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A Tribute

October 22, 2012

We don’t know anything about Abby’s early life. We can only guess at some things. She was loved. Her family had her spayed, sparing her the possibility of uterine or mammary cancer. They had her declawed, which leaves cats without their primary means of defense, to say nothing of the extreme pain that can last a lifetime from the inhumane and unnecessary surgery. We can only assume that her humans didn’t know any better, and we forgive them.

I met Abby, who was called Patty at the time, in the last hour on the last day of the three day Super Adoption Event in Salt Lake City in 2007. She was in a large wire kennel with two other cats, a beautiful long-haired calico named Samantha, and a nice tuxedo cat. All three looked sad. They were stressed from being in a strange place, with strange smells and sounds, lots of unfamiliar people, and no place to hide. They had come from Tooele, a town about 30 miles away, on the west side of the Oquirrh Mountains in Salt Lake.

When I first saw Patty, I was really more interested in the calico. I have always had a soft spot for calico cats. It was getting late, and I wanted to see all the cats before the event ended. I walked around, looking at the other cats, and soon returned.

Patty had been placed in a carrier. The ladies from the rescue were taking her up to the announcer to spotlight her in hopes of getting her adopted that afternoon. Two local rescues would take Samantha and Tuxedo Cat, but no one wanted Patty. My heart broke. She seemed to be such a sweet girl. Inside the tent she looked like she was a gray cat. Maybe that was why no one had wanted her. She was plain.

My mind was made up in an instant. I wanted her. My daughter and her son came to the meet me and to see her. My grandson was three. Patty liked him right away.

The ride home was quiet. Patty and I were the only ones in the car but she could smell the others family members. I told her that she was loved and was going to her forever home.

The other family members were two Maltese dogs. Max was my buddy, and lived to be almost fourteen years old. He was sweet and gentle, and always seemed to know what to do to make others comfortable. He was a natural therapy dog, and my own service dog. He was Mr. Personality. Everyone who met him loved him.

Libby was my second puppy mill rescue. She had joined our family five years before and was a sweet dog who had learned to love freedom outside a cage. She and Max had fostered and raised several litters of orphaned kittens.

It just took a few minutes to get home. I carried Abby’s box into my apartment and set it on the couch. Patty peeked out the holes in the box and could see and hear the two dogs she had smelled in the car. I opened the top of the box. As Patty poked her head out to look around, she was greeted by a sweet kiss from Max, who was to be her Maltese brother for the next five years. His welcome kiss set all her fears to rest. Patty knew she would be fine there and she jumped out of the box and sat down next to Max. They never fought once.

Patty needed a new name to start her off right in her new home. I tried several names, but the only one that seemed to be right was Abby. It was close to Patty so it wouldn’t confuse her, but it would be new. Abby sounded good. It felt right Abby. Father’s joy. I considered her to be a gift from my Father in Heaven, and she was a great joy.

Max was a good friend to her, especially during her first few days. He never growled or barked at her. He never chased her. He would quietly come up to her, and sometimes he would lie down beside her. She loved to watch Max and Libby play. She would lie on the back of the couch while my grandson took his daily nap beneath her. That little boy was so special to her!

She must have been a loved pet in her old home. She was such a sweet girl. But it seemed that her heart ached for her old family. It didn’t take her long to want to be close to me during the day, but it took her months to come sleep on my bed with me, but when she finally did, she always slept at my head, on my hand or arm. She wanted to be sure I wasn’t going anywhere. If I moved, she would reach out and grab me again.

Abby loved milk, something that cats love but isn’t good for them. She asked for it with a “meeook,” which was different from her regular meow. She also had a meow when she wanted me. She would say “Mraw-mraw.” She only said that when she was communicating with me or calling me.

One time she got upset with me enough to comment. I had run out of cat food late at night, and couldn’t get to the store till the next day. I put some dog food in her bowl. After one sniff, she hopped on the bed, got right in my face, and said. “Mraw-mraw, mreow!” meaning “Mama, you gave me dog food!”

Abby was always calm and easy going. She was a quiet cat, my sweet “comfort cat”. She loved all the orphaned kittens who found their way into our home. She was a “one-in-a-bazillion” cat, never aloof, but always sweet.

When Abby was twelve years old, she developed feline hepatic lipidosis, and within days, she went from a beautiful, healthy and active cat to a very thin and lethargic girl who barely had the strength to move around the bedroom. Despite all our efforts, Abby quietly left earth for Rainbow Bridge in my arms at 4:27 am on October 23, 2011.

Abby was a beautiful Russian blue cat with beautiful green eyes, silky fur and a gentle heart. Many thought she was plain when they saw her at the Super Adoption and passed her by; but there was nothing plain about that elegant lady cat that was never arrogant or rude. She was loving and funny.

In her honor, and those others who have been rescued and adopted, please adopt your pets from shelters or rescues. They ask so little compared to how much their give.

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From → Pets

3 Comments
  1. Thank you for this and for the last sentence in particular to adopt from a shelter. Paulette

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