“I’ve had many pets through the years,” says Julie. “Horses, dogs, cats. All took a piece of my heart when we parted due basically to old age and the illnesses that go with it.
“After I laid my last kitty to rest in July 2016, I told myself that I’d fulfill my need for purrs and kitty kisses by volunteering for Furry Friends. I’d come and go and not get attached to them, so that if and when they crossed Rainbow Bridge I wouldn’t dissolve with the pain of loss.
“Well, that was foolish and selfish thinking. I’d been at Furry Friends less than four months when I met Happy Cat. She needed extra attention after having several teeth removed and she seemed to respond to me. She was a beautiful tabby with a soft meow and a loud, drooling purr when I held her against my chest. I wondered why she wasn’t being put up for adoption, considering how well she’d progressed thanks to Furry Friends’ excellent medical care.
“Then I learned that Happy Cat was FIV positive. That finding a fur-ever home for her would be a challenge, and that she would be moved to a shelter in Sherwood to live with other cats whose immune systems were compromised.
“After having spent time with this sweet, loving kitty, I stayed awake nights thinking how her sweetness wouldn’t be fully appreciated in such a setting. Although I knew that her physical needs would be met, I felt she would never fully blossom without her own ‘special person.’ I felt selfish when I contemplated the pain I’d suffer if I lost her. And yet …
“Needless to say, I’m now 7-year-old Happy Cat’s very happy third guardian! The family of her late owner may not have wanted her, but I certainly did and still do, and I haven’t changed her name since it suits her perfectly.
“She’s trained me very well in the months she’s graced my house, and has taught me what brings her joy. It’s not the fancy toys I’ve bought, but the crumpled up envelopes I toss on the floor as I pay the bills, before they hit the re-cycle bin. She enjoys tussling with empty toilet paper tubes, and she always sleeps on my chest for fifteen minutes, purring and kneading me, before she heads to the chair beside my bed for the night.
“She watches the birds and bunnies in our yard through the screened porch every morning before her breakfast. She’s easygoing and vocally charming, but she can be somewhat demanding if her meals are ‘delayed.’ She’s also a very good listener and never disagrees with my opinions or beliefs.
“I hope that we’ll have many good years together. I believe what I can learn from her is infinitely more valuable than anything I could teach her.
“In short, I feel blessed.”