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  • Writer's pictureBetty Girardeau


Let me introduce you to my cat, Sully. He is a Maine Coon that I adopted two years ago. When he came into my life, I already had another kitty with whom I share my life named Boo. As a nearly starving kitten Boo showed up on our doorstep thirteen years ago sitting next to my late kitty OC (Orange Cat). OC was an indoor/outdoor cat, and we always believed that he must have found Boo one night when he was out and took pity on her, telling her to come home with him because his people would be more than happy to give her a good home. And we have. OC was nineteen when I decided that his declining health made it obvious that I needed to take him to the vet and ease him into the next life. That was seven months after my husband died. OC had seemed to understand my loss and tried hard to be there for both Boo and me. But I knew it was time for me to say good-bye to him, too. Boo took OC's death particularly hard and decided that the best way for her to deal with grief was to eat constantly. She was turning into a furry cannon ball. I knew I needed to find a new feline friend for both of us. After Christmas in 2018 I started working with an on-line rescue group called All Paws. I told them what kind of kitty I was looking for and how far I was willing to drive to adopt. I would get daily emails showing possible kitties I might want to consider. One day in late January a picture and description of Sully came up. He was still a kitten, eight months old, but already a pretty good size. But it was his eyes that really spoke to me. It took me a day to decide that I wanted to see if I could adopt him. I didn't immediately hear anything from All Paws, and, in fact, when I went to check his file a couple of days later, I learned that he had already been adopted. So I was surprised later that day to receive a phone call that I was the person they had decided to allow to adopt him. From what I learned when I went to get him the following Sunday, he had had a pretty rough first eight months of life. When a small kitten he was dumped at the county animal shelter. In the months following he was bounced around to several foster homes. In the last one there had also been a very large dog and a three year old child. Not surprisingly, he was a very traumatized cat. I knew that he first would need to acclimatize to my house, and I gave him a "suite" of two rooms. For most of four weeks he hid under and behind the furniture and wouldn't let me get close enough to do more than talk to him, certainly not touch him. One night while watching TV and with Boo sitting on the couch next to me, I saw Sully peeking through the glass in the French door separating "his" room from the living room. He had spied Boo. It took three more evenings, when I had cracked the French door a bit and was enticing him with a cat toy before he considered it might be safe to venture into the rest of the house. By the end of the week he had decided to "own" the house. And the rest is history. My day usually starts and ends with Sully. He loves to jump up on my bed when I am making it in the morning or getting ready for bed so he can roll around, begging me to rub his tummy and under his chin. When I head down to watch TV in the evenings, he wants to prove that he can run down the stairs faster than I can. He entertains me and Boo by running at breakneck speeds from one room to the next, often chasing a toy, or Boo. I can't speak for Boo, but Sully makes me laugh several times a day. Unfortunately most of my cat sitters when I travel have never personally seen him. He is still very wary of strangers. But he is a joy to me...and Boo who is not eating all the time and has noticeably thinned down. I have had a cat in my life all my life, and all of them have been special to me. But Sully, with those gorgeous and expressive eyes, is really special.

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