I might as well be upfront with you and tell you that I’m not really an animal person as in a part of that fringe group that believes an animal’s rights usurp those of people. Now, having said that, I have to admit that I really do like cats although I have not owned one in years…well, not until Lucky the Unlucky Cat came into my life very unexpectedly.
Lucky and his three siblings were born in Glen Rose, Texas to my daughter Julie’s family, his mom, Tiger, a gorgeous, fuzzy gray cat with the perfect kitty personality. Because Tiger was an outdoor cat, Julie had mom and babies bedded down in the garage in their home high upon what I called The Promise hill.
All was well with the kitties for a night or two, and then a coon found its way into the garage, killing all of the babies except for one, a coal black baby that my grandchildren named, of course, Lucky. We laughed when we said it, but it was obvious that Lucky might indeed have been lucky, but he had also been traumatized.
Lucky gradually grew into a beautiful black cat, content to stay by his mother’s side or to lie alone, but it was obvious that Lucky wanted nothing to do with other animals, including other cats. His disposition was good, allowing the children to pet and play, but Lucky was a loner, plain and simple.
And then, poor Lucky’s world rocked when Wes and Julie sold their home and moved into a tiny apartment while waiting for their new home to be built. It was obvious that Lucky and Tiger couldn’t make the move and so feeling very much the mom of the year, I agreed to become a foster mother to the two cats until they could be reunited with their real owners.
Did you hear what I said? FOSTER mother only! These cats were going back home!!
There is no way I can explain to you the amount of work that went into those two cats except just to say that my babies never received so much attention! I do NOT have animals in my house; however, I also knew that there was no way I could just drop two cats into the yard and expect them to stay.
Sooooo…..I turned my laundry room into a cat hotel, complete with a litter box, etc. and every few hours I stopped work to visit with my new children and explain to them about their new home.
After three or four days, I would go in every few hours and take my fosters into the back yard and walk them around for a few minutes so that they could begin to see where there new home was going to be. Then, a few days later I began to take my computer outside where I set up shop, working in the yard while making sure the cats “were okay.”
Finally, two weeks from the day of the big move, Tiger and Lucky were made outdoor cats. It was a day when Ric was doing a lot of yard work, and I decided the cats were ready to make the adjustment with someone who would be in the yard anyway.
And then it happened…
I had just walked into the sitting room and noticed Tiger lying on the stoop, near the glass with Lucky (of course) nearby. At that exact same moment a huge yellow cat (I’m pretty sure the size of a bobcat!) pounced upon tiger, spitting and snarling. Scared to death, Tiger screamed and ran one way, Lucky the other.
There was nothing anyone could do. Tiger dashed into the street, right in the path of an oncoming truck. I watched horrified as one, two, three wheels missed her. And then I watched as the fourth ran over her, leaving her hurt, but still alive and apparently in no pain at all.
I’m not an overly emotional person, but I could barely get the words out when Randy Abbey picked up his phone, offering to meet me at his office. To make a very long story a little shorter, Lucky lost the only “person” he really liked that evening, his mother.
It was obvious that Lucky the unlucky cat was not going to be consoled, and he was terrified of the yellow cat. He had come to like me, but only me. He was also scared to death of the yard, and he left everyday…to where I am not sure, and he never came home until just at dark. Wherever he was hiding was a sticker patch, and I would feed him and then put him in my lap and cut stickers out of his thick fur for an hour or so.
Then….Lucky was gone again…back into hiding.
When Ric and I would need to be gone in the evening, the people in charge of “feeding the cat” had to be willing to come to the house at dark and wait on Lucky to return. Yes, I’m sure they talked!
Finally, we were able to trap the killer cat and give him to someone else far, far away and I gradually convinced Lucky that it was safe to stay in his own yard. He came back, but he lived high in a tree for quite some time!
After hearing our story one day, friends gave us a black kitty just weaned, and lo and behold, for the first time in his life Lucky seemed to love being with a cat who was not his mother. The kitty was afraid of nothing and bullet proof, and he and Lucky spent hours playing…for one week…until kitty suddenly was gone, never to return, and Lucky the unlucky cat was once again depressed.
Now, I could go on and on about the trials of Lucky, but since I need to make this very long story a little shorter, I will just say that the final blow to Lucky came a few months ago, and even I don’t believe it, but I swear it is the truth.
I heard a few meows and walked to the door to see what the latest problem was with Lucky, and there sitting at the bottom of the steps was Lucky…and Lucky…
I looked at one and then at the other. I turned to my right side. “Lucky?” I asked.
Then I turned to my left side and again said, “Lucky?”
Slowly I descended the steps, looking first to the left and then to the right. I reached to pet one, and then I reached to pet the other. I looked up and down and from one side to the other. I turned each cat over, and the bottom line here is that there was absolutely no way to identify my own foster cat!
So what did I do?
I picked up the cat who looked the saddest, and I prayed that he was Lucky and we sat and visited a while.
Today, that cat remains at our house…and the other often comes to visit or to grab a bite if he is hungry…and when he is in my yard there is still no way to distinguish him from Lucky the unlucky cat, except that Lucky (I hope) has now lived here longer and likes me a little more.
AND…after having spent months and months of taking care of a cat, Julie has decided that it will just be too traumatic for Lucky to move to their new home, and I agree with her.
So…Lucky The Unlucky Cat is now a Jones instead of a Young. I can’t get rid of that darned cat now!
(And in case you wonder, Lucky has been able to escape every collar I’ve put on him.)