She first got my attention with her Dodge Hemi high performance purr.
My wife Cheryl and I were at Craig Street Cats, serving as volunteers, as usual. Cheryl was down the hall in one room, and I was just walking into one of the rooms to give some love to some of the 30 or so cats in there.
The minute I walked into the teen room and closed the door, I could hear a loud purring. And I mean LOUD. This was a Dodge Hemi high performance engine kind of purr. Over the years, we've cared for perhaps hundreds of kittens in our own home, and probably seen thousands in our shelter volunteering career, and I’m telling you, I’ve never heard a cat with such a loud purr!
“Well, hello there!” I said, bending down to pick him up.
“Her name is Morenga,” someone said.
“Oh, hello, Morenga!” I ran a hand along her soft fur and he kept right on revving that engine of his. Actually, he purred louder, which I hadn’t thought would be possible. I learned she was 1-½ years old and along with another mom and both their litters, had been found in July on side of highway in a sealed cardboard box. Someone found them abandoned on side of road. I couldn’t decide if the story made me more angry with the cruelty of the person who did that or sad for the cats who’d been left to die like that.
After making my rounds, I met Cheryl in the hall. I gave her ‘the look’ and told her about Morenga, “You have to come see this cat.”
I open the door and we walk in, and the same thing happens; Morenga comes to our feet and purrs loudly. Cheryl looked at the cat. We looked at each other, neither of us saying aloud how beautiful we thought she was.
The next day I woke up realizing I had been thinking about her all night long. But right there at the breakfast table, Cheryl revealed she’d also had her on her mind, and beat me to saying what we both were thinking. “I think we need to bring her home”
That day we called the shelter, and Morenga joined our family that week.
Integrating into our Family
One of the first things we did with Morenga was change her name to Hemmie. As in, Dodge Hemi.
She’s been in our family for just 6 weeks, but we’ve already learned she’s quite brilliant. She learned her new name in a matter of days, for one thing.
I wish I could tell you how satisfying it is for me to sit at my office desk and watch her perch on her stand and watch birds hop around in the bush just on the other side of the window. Hemmie puts her paws on the window sash, kind of hanging herself there like a decoration, and watches the little birds with such interest. It’s especially touching when I think of how she never had access to windows or the outdoors in the shelter. The world literally just opened up to her, and it’s so fun to watch her discover it. I can’t wait until we set her up by a window in summer when there’s even more bird and insect activity.
Hemmie is still in the integration stage, slowly becoming familiar with each room one at a time, and will soon be fully integrated and have access to the whole house like our other furbabies.
As always, Cheryl and I feel very blessed by this cat. There is something good about giving to a cat and aiding in their rescue, but there is also a goodness that comes back; we get back as much as we give, so it’s highly and personally rewarding, and worth every bit of effort.
Have you ever experienced a cat rescue?