Back in 2015, I lost my Siamese mix Gretel. She was my baby and I’ll miss her forever. I was not interested in getting another cat, ever. Six months after she passed, the woman who rode to work with me said, “I know you’re not interested, but look at this cat that my sister’s fostering.” She pulled out a phone and showed me a picture of a squishy faced Himalayan.
She had been dumped at a groomer by a 20-something rich kid who had recently purchased two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. She had been bringing the cat to the groomer since she was three-months-old, but this particular time, her fur was like cement because the girl couldn’t be bothered to brush her. When she found out it was going to take a while to get the mats out of her fur, she told the groomer never mind, she was going to put her down anyway, because she “didn’t have that kind of time” to brush her and she didn’t get along with the dogs anyway.
The groomer said, “No, you’re not having her put down. I will find someone to take her.” While I didn’t want another cat after the heartbreak of losing my Gretel, I knew my mom missed her while I was working all day. I asked her if she wanted to go see this Himalayan. We went that night. The cat was terrified and huddled under a bench, looking at us with big eyes. I told my friend’s sister I had a medical procedure the next day, but we would talk about it and let her know.
On the way home, I said to my mom, “Well, what do you think?” She said, “I think we should name her Lily.” So, two days later, we brought Lily Clarence (after my late dad) home. She was about two at the time. It took me $50 worth of food to find one she would eat, and it took her two years to stop peeing and pooing on furniture. We couldn’t get any information from the original “owner.” She cowered any time she heard a dog bark and she had severe separation anxiety.
We have had some challenges with her. I came home from work one day when my mom was out and our kitchen looked like a crime scene, blood everywhere. Lily sat in the middle of the floor looking pleased with herself with her tail bleeding slightly. At the end of six more weeks, she’d had to have all but a couple of inches of her beautiful tail amputated. She never did tell us what happened and we never could find out.
She is now almost 10, has long since stopped peeing where she shouldn’t (though she did barf on some of my mail today) and last summer, she began to play. She tears through the house when she uses the litter box, with her ears pinned back. She has two toy bananas that she throws up in the air and kicks, tweeting birds that sat for years now are found all over the house, she demands belly rubs and brushing several times a day, and she loves to play hide and seek while I pretend to mourn her leaving. She will wait until I whine enough about “my poor Lily” and then she will run out from her hiding place straight for me as if to say “Here I am, Momma.”
She is not a lap cat, she does not like to be held, unless you’re a man. She loves men. She sleeps hard, and since the loss of her tail, she has trouble judging her jumping and she easily rolls off of furniture. To help, we pile pillows on the floor. I have her shaved for the summer and she loses at least two pounds in fur. She especially loves to sleep on my late Dad’s Christmas stocking, and an afghan I started making (yes, it’s hers now).
She is beautiful, sweet, and despite the fact that her previous owner had her declawed in the front, she loves to rub her front paws on a smooth basket of my Mom’s and looks like she’s dancing. She makes me laugh every day. The young girl who abandoned her has no idea what she missed!
Story submitted by Theresa Van Alstyne.
This story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!Whizzco