“Following the unexpected loss of my last kitty Theodore — possibly from an undisclosed heart condition — after a glorious six years together, I hadn’t planned on getting another kitty right away,” says Darlene.

“I live alone, however, and when the pandemic began, I started watching the rescue web sites and visiting a few shelters, but nothing lined up. Then, one day I saw Zeke posted on the Furry Friends web site. He was a new arrival and they had accidentally posted him online for a day.

“When I inquired about him, I was told that he was scheduled for a dental appointment but that he had a heart murmur which had to be checked out first. In short, he wasn’t available for adoption yet.

“That didn’t deter me though. I continued to check in each week and then I went to visit him in Vancouver a week before his ninth birthday. We hung out together for about half an hour. He was calm and friendly. When I saw his original photo, I’d been drawn to the depth of his green eyes looking directly into the camera and by his grounded presence. When we met, everything felt aligned, so I drove back up from Portland a month later to adopt him.

“Zeke is his original name and it means ‘God-given strength.’ Theodore, my last kitty’s name, means a ‘gift from God.’ While I wasn’t able to save Theodore, I felt that in adopting Zeke with his heart murmur, I was being given a second chance.

“Upon arriving at my place, Zeke took two strolls around my one-bedroom apartment, flopped down onto the floor in the hallway and made himself right at home. It was that easy!

“He’s independent yet affectionate and very smart. But at first, he was extremely sensitive to loud noises like vacuums, clanking dishes, lawn mowers and even the weekly visits from my four-year-old niece – all of which made him hide in the far back corner of the closet. It took me a few weeks to realize this and I began working with him immediately. Thankfully, he’s no longer anxious in these situations.

“Some of his most endearing habits are drinking from the bathtub faucet, planting kitty kisses on my cheek and giving me love bites. At night, he likes to sleep at the end of my bed or on his kitty condo where I leave the window cracked open for fresh air. Lately, when I arrive home, I find him sitting near the door waiting to greet me. It’s so touching!

“Zeke is a big boy at 17 pounds, and I call him my ‘gentle giant.’ I so enjoy his company and I’m grateful to places like Furry Friends for bringing pets and people together in this special way. Thank you for caring. We are both very happy.”

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Furry Friends Fur-Ever Stories are compiled and written by Nomi Berger who is the bestselling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction, two volumes of poetry, and hundreds of articles. She is a volunteer writer for Furry Friends in Vancouver, WA and also volunteers her writing skills to animal rescue groups in Canada and the USA. She lives with her adopted Maltese named Mini.

Furry Friends is a nonprofit cat adoption organization. Its mission is to help homeless, relinquished and abused cats by providing spaying and neutering, medical care, and foster shelter for as long as it takes to find their forever home. Copyright © 2013 – 2020 Furry Friends. All rights reserved. Website design and development by Christina Roberts.