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Stuart's story

This is the story of Stuart the cat. It's kinda long-winded but a cool story none-the-less. To preface the story, I'm a carpenter by trade and in June 2017 I began an extensive remodel-job at the Humane Society of Johnson County outside Indianapolis, Indiana. Stuart the cat was born on a farm near the Johnson-Shelby county lines approximately 5-years ago, roughly January of 2014. While he had constant human contact and attention, he wasn't really 'anyone's' cat. Whether the farm was sold, foreclosed-on, its tenant(s) passed away, or whatever isn't exactly clear to me. What's known is that in April 2017, Stuart was found after being left abandoned at the vacated farm and was then brought to the Humane Society of Johnson County. For whatever reason, Stuart wasn't immediately adopted out. Which is totally surprising in that he's the most friendly, playful, loyal & lovable cat I've ever known,...and I've known many. I truly believe that Stuart could make a person who didn't like cats, love him...that's how dynamic his personality is. So with not being adopted right away, he was allowed to be released from his cage to freely roam the barn & grounds of the Humane Society. Stuart seemed happy therefore it appeared to all the staff that he would just become a resident barn cat there at the Humane Society. In June 2017, I was to start a remodel job working at the Johnson County Humane Society. The project was extensive so I was going to be working there all summer. At 8am on Tuesday June 27, I arrived to begin my work there. I immediately set-up my tools & work-station to begin framing walls for the office portion of the contract. By 9am Stuart had jumped up onto my cut-table and introduced himself to me. Being an animal lover, especially with regard to cats, meant that Stuey & I hit it off right-away. He found me later that day at lunch-time, where I shared my turkey-sandwich's with him. And from that point forward, we shared lunch together every day after. In the days that immediately followed, he was not only finding me at break & lunch, but continually hanging out in the area I was working in...despite the noise & mess I was making. It quickly progressed to where I was looking forward to each morning of going to work to see Stuey all day...kinda like a buddy. And the feeling must have been mutual, as Stuey was waiting right by the overhead door each and every morning when I arrived to open it. Stuey & my friendship blossomed as the summer (and job) moved along. By late-summer Stuey had made it evident that at the very least, all day at the Humane Society I was his human. The staff at the Humane Society told me a story that was as funny as it was heart-warming. One morning when I WASN'T going to be there that day working, the staff arrived and opened the doors. Stuey as usual was waiting for me, but was soon dejected upon discovering that I wasn't there. They took a picture of him sitting out in the parking lot in the space my truck would be normally parked in. They said he sat there most of the morning, literally waiting for me to show up. So as the job was nearing completion towards the end of August, I realized I had grown extremely fond of Stuey. I had posted photos of him & I all summer on Facebook and subsequently continually razzed by friends that told me I 'had to' adopt him..."that cat loves you"..."look how he follows you around and adores you"...yada, yada, yada. Even the staff at the Humane Society kept telling me that while they loved him and didn't want to lose him, they too could plainly see that Stuart belonged with me. I was finally convinced. The signs had all been there, our life paths were meant to become tangent by a higher force. I had them draw-up all the necessary paper-work, he was vaccinated & chipped. At the completion of my final day on the Humane Society project, Tuesday September 27, Stuey left the job with me to come to his new forever-home. I was nervous about bringing him home initially. After being a farm cat and then a barn cat, I wasn’t sure how he'd adapt to becoming an indoor cat. Those fears were quickly put to rest as Stuey adapted to indoor living like a fish to water. Screwy Stuey still follows me EVERYWHERE. He lays by my head when I'm on the couch in the family-room. He rests on my desk, or on the window sill next to my desk of my home office when I'm working in there. He hangs with me on the work-bench when I'm working on a project or screwing-around in the garage. And of course he sleeps with me every night, where he steals my pillow and sleeps right next to my head. Stuart is now in a place that will continually spoil him and give him all the attention & love he's apparently always wanted but never had...until now. Stuey,...you're my forever-buddy.

Brett Hickman
INDIANAPOLIS, IN