

      P.S. Of course all 16 of yours are good; there’s no such thing as a bad cat. Only good cats under bad circumstances. 🙂

  4. What a great story. It made my human, Shez, cry. My mom and my auntie were abandoned, found by Shez’s granddaughter. They were so scared they wouldn’t let go of each other. They were sick, starving, and pregnant but Shez took them anyway. That was over seven years ago. We are all spoiled and we repay her with lots of head butts, leg rubs and huge gobs of hair all over the house.

    Merry Christmas, Pedro. I hope Santa got your letter and your wishes come true.

    • Aloha and Merry Christmas to you all. It takes a VERY special human to take in two pregnant kitties at once. You’re very lucky to have chosen her, so make sure to give lots of head butts and gobs of fur.

      Maybe I should have sent the letter via certified mail. Or Fedex, since I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get mail to the North Pole…

  5. Pedro, it made me tear up. I don’t celebrate this christmas as I grew in the culture where no christmas is celebrated, but even I felt magic when reading your post.
    I’m so happy your human came back and I’m so happy you recovered well. I wish all of you lots of happiness and good health.

    • Aloha Alexandra! I’m glad you were able to feel a bit of my Christmas spirit, especially since the holiday isn’t part of your culture. 🙂 I wish you and Usyaka a happy holiday season and a prosperous 2012!

  6. Hi Pedro….Mom and I enjoyed hearing how you came to be in the lives of your human and Kitty after a very tough time in the shelter. I too was adopted from a shelter but I was a tiny kitten and hadn’t ever lived anywhere else since I was feral. If I could have just one wish it would be that all our sister and brother cats all over the world could find a forever home like you and I have – we really lucked out didn’t we? You spent your first days in your new home in a tiny bathroom and now you’re ruling the roost! I started out my life in a tiny metal cage and came to live in a three story house! LIFE IS GOOD……and in this season of giving may I give to you, Kitty and your human my thanks for a fun friendship AND my hope for a very Merry Christmas!!

    Manly hugs from your buddy Sam

    • Aloha Sammy, and manly Christmas hugs right back at ya! It was pretty disorienting to find myself in a shelter after living such a privileged youth, but I was definitely one of the lucky ones. A lot of adult cats sit in shelters for months and months. I’m so thankful that you and I found great homes. I hope LOTS of cats all over the world are being adopted (sensibly) this holiday season.

      Thanks so much for being a good friend and role model, Sammy. Sending a head bump your way. And crossing my toes that Santa remembers your heated cat bed. 🙂

    • Aloha and Merry Christmas, Dianda. This holiday season has already been so exciting with TWO trees and so many cardboard boxes… I hope Santa is able to bring that kind of magic to some less fortunate kitties and people this year. Merry Christmas to you, Suki and Hiro!

  7. What a moving and heart felt story, Pedro. I am so happy that you found your forever home, as I have also. My mom works at HOKAFI with Lemonysqueezes with all the special needs cats and the many other kittens/cats at the shelter. I too asked Santa Paws for loving homes for all animals at shelters, especially the ones at HOKAFI. Hopefully, the new year will bring more visitors to the shelter.

    • Aloha Stelitta! Thank you for the work you do with the shelter cats – they appreciate every minute of your time… I hope Santa can fulfill our wishes and find good homes for lots of HOKAFI cats. Toes crossed. 🙂 Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

  8. Sniff, sniff. What a sweet story. I, too, was a shelter kitty, and am SO happy my humans adopted me.
    Who would have known there was so much power in one little head bump…???
    Merry Christmas, Pedro.
    Your friend, Sundae kitty.

  9. Wonderful story, Pedro, and I’m glad things turned out so well for you.

    My Calpurnia, too, was left at a shelter as an adult, which I find unbelievable. My gain, and hers too I suppose.

    Merry Christmas to you and Kitty and you mom too.

    • Merry Christmas to you, Gus, Julius, and the lovely Calpurnia. I can’t believe anyone would leave a creature like Calpurnia in a shelter. She was lucky to have been adopted into your family. 🙂 I wish you all a peaceful holiday!

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