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The Cat No-one Wanted

Two summers ago, my beloved cat Sparkler was dying. I didn’t want Willow to be an only cat (and I guess I didn’t want to have only one cat). As an older person myself, I wanted an older cat – so I went to Animal Care Centers of New York, not a fancy shelter but basically “the pound.” The staff was lovely, the volunteers were enthusiastic, the cats and dogs seemed well cared for, but there were only a few older cats. Keelye-Ann, a tabby whom they thought was 9 years old, did NOT want me. She hid in the back of her cage. When the volunteer took us to a little room, she jumped off my lap and hid behind a tree. She had been there a while. While all the other cats were selling themselves, she was hiding. That’s the perfect cat for me, the one no one else wants. They said I would have to have her spayed. By the time I went to pick her up, she had an upper respiratory infection – so she could go home until she was better and then go back for surgery. On the way home, we went to my vet, who added eye and ear infection and probable parasites to the list. She spent a week in my guest bathroom. She hid behind the toilet. She was hungry all the time and walked in her food dish. Soon, I took her back for surgery and got a call later in the day with the vet laughing: “first of all, when we shaved her to prep for surgery, we found the little tattoo that shelters use when they spay a cat – no surgery. AND this cat is not 9 years old. She is probably 4, no older than 5!” Kellye-Ann is Kathryn now. She’s not my older cat and, not unexpectedly, she did not bond with Willow. She’s healthy, happy, silly, and she has a dad. I met my husband not long after I adopted Kathryn and she adopted him. She sleeps on his head, watches TV with him, and has definitely found the right home. She’s still afraid of noise, anything from crinkling waxed paper to thunder, and spends the day under the bed, just in case. Not only is it great to visit Animal Control, but it’s even better to adopt the cat that no one else wants and let her enrich your life!

MaryJane Boland