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It’s Never Too Late

posted January 7th, 2016 by
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What's in Your Dog Shampoo

It’s Never Too Late – A Cat Tale

by Camille Hulen

Asshe lay dying, and could no longer speak, my friend penciled a note to me: “Please take care of my cats.” We had discussed this before, and I knew them   well: a young, mischievous Maine Coon, a middle-aged black male, and a 15-year-old black female. She had loved all animals, and these cats had been an important part of her life. They were her family since she had no human heirs. I was honored that she trusted me with her most valued possessions.       The Maine Coon was adopted very quickly, but I knew all too well that black animals  are difficult to place. Fortunately, the black male was placed eventually, but I was afraid that April, the “old girl,” would be with me forever.

April stayed in my kennel, and, at first, was very persnickety in the way she would allow anyone to touch her. She was declawed, so her first impulse was to bite. However, she mellowed with time and grew quite attached to me. She would dash into my office at every opportunity and became very fond of hanging out in my black office chair. Many people admired her, but no one wanted a “black” cat, especially an “old black” cat!

But recently, I was surprised to receive an email from a friend who had talked with someone wanting a black cat! It seems that this person’s 90-year-old mother was mourning the recent loss of her black cat. But the son was very specific; he did not want an old cat because he had recently spent thousands of dollars on veterinary care for the other cat. Well, April would not be the cat for them, but I knew of other black cats needing homes, so I invited him to visit.

Without hesitation, the son, D.J., came to meet whatever black cats I might show him. It so happened that April was in my lap when he arrived. As he sat in the chair opposite me, April got onto the desk to see him. He looked at her and said, “That looks just like my mother’s cat!” I guess April sensed that, for she promptly went over into his lap, started purring, and gave him a kitty kiss.

As I told him more about April’s story, I mentioned how she liked to sleep in my black chair, “black on black,” and was often nearly sat upon. He exclaimed, “My mother has a black chair just like that! Our cat always slept in it!”

Then we proceeded into the kennel. The first thing he spied was my father’s WWII army trunks. “We have one of those trunks!” he said, shaking his head. “My mother was a WWII army nurse.” He viewed other cats and talked to them gently, but his mind returned to April.

We then drove to another location where there was a younger black cat needing a home. As we left my driveway, another coincidence occurred. I have a black metal cat silhouette at the end of the drive, and guess what? There’s a similar one at their home!

We arrived at our destination and looked at several other cats who responded well, but the black cat I wanted him to see remained hidden under the bed. As he had time to think without pressure, there was no question in his mind. April was the black cat for his mother! I explained he could return April if it didn’t work out, but after searching for the right cat for several months, there was no doubt in D.J.’s mind.

When April arrived at her new home, she went immediately to sit in her new mom’s lap. She stayed with her all evening, except for a brief supper, which she ate heartily. No adjustment period necessary. And at bedtime, of course, she went to bed with Mom. April was home.

As of this writing, Mom and April are passing their days happily. April wakes her faithfully at 6 a.m., demands breakfast, and they then sit contentedly together by the window to watch the birds.  April frequently runs through the house like a kitten, enjoying one of her toy mice, and has her own special ottoman where she can nap peacefully if she gets bored with Mom’s game of solitaire. What could be a better match? A 19-year-old cat for a 90-year-old woman!

Coincidentally, on the very day that April found her new home, another friend forwarded me an email.  I had not yet shared April’s good news with her. The story was about a 102-year-old lady in Texas who had adopted a senior cat because she was lonely. The picture showed her hugging her new “furrever” friend. Yes, it’s never too late for love!