I was staring face to face with an intruder, a masked face barely visible in the shadows. When my eyes became accustomed to the darkness, in that faint glimmer of moonlight, I could see two wide eyes staring blatantly back at me, unafraid and curious. The masked intruder suddenly ran off and disappeared into the cold winter night. I could see a tiny cat silhouette in the distance. He stopped and looked back as if to say “I will be back.”
It’s Remember Me Thursday, a global movement meant to honor and remember those pets whose time ran out, to shine a light on orphan pets still waiting in shelters for their forever homes. Today is a day to fire up social media with your pet photos and share the joys of pet adoption. Here in Quebec, Canada, there is a huge problem with perfectly healthy pets losing their lives because they cannot find their forever homes. It’s one of the most stressful and heartbreaking things that shelter employees face daily, having to put an unwanted pet down.
Today the Chirpy Cats remember and honor their kind because not long ago they were homeless and unwanted too. I want to share a story about one of our rescues, the last addition to the Chirpy Cats crew. This was one determined lad that didn’t give up finding his forever home. Yes, he was the masked intruder of the night. He had returned three days later after that first break-in, after one of the worst snowstorms and freezing temperatures we had in a long while. We were not quite sure if The Mask had a home or not as a few people actually let their cats out in winter, which I could never understand. On milder days he would come by and watch our cats in the catio from the deck outside.
It became almost a daily occurrence. One of us would ask “Have you seen the mask today?” We had a lot of questions. Where did he come from? Is he an unfortunate victim of ‘Moving Day’ in Quebec? Is he part feral? What we did know is that this wanderer, this masked intruder was adamant that our deck on a sunny winter afternoon made for a good bed.
But after weeks of coming and going, showing up at the glass door always with one paw raised, I decided to meet him outside. One snowy day I saw him climb over the catio tunnel as usual. What was striking about him was his little black capri pants visible from a distance. I went out with some food and after a few slow blinks and chirrups, I convinced him that he doesn’t have to be afraid of me.
One day he came by and as usual, staring at all the cats with one paw raised. We could see he was badly injured with a large gash to his neck. Since he had already broken into the catio, it was easy for my husband to coax him back into the catio and to take him to the vet. We were not looking to adopt another cat at all, as we already had nine, but I couldn’t let him be yet another shelter cat statistic. He would surely have ended up on death row.
We cannot save all the cats on the other side of the glass, but sometimes one comes along who has already chosen yours as his forever home. Sly Pie was home long before we knew it.
That masked cat of the night, looking back at me in the shadows, indeed returned. For good.
We’re joining Three Chatty Cats and Lola The Rescue Cat on their blog hop today and we’re hoping to spread awareness about orphan pets in shelters across the globe. Let’s call for fewer pets in shelters and more pets in forever homes.
What are your pet rescue stories? How did your pets ask to be on the other side of the glass?
Join the blog hop below….