My cat adopts me.
|Word count: 699
My name is Dani, and I’m a rescue cat. It happened in 2001; some wonderful person called the ASPCA because my owner was beating me with a shovel. I was only about a year old and pregnant with my first litter of kittens.
The ASPCA came for me, and days later I birthed the cutest, if I do say myself, litter of 7 tiny black kittens. One by one my babies started disappearing. They called it the adoption process.
Finally, I was alone: entirely alone, no mom, no babies and by myself in a small barred room called a cage.
For several days, people of all shapes and sizes walked by my cage, peering in but never stopping to take me home with them. One day, two lovely ladies stopped in front of my cage.
“Older cats are hard to adopt out, especially black ones,” said the first lady.
“If she’s not adopted out by the end of the week, we’ll have to euthanize her. We just don’t have enough room to keep all these cats,” came the reply.
Euthanize? What’s that? thought Dani.
A different lady stopped in front of my cage. She wore a badge that read “Alice, Alley Cat Rescue.”
Alice took no time asking that they open my cage. “Hello Dani, looks like I got here just in time. Tomorrow would have been your last day.”
Somehow she made “your last day” sound ominous.
Alice took me to the vet, a kindly old woman who gave me a shot. She was very sweet. The shot pinched and I purred in her arms before falling asleep.
Alice returned and placed me in a “foster” home, a real family. “Mom” was named Grace. In Grace’s family were Princess, a snooty Siamese cat and a small girl child, Elizabeth. Lizzy thought tails were pull toys. Grace also had a mixed Pit Bull, Atlas, a dog three times my size who could swallow me whole in a single bite. It wasn’t bad but I wanted a forever home.
Princess, who rarely bothered to descend to me, explained I’d be leaving soon and she didn’t believe it would be a day too soon.
Princess got her wish, Alice returned and we drove to a Pet Smart. Along with about a dozen other cats, I once again found myself in a bare cage with just eough room to stand and turn around with a water bowl as my sole companion. Alice told a woman in pink to make a sign for me that read, “Dani, DSH (Domestic Short Hair), Fixed.” False advertising I'm medium hair.
All morning, people walked in and out of the “Alley Cat Rescue” room. The room was probably once a brom closet since people could only walk in but had to back up if they mssed something. A cage within a cage mused Dani. Grace stood outside the door ready to answer any questions.
Curled behind the water bowl, I waited and watched. In the early afternoon, a not-so-young black woman stood outside the door, looking lost. She walked in and examined every sign. She called me “Dani” and it was love at first sight. I followed her every movement with my eyes but never tried to approach her.
After leaving the room, I saw her chatting with Grace and Alice. I could only catch part of their conversation but apparently, this woman wanted a cat but not too young because she was in night school and worked during the day. One who was house trained and wouldn’t mind being alone in the house.
Pick me, pick me I thought, my eyes never leaving her face.
Then I heard her say it: “I’ll adopt Dani.”
Grace turned and said “It looks like Dani already adopted you.”
Momma and I had a rocky start. She tried calling me Dani Night Stalker, but I’d swish my bushy black tail. Talk to the tail, lady. Momma tired of answering if I was a girl or boy and I allowed her to call me “Dani Girl.”
Twice I ran away from home and twice she came to find me.
Fast forward 14 years later. The family has grown, now there’s me, Momma, Grandmom, and last year she added a husband. He’s okay. He feeds me, and when I tell him I need water, brings it.
Curled on my end of the sofa, watching cowboy shows with Grandmom, I’m happy to have found my forever home.