The Christmas Season was already upon us, and our local pet store offered “pictures with Santa” the Saturday before Thanksgiving. My Collies exploded into the building, fur flying, noses chuffing, eyes shining at all the wonderful new sights and people.
The line for pictures was rather long, but waiting is never a problem for these boys. They will Always find something interesting to occupy their time, and today was no exception. Children were everywhere, so they were quick to offer their paws for treats and pets. Other pets in line glared at my fuzzy dogs with disdain and despair and downright iciness. These Collies’ very Presence literally Fill up a room with their energy and electricity. They just do that. They are Collies, and that is their way.
In an effort to “tone down” some of the “bigness” of the boys, I put them on a down-stay and sat on the floor with them to wait for our turn with Santa Claus. It was then that my blue merle Collie spotted a beautiful blue merle CAT in a cage nearby. He managed to stay down….but do that “guerilla warfare” crawl towards the kitty.
Working hard to get close to his new friend, Prosper pushed his long Collie nose into the cage that belonged to perhaps the most beautiful stained glass calico cat I had ever seen. Their eyes met, and it was obvious that there was a communication going on between them that we mere humans could only dream about.
Pictures done. Santa suitably smoozed and kissed, we exited the store with Prosper looking longingly over his shoulder to his feline friend.
Back home, I told my husband about the unusual draw that the cat and Collie had on each other. We had both seen her in the store some months earlier, and had wondered aloud as to Why she had not yet been adopted. She was so very beautiful, and, seemingly, so calm and sedate and peaceful. A beautiful cat like that should have found a home very quickly. Interesting. A mystery. Something that we could not quit thinking about.
So I returned to the pet store on Monday and volunteered to take her home with me, to “foster” over the Thanksgiving holidays. The Humane Society did not yet know how she would react to dogs or children or, truthfully, any other “established” cats in the home. So it would be our job to give her these opportunities for evaluation.
As I was signing her out, I discovered, by looking at her records, that she had a “rap sheet” several miles long. This cat had come into the shelter 4 years ago as a kitten overcome with intestinal bacteria infection and had been in and out of homes like so many juvenile delinquents. This pretty girl? Surely not!
Oh, yes, I was told….She’d torn up the houses of her former owners. She was incorrigible and wild and unable to negotiate with. Perhaps the best place for her, after all, was the institution of the Shelter, for she had no skills for living in a home with humans. Oh, brother! What had I let myself and my husband and our “balanced” household of cats and dogs in for?!!!
I clipped her nails before we left the store. Nestled her into the vari-kennel in the van, and drove directly home.
Prosper was ecstatic! This was HIS cat, and his joy knew no bounds! For days he was the only one to whom she would speak. Basically she slept in her crate and came out to eat and potty. So Prosper stayed very close to her.
When I ran the vacuum, Prosper would stand (calmly) between the vac and her. When folks came to the door, he would immediately take them to see his new kitty. When he laid on the floor, she would rub up against him and purred for the first time.
She FLEW through the house when un-crated in the mornings. Unbounded and unfettered, her freedom was a thing of bounteous Joy. She gently touched and nosed everything in the house, making it hers in a very self-possessed manner. She greeted the other resident cats quite cordially, and gently wooed the sable Collie, allowing him also to become one of her loyal subjects. We all seemed to line up to declare her permanence in our family.
Needless to say, we have failed “Fostering l01” and have come forward with a commitment to keeping this lovely lady forever in our home. She and my husband have bonded unlike any other animal we have ever had. She adores him and insists on getting in his lap anytime he decides to sit down.
She has been nothing but a perfect lady, reigning as the only female pet in our household. Her name at the shelter had been “Bumblebee,” yet we thought that a more dignified name was befitting such a classic lady, and so her name is “Mrs. Whitworth.” So named after one of the most charming women in our community.
She’s home. She’s home to stay for the rest of her lives. Prosper? He’s quite content to have his very own cat to love and care for. Forever.