How Did I Come To Be Most Beloved?
The Garden Shed
Once upon a snowy winter’s evening, a little boy found me shivering and terribly hungry. I hid from the bitter cold under a garden shed, but the little boy cried out to Mommy, “Mew, Mew-Mew, Mew” over and over until she peeked down to see me.
I made myself very small.
Unbeknownst to me, ’twas the Christmas season, so the little boy and his mommy (who was a veterinary technician) named me “Merry”. I was so scared. I didn’t want to be picked up, but I was tiny and starving and when the boy’s mommy reached down to scoop me up, I didn’t resist.
The boy’s mommy’s carried me inside the veterinarian’s clinic where, most fortunate for me, she worked; in fact, the garden shed where I was huddled belonged to the veterinarian. The shed was just behind her veterinarian clinic. Once inside I was placed with several other cats who seemed in need of a forever home. I was frightened of other cats. And dogs. And all animals, even people.
Something bad had happened to me, and I’m not sure if I don’t remember or if I don’t want to remember. Somehow I chipped one of my fangs. Perhaps that’s why I was starving. I was too small to fend for myself. Eventually, I had to have 5 teeth removed because no one had taken good care of me.
Between Christmas and February, I gained nearly a pound, a good thing as I was still far below a normal weight for a young cat. They guessed I was a little less than a year old, but I weighed less than 5 pounds. I was tiny. And starving. Did I mention starving?
A New Home
One day, still February, someone came to look for a cat to adopt. All of the other cats sang out “Choose me! Pick me!” but I didn’t want to go any place. I had finally found a warm place where there was food available.
I stayed very quiet and made myself very small.
The vet tech (the boy’s mommy) who had found me reached down, scooped me up, and showed me to the one who had come to adopt a cat. Terrified, I made as small as possible in the vet tech’s arms. She cradled me closer.
“She’s an only cat,” the vet tech said. “She is terrified of other cats, and she’s had a tough start in life. She needs lots of love.” My eyes were huge. Was I going somewhere?
When I got to my new home, I hid under the bed for several weeks. I would peek out at night, quickly scarf down the food waiting for me on the floor beside the bed, then dart back to my hiding place. After several weeks, I discovered another room, but again, only moved around at night. I was still so afraid.
A New Name
It took 4 months for me to finally surface in my new home. I saw sunshine and big windows, flowers outside and inside, a red bed that seemed made for me, and the one who had adopted me smiling at me.
I crept out from under the bed because I heard the one who adopted me make music and sing a song with my name, but it wasn’t “Merry.” The voice was soft and soothing, and for the first time, I peeked out from under the bed.
There was my person, sitting on the floor playing an acoustic guitar, singing a song about me. A song for me. Singing my new name in a soft voice.
I felt happy for the first time in a long time.
I grew to explore where I lived, loved that all of the space was mine, loved that there was always food and water, a clean litter box, and thankfully, no other cats, just a loving one who had adopted me. This is how I came to be “Most Beloved.”
I am “Most Beloved” because she who adopted me loved me so very much.
Somewhere around 9 years old now. I don’t bounce around as much as I used to, but I’m still quite active, especially at night. I like to play with chirpy bird toys. And boxes. I like to sit in boxes. Oh, and crinkly packaging paper. The kind that comes with delivery boxes. And. . .oh yes, this is where I started.
I write the cat tales at Gardens at Effingham because I am she who is Most Beloved.
Most Affectionately Yours,