I started fostering the cat I called Patty Cat for another rescue last year. I first met her at a pet store where she was being displayed. Apparently she and her identical sister were adopted together as kittens, then returned some months later after they were pretty much full-grown. Her sister found a new home pretty quickly with a volunteer, but Patty Cat was still waiting for a home when I met her. Here she is at the pet store (she’s the tabby):
I brought her home for what was to be a 3-week foster period. Of course, once the three weeks were up she still hadn’t found a home and there was really nowhere else for her to go, so we kept her. Here she is hanging out in my “cat room” at the time:
I advertised her for adoption over and over but no one was interested in this grown-up girl. I even had people that were at my house to meet kittens who commented on how friendly and pretty she was, but they wanted a kitten.
She stayed in the cat room most of the time, but I let her out for at least a while every day to have the run of the house. Patty Cat LOVED everyone, but none of my cats or dogs knew what to make of that, so the end result was that she pretty much drove everyone crazy trying to play. And the poor thing never understood it. She was just so happy & outgoing.
I was planning a trip home to Wisconsin and I knew my mom’s cat had passed away some time before, so I tried to talk her into adopting Patty Cat. She said she wasn’t ready to let another pet into her heart yet, but asked around and found a co-worker who wanted her. !!! So I planned to drive instead of fly so Patty Cat wouldn’t have to spend 12 hours in a carrier.
Then just a few days before I was to leave, my mom called to say her co-worker’s husband had vetoed getting a cat. (It’s always the husband!!!) I was so disappointed, but right away my mom said that she and my stepdad had talked it over and decided they would take her. Woo-hoo!
So last July, Patty and I had a lovely 2-day drive to Wisconsin. She was actually a pretty good car buddy, sleeping on my lap, the backseat, and in the back window.
My mom renamed her Lulu and now whenever we talk, she tells me about how funny and happy Lulu is. For example, Lulu kept emptying a shelf in my mom’s linen closet. My mom would put everything back in, and Lulu would pull it all back out. Then one day Mom found Lulu sleeping inside the closet on her little shelf and understood why she wanted that shelf empty — she wanted a hiding spot! That’s where she goes whenever the grandkids come over and are being too loud & clumsy.
Then last December, my stepdad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Here he is, with my niece:
He had to start a pretty intense chemotherapy regimen soon after he was diagnosed. He had to have weekly treatments, and the side-effects from the drugs made him feel pretty awful from the day of treatment pretty much until the day before his next weekly treatment. He had to spend a lot of time in bed. Mom reported that Lulu was an amazing companion for him. She stayed right by his side day in and day out, snuggling in bed with him, sharing his electric blanket. When my mom had to go to work, she said that she found it so comforting to know he would have Lulu to keep him company.
My stepdad just finished a round of chemo and gets a little break before they decide where to go from here with his treatment. I visited Mom, my stepdad, and Lulu last week for the first time since I dropped her off, and was so happy to see how content they all are with one another. My mom told me they play hide & seek with Lulu and she loves it. Oh, and she has her own little spot on the living room floor with toys and a cat tree, which she loves to lay on. She has grown to be a huge cat.. everyone in the family jokes that she is half bobcat. When she gets her daily can of wet food, Lulu can grab at the food while it is on the kitchen counter by standing on her hind legs. It’s my stepdad who gives her her daily wet food; he seems very fond of her and likes to dote on her.
Mom said a while back how thankful she is that she adopted Lulu; she has been such a source of comfort and amusement for her and my stepdad during his illness. I find it pretty amazing that she almost was not their cat, that she wound up with them by chance and more out of resignation on the part of my mom than really wanting a pet… and then look at how wonderful it has worked out for the three of them. Lulu has a family to love that loves her, and my mom & stepdad have a loving, funny little companion who gives them an opportunity to play and laugh, and who makes sure her daddy always has a friend nearby when he’s feeling sick.
Here is Lulu last week, on her little cat tree in their living room:
I was just thinking about what a nice story Lulu has, and thought I would share.