2:55 PM | 03-28-21
Over ten years ago, when I moved here from the east coast to be with my boyfriend, now husband, one of the first things I wanted to do as adopt a cat. We had a two bedroom apartment and I was lonely being away from all my friends. I remember it very clearly, I finally got Brandon to go with me to the local shelter, and none of the cats up for adoption seemed to click. As we were leaving there was a cage with a towel covering the front. I asked who was in there and the woman told me "oh you don't want to see him, he's very upset and temperamental" I shrugged my shoulders and walked away. We left that day cat-less. A week or so later I returned without Brandon during a horrible rain storm. Looked at all the cats, and none again, stuck out. Then I walked past the forbidden cage that had the towel hanging over its front. This time, the towel had been removed. And there, was the most absolute beautiful gray tabby cat with green eyes the size of saucers. Our eyes met, he hissed, and I asked to be put in a meet and greet meeting with him immediately. He stood in the corner ignoring me like the plague. As I thumbed through his paperwork, it appeared he had been returned by several different owners. It did not say why. I asked one of the volunteers if they knew more and they replied that he looked like he may had been abused, all four of his paws were declawed, he had a broken tail in several places, and seemed aggressive. For some unexplainable reason, I knew he was my cat. I told the volunteer I wanted to proceed and she began almost talking me out of the adoption. Saying it was ok if I had to return him, not to feel bad, he was just a unhappy cat. And thats it, thats it took to hear, he was unhappy, and I was going to change that. They scooped him up, gave him a vaccination (which im sure he faught off) and stuffed him in a carrying home cardboard box. As we drove home in the pouring rain, I promised him a better life, one he would be happy with. I told him he would have treats and toys and a bed to sleep in always. Once we got home I set his carrying box on the floor. Opened it with caution, and he leapt out in once gorgeous leap to the floor. My husband seemed apprehensive and at that moment, PUMA, came to mind. He would no longer be "Lync" as they called him at the shelter, he would be our Puma. Every day he got better, slept in our bed, purred and loved every scratch and snuggle we provided to him. Through the years, we changed apartments 3 times, lived through one adjoining apartment fire, a tape warm, a couple infections that required antibiotics, but many many more healthy days than bad. This past week was the worst for Puma, and after everything possible, including a saline bag and an IV of fluids daily we would administer, we just couldn't pull him out if this one. We will never know how old Puma actually was, I will never know who those SOB people were who declawed every paw, who broke his tail, who returned him and made him feel that he was not wanted or loved. What I can tell you is I loved that cat, I loved him from the moment I was able to see him. I saved him from death row, I saved him from so many cold nights not feeling loved...and it was one of the best things I have ever done in my life. A story, I will continue to tell and promote others to adopt those who may not be as pretty, or forthcoming. You never know their past, where they came from, or what attributed to their current behavior. All day yesterday, in the warm sunlight, we reminded him just how much we loved him, we pet him for hours kissing him on his forehead. He lay in our bed last night as we held his hand assuring him it was ok to go. I have to remind myself that though this day was one of the hardest, there were so so many great days. Those great days are what makes it worth it. Those great days are the ones that get me to the next and encourage me to wipe my tears and smile. I will miss Puma more than words can say and i dearly hope I see him again when it's my time. I hope everyone has the opportunity to same an animal like Puma, an unlikely friend for life in an unexpected place, on death row. RIP my sweet friend. I love you.