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

 

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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
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!

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

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
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?

TO BE CONTINUED

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.

 

Snowy

 

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
zoey-snowy
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

Zoey, Part 9: Mutant Inbreed?!?

It seemed too good to be true… Zoey was back in my arms, and her original human parents had just surrendered her to me. The sweet baby was MINE, really mine!!!

But, wait. What’s that Jake just said? She isn’t actually a baby?

“She’s actually well over a year old, almost two,” he said. “She’s already had at least one litter of kittens.” He lowered his voice as if he were passing on classified information: “She was an inbred barn cat we got from our friends.”

Hold up: inbred??? Shouldn’t she have two heads, half a tail, and be walking into walls, then? There was nothing abnormal about Zoey’s appearance or behavior. And as for her age… could she really be an adult? She only weighed 5.1 pounds when I took her to the vet. Her limbs were skinny and spindly, like the legs of a fawn. Her eyes were so large, she reminded me of a Ty “Beanie Boo” stuffed animal. (See example below.)

 

beanie boo purple
A Ty Beanie Boo

 

Also, Zoey’s behavior was definitely kitten-like: spastic, jumping up on everything, no inhibitions, no fear, and no manners whatsoever. And the vet John and I had taken her to when she was injured had guesstimated her age to be about five months.

I tried to believe Jake. Why would he lie? (Clarissa said nothing to back up nor to refute his claims. Just stood there mutely.) The idea of a cat that would remain eternally kitten-sized was very charming. (THINK about it! Wouldn’t you love to have a mini kitty???)

One thing I knew Jake wasn’t fibbing about was the fact that Zoey had been vaccinated; he gave me the paperwork from the vet’s that said Zoey (well, Macie Mae at the time) was inoculated and due for her next shots in August of 2018.

I would just have to wait and see if Zoey ever got any bigger. And I’d have to watch her tummy for signs of life, literally, in case she was pregnant. (“If she is, the SPCA would probably take the litter,” John told me.)

What lay ahead for my little, might-be-a-mutant Zoey?

I’d just have to wait and see…

 

Zoey Bug
“Who you callin’ a mutant?”

 

Author’s note: Zoey has continued to flourish… and GROW! She has been spayed and is at this very moment, purring in my lap and kneading my arm as I type.

Stay tuned to My Life With Cats for updates on Zoey, my other cats, Jinx and Milo, and the stories of two more special kitties: Snowflake and Moo.

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?”