Zoey, Part 8: “Did You Miss Me?”

I felt as if I had already lost her, as I handed Zoey over to Jake. Once she was in his arms, the change in his gruff demeanor was amazing; the kitten turned him into an enchanted boy, overjoyed to be holding his lost cat again.

“Macie Mae!” He cuddled and rocked her like she was a newborn baby. “Did you miss Daddy?”

Zoey didn’t nuzzle him back, nor did she try to get away from him. She just stiffened up. It was clear that she remembered Jake. So why didn’t she act happy or excited? She didn’t move a whisker, just remained paralyzed in Jake’s strong arms.

I watched this reunion in silence, alternately mourning the impending loss of my new furbaby, and wondering over the weirdness of it all: Jake’s transformation into a gentle giant… Zoey’s total lack of emotion… Clarissa still hanging back, staring.

The awkward cuddle fest dragged on for many long, torturous minutes. Finally I drew attention to Zoey’s hideous neck wound. Jake looked and blinked, noticing it for the first time. At last, Clarissa came forward to have a look. They gasped as they examined her.

 

Z1

 

“It was nowhere near this bad when we last saw her,” Jake insisted.

“Ew! She feels disgusting!” Clarissa grimaced as she felt the scabby abrasions all around Zoey’s neck.

The couple looked at one another. There was some kind of silent communication going on between them.

“Okay, I’ll tell you what,” Jake said. “You can have her.”

Did I just hear right?!?

“You took her to the vet. You did a good thing for her. I’m willing to reimburse you some money towards the vet costs.”

Talk about doing a total 180!

“That’s not necessary,” I said. I was filled with gratitude towards him for gifting me this sweet baby girl. “I just thank you so much!”

As he handed the precious kitty back to me, I asked him to tell me a bit about Zoey’s history.

What I was told was nothing short of unbelievable.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

zoeymeister
“So I stays?”

 

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Zoey, Part 6: Settling in

I brought Zoey home and got started on her aftercare plan. I found it impossible to squirt the drops of liquid medicine down her throat; she was too wiggly. So I mixed the drops into her wet food, and she ate it right up. The flea med seemed to be working as well. While she still scratched a lot, a quick few strokes with a flea comb turned up no live fleas. The neck wound still looked awful, although it had started to fade from blood red to a healthier pink. I wondered if her fur would ever grow back there, or if she’d always have a bald spot.

My two adult cats weren’t sure what to make of the newcomer. I kept them separate as much as possible, sequestering Zoey in the spare bedroom most of the time. Of course, the other cats knew she was there; they’d smell her under the door, the way cats do. Also, I couldn’t resist letting her out once in awhile, for just a few minutes at a time, to explore a little bit of her new home.Well, the hallway at least.

As her sniffles cleared up, I let her out more and more. She was so curious about everything!

zoey bookcase
Zoey explores the bookcase. Notice that she is standing on a stack of cat-related books!

Speaking of curiosity, Milo seemed to want to know about Zoey. Jinx, however, was terribly offended that I would let another cat into our world. Certainly she, the magnificent Jinx, was splendid enough to fulfill anyone’s need for a cat! Even this Milo character was merely an “extra” on the set of her life. Him, she’d grown to tolerate, but this… this ZOEY. Just, no.

It will all work out, I thought. It’ll just take time. But three is my limit!

It’s funny, when I had just the two, I’d always joked that I was “one cat short of crazy.” Now, with the addition of Zoey, what did that make me???

 

jinx zoey staredown
Zoey looking up at Jinx. Jinx keeps her distance.

 

Before I could figure out the answer to that question, there was a knock at my door. I opened it to see Jake and Clarissa*, my neighbors. I’d only exchanged “hellos” in passing with them, yet I knew what they were here for.

They were Zoey’s original human parents. And Jake looked very unhappy.

 

*Names of humans have been changed