Moo, the Conclusion

Although I had been trying diligently to find a home for Moo, I’d grown resigned to the fact that I’d have to take him with me when I moved, even though I couldn’t afford to care for another kitty. There was just no interest in him from any of my Facebook friends. I had given up.

So Mandy’s offer to pick him up that day shocked me, to say the least. I was even more surprised by my own feelings. I felt a dull ache in my heart… the pain of premature mourning. I hoped that Moo wouldn’t show up that day! I had grown to love the fellow, and I hated to let him go. I let my Ex, who’d also helped care for Moo, know. He sent me a crying emoji. He hated to see our friend go, too.

Mighty Moo

Of course, Moo did show up, and although my heart was breaking I did the right thing and called Mandy. She arrived within minutes, bringing a small carrier with her. I was skeptical Moo would even fit in it. I had borrowed a larger carrier for the seemingly impossible mission of corralling  the big guy. To my astonishment, Moo allowed Mandy to plop him right into the little case!

Hasty goodbyes were said, and Moo was gone. It took nearly a week before I stopped expecting to see his handsome, fuzzy face whenever I opened the front door.

Moo meowing

Mandy sent me updates… when Moo was neutered and vaccinated, and when he was finally ready to go to his forever home. He’d be living on a farm, I learned, where he’d have a warm house to live in during the fall and winter. During spring and summer, he’d be free to roam the grounds and mingle with the goats, sheep, horses, and other cats who lived on the farm.

As for his new owner? It was love at first sight!

“Moo rolled over for her and purred,” Mandy said. “And the lady couldn’t get over how much he looked like cat she had before!”

I still miss Moo, but I’m glad his story had such a happy ending.

moo laying down



Moo’s Story, Part 3 of 4

Winter in Northern New York is known for its brutality: sub-zero temperatures and Lake Effect Snow. And winter sometimes arrives when the calendar says it’s still fall. The temperature was dropping rapidly, with the possibility of the first snowfall of the season coming this weekend.

And Moo was still living outside.


Moo, in the great outdoors


I had been desperately posting on Facebook about Moo for nearly two months, hoping to find him a home, or at least someone who could humanely trap him, get him neutered and vaccinated, and into a shelter. I was beginning to lose hope. I would be moving at the end of the month; I didn’t want to leave Moo… but how could I take him with me?

My Ex, who I’m still friendly with, became very fond of Moo, too. He called the cat “The Mighty Moo” and reiterated many times that if it weren’t for his “crew” (cats Oliver and Tiffany) at home, he’d take Moo in a heartbeat.

Then one afternoon, I received a message from a young woman I didn’t know. I’ll call her “Mandy,” since I don’t use any human’s real names here. Mandy explained that she works at a local veterinary clinic, and she also fosters cats and kittens for the SPCA. She saw my Moo post weeks ago, but at the time the shelter was full. Now that there was room for more kitties, she could come and get him that very day…

If I could catch him and get him into a carrier.


Moo raspberry
Moo sticking out his tongue… fresh kitty!



Moo, Part Two

As the days passed, Moo became a regular on the doorstep. At first, he would only come to the door with one of the other outdoor cats that frequented the neighborhood; he was too shy to come near me on his own. At least he was making some progress in trusting me… he was staying on the stoop to eat his meal, rather than grabbing a big mouthful of pate and running away with it.

It took a month or so before Moo allowed me to pet him. I suspect that being stroked sparked a memory of being somebody’s furbaby… of being a housecat.

And soon enough, Moo was strolling into the house! He’d look around, cautiously at first, eventually becoming braver and staying longer to explore the rooms downstairs. I was pleased, but I was also wary of letting him near Jinx and Milo. I didn’t know if he had any diseases, or even fleas. Plus, he was obviously not neutered. I didn’t want him spraying my furniture.

Here’s a humorous video of Moo blocking me from walking to the store, because I hadn’t fed him yet!

