While visiting my niece in the Midwest, her two young sons and their dog (not a dog who is good with cats) found a kitten in the thicket down the hill from the house. This is farm country – and it was right around harvest time. Nights were getting very cold and predators abounded.
The kitten was small, with ribs showing, also showing some signs of fighting on his paw and tail. No other kittens or cats where nearby, so we think maybe the rest didn’t survive. In any case, it took several days of feeding and spending time down near the thicket for the kitten to build trust and allow us to get close.
Soon the farmers’ combines would be running in the fields. Adding to that danger, the area had only ONE no-kill shelter and it was already overflowing and not accepting more animals. Well, I live in Maine, where we have several no-kill shelters and I was about to head home. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving the kitten in a kill shelter after all she had been through. But I had a hard choice to make.
You see, my husband, back home in Maine, had only one strict rule about cats – that we limit our number to two. We already had two cats, and we always make big decisions together. (Adding a third cat would certainly fall into the category of big decisions).
My niece, her boys and I captured the kitten, purchased everything she would need for the trip back to Maine, and off I went, kitten in tow. After driving several hours and being a full state closer to home, I emailed my husband and explained the situation. I promised I would find the kitten a home in Maine or at least take it to one of our no-kill shelters. My husband completely understood.
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Once the kitten sensed a safe environment, she slept and slept and slept in her carrier while the miles rolled away. She had a voracious appetite. She warmed up to me quickly and we bonded as we drove across eight states to get home. Shout out to Motel 6 for being pet friendly!
Once home, I tried very hard to find a good home for the kitten. I took her to the vet, only to learn that she is a he! His tail has a permanent bend at the end, likely from an attack. I made sure he received his shots and neutering and microchip. I continued to ask around for a good home.
Then, one day, about six-to-eight weeks after he came home with me, a very nice lady called, saying she heard that I have an orange kitten that needed a home. This is a good lady and she would be a fine cat-mom to my kitten. She had been hoping to find an orange cat or kitten, when she heard that I had one that might be completely orange (which he is). I don’t judge anyone’s desire for a particular type of cat and this would fulfill the promise I had made to my husband.
The lady stopped by to see the kitten and said she would love to have him, adding that she could come back in a few hours to pick him up. As those hours passed and I began to collect his little toys and his catnip and a few cans of his favorite foods, I began to weep. (My eyes are welling up with tears now – just remembering)
My husband knew what was happening. I was trying to fulfill my promise to him, even though it was killing me. He assured me we could keep the kitten if I wanted to. When the lady returned, she understood. A few days later, she called to let me know she had adopted an orange kitten from the shelter!
This is the story of our cat, Ray. Our sweet farmboy from the prairie, now safe and happy – at home in Maine.
Story submitted by Karen from Chamberlain, Maine.
Ray’s story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!
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