The Cat Whisperer

TV ElvisSome months ago, our beautiful Burmese cat, Elvis, became listless and stopped eating. After quite a few tests it was found that Elvis had a massive tumor and we had to put her down.   Very sad.  We haven’t been catless for a long time but for an assortment of reasons, we are not ready to bring home another feline. Until we are, I have arranged to get a weekly kitty-fix by volunteering at Yorba Linda Cats in Need, an organization that rescues cats and puts the up for adoption. Rescued cats are either kept at the facility at a nearby PetSmart or fostered in the homes of volunteers. Once a week I go in and clean the cages for the cats at PetSmart feed them and most importantly, spend some time visiting with them. Many of the cats have lived in homes until owners could no longer take care of them and are quite frightened to be in a cage in a strange new place. Getting them to realize they are safe and loved is an important step in getting them adopted. People generally don’t want to adapt a cat that appears frightened or skittish.

Last week, when I went in on Wednesday evening, there was a new rescue, a20180228_191408931447834.jpg beautiful large tabby named Lucy. When I opened Lucy’s cage she was curled up in her kitty bed and I reached in and scratched her head. She leaned into my hand and before long, she had rolled on her back to let me scratch her belly. She purred happily and let me hold her. Even though I don’t work the adoptions on Saturday and Sunday, I usually stop by to see the other cats that are being fostered. It also gives me a chance to meet some of the other volunteers. This week, introduced myself to the woman manning the adoptions desk and we began talking about how few cats there were today.   It’s the rain, she said. People don’t like to come out in the rain. We began to talk about the cats that were there and she said she really likes a tortoise shell longhair that was in one of the cages. I mentioned Lucy and her eyes widened. You’re kidding, right? she said. She won’t let any of us near her. Oh, she loves me, I said. She asked me to show here.

When we opened Lucy’s crate she was again curled up in her bed and when she saw me, I swear, she smiled. She leaned forward to be petted and as I scratched her head she again rolled over to have her belly scratched. The other volunteer seemed astonished. You try it, I said, thinking she was just putting me on but when she did, Lucy pulled back and hissed. That’s amazing, she said, You need to foster her. Now, I love cats but I do not want to foster one. The plan is to eventually bring one home but there are reasons that can’t happen right now. I’ve been stopping in during the day to give Lucy some extra attention in hopes that she’ll settle down enough to be adopted. And who knows … maybe if she isn’t, somewhere down the road, she’ll come home with me.

In the meantime, just call me Oldereyes, The Cat Whisperer.

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