By Magdalena Romanow
About two weeks before Christmas, I got a message from a friend asking me to call her back “about a cat.” A cat.
The vagueness of the message made the rescuer in me feel nauseous. What about a cat? Did she find one? Did she want one? Did she hear about someone giving one away? My mind raced, and I found all kinds of reasons to stall the inevitable call back.
When I finally called, the story was typical. A couple had a cat that they needed to find a temporary home for.
The couple had fallen on hard times, they were evicted from their home, and were living in a car, with the cat. The cat was refusing to go to the bathroom, they were worried about its health and vet bills they could not afford. My friend, who is a kind and trusting person, agreed to take the cat, and it was in her possession within a few hours of the call.
She decided to house “Kitty” in her cat hotel for the time being, but Christmas is a busy season so she asked if I knew of any foster homes.
Foster homes? Those magical places, that are almost impossible to find at the best of times. I told her I’d need a few days and couldn’t make any promises. I asked her if she had the people sign anything about surrendering the cat to a rescue if they did not come back for it within a certain amount of time. She is not in rescue, so the thought never crossed her mind.
This is where the story took a bit of a turn. My friend was adamant that these were really good people who had fallen on hard times, but despite all that, refused to even consider taking Kitty to a shelter. She was their baby. They’d had her for her whole life, and surrendering her was not an option. My friend was so sure of them that I couldn’t help but give their story some merit.
So the networking began. Facebook, phone calls, a few texts, an e-mail or two. Someone finally stepped up and agreed to take Kitty, as long as no emergencies came in from the rescue he normally fosters for. And even then he was willing to rearrange some space in his home to accommodate her. Kitty went to her foster home, and I received a call from the owners.
They found a place but needed to come up with money for the pet damage deposit. They swore as soon as they settled in they would be coming to get Kitty. The rescuer in me had doubts. After all these years of promises that never pan, out it’s hard to stay optimistic. I warned the foster dad that Kitty may be with him for a month or two, and if after that time the owners had not shown up, Katie’s Place would take the cat.
Kitty was in her foster home for less than two weeks. I saw a strange number on my phone and decided to ignore it. I was busy, and it was probably “about a cat”. They could leave a message. A message was left.
Kitty’s owners were on their way to pick her up from the foster, and they just wanted to thank us all for helping them keep Kitty safe while they found a new home.
My jaw dropped. I realized that maybe I’ve become too distrustful, too jilted, too doubtful. Maybe I have too little faith in humanity. They showed me that there are kind-hearted souls out there who will not give up their pet no matter how difficult it gets. What a great start to a new year.