Moo’s story TO BE CONTINUED…

Moo’s Story: Part One

The spotted cat was a newcomer to my neighborhood. The first few times I saw him, I spied him from afar. He stood out from the feral cats in the area; he wasn’t a stealthy hunter or a fighter. Rather, the cat seemed afraid of his own shadow. I tried calling to him, but he’d only stare at me, wide-eyed, then flee. His behavior made me wonder if he’d been somebody’s pet once. I mean, he just appeared out of nowhere one day. When I spoke to the neighbors across from my place, they claimed that someone had dumped him here earlier this summer.

Moo, keeping his distance

I felt bad for the poor guy, who I dubbed “Moo” because of his cow spots. This was during the time I was feeding Snowy, the neighbor’s elderly outdoor cat, who I have blogged about here. Eventually, Snowy led Moo to my doorstep. When I opened the door, Moo looked at me, then at Snowy, as if to say: “Are you sure this is safe? Are you sure this lady can be trusted?”

When I put down a bowl of cat food in front of Moo, he grabbed a mouthful of pate and ran down the steps, spitting it out on the ground so that he could eat it a safe distance from me. And so went my next few encounters with Moo.

I was stumped: how could I possibly help this handsome boy if I couldn’t even touch him?


Snowflake’s Final Mission

After I’d known Snowy for about a year, I began to notice changes in him. He had always had a strange habit of rolling on his back in the dirt, just like a dog. But as he grew older, this amusing quirk became not so funny anymore. For the once regally handsome Snowy stopped grooming himself. There were pieces of leaves hanging from his fur. His paws were green with grass stains. His fur went from fluffy to flat and matted. He was still pretty agile; I never saw him miss a jump. But I thought that his gait was getting a little wobbly.




I’d known Snowy was up there in age, just by the condition of his teeth. The poor guy couldn’t eat dry kibble at all. I always gave him pate (his favorite was Sheba Ocean Whitefish). But it hurt my heart, nevertheless, to see him deteriorating.

Then Snowflake started doing something remarkable. He began bringing other cats to my door. They were cats I’d seen around, but who’d never been approachable. Now, he was literally leading these shy cats and kittens to my doorstep!

Two of them, it turned out, also belonged to Snowflake’s dad, Rafael. There was the tiny tortie, Sheba, and later her daughter, Panda.


the missing
Snowy with his little sis, Sheba
Snowy and baby Zoey, who I wound up adopting

But two of the kitties were in need of rescue. One was Zoey, whose story you can read about if you scroll through my earlier blog posts. I wound up adopting her.

The second cat was a full-grown, terribly skittish male cat that someone dumped in my my neighborhood. He was spotted like a cow, so I called him Moo. Moo’s story will be coming soon.

As for Snowflake?

He disappeared. Although he’d been known to take off for a couple of days now and then, this time he was gone for good. Rafael was beside himself, certain that someone had stolen him.

I knew better. My heart told me that Snowy knew his time on this earth was growing short. I’ll always believe he went off into the woods to die alone and in peace.  His final mission was to show all the neighborhood cats where they could get a good meal, even shelter, if they needed it.

At my house.

What a great cat you were, Snowy. You are missed.


snow portrait

Snowflake, Part 2: Exposed!

It turned out that the Mystery Cat belonged to my neighbor, Rafael*. He had another cat, Sheba, who lived indoors, as well as a dog named Princess, who I’d seen on occasion. The other animals stayed inside almost all of the time, but Snowflake liked to be outdoors. Not so much that he (yes, Snowflake was a MALE) was a nature buff; he just liked going from door to door in the neighborhood, meowing pathetically as if he were starving. He scored many a free meal that way, I’m sure!

Although I was now wise to his act, I continued to feed Snowy. (I couldn’t bring myself to call him Snowflake, because he wasn’t pure white; he was white and gray.) He was a funny cat, so vocal and quirky. He seemed to like being around people. I used to let him into my apartment and let him wander around, until I realized he was bringing fleas into the house. What a pain they were to get rid of! Milo and I are both severely allergic to fleas. So, that was the end of Snowy’s coming indoors.


Snowy, when I used to let him in.

Now a strictly outdoors cat (because he’d brought fleas into Rafael’s apartment, too), Snowy set off on a new mission, one that had nothing to do with acquiring free meals.

It was much more important…


*My neighbor’s name has been changed in this story to protect his privacy.