Cheryl and I have had many, many kitty-cats in our home.
We’ve housed rabbits and helped birth hundreds of kittens.
We’ve renovated our home to accommodate our furbabies, volunteered every week for years at the local Craig Street Cats animal rescue in Winnipeg, and even designed part of our basement for fostered and many abandoned, abused, even almost-assassinated cats.
We’ve long known the joy of investing our time and love into tiny kittens; even of the joy of helping special needs cats who need pilling, wound treating and even help swallowing their food whose daily regimen is demanding. We know the joy of giving and what it gives back in return.
But this one was different.
For almost 7 years we saw him at the shelter, week after week, he remained unchosen. Seven very long years!! Now the poor guy was old and was likely going to die there without ever having known the love of a family.
We couldn’t have that.
So we talked it over and decided to make him a part of our family. Here’s the story of his amazing transition.
Now, all these months later, I’ve been blown away by the impact he’s had on my life. I never would have believed it.
I’m convinced Laddie knows we saved him. Not just from sharing the only home he’s ever known with 20-30 cats every day. Not even just from the somewhat clinical facility life. He seems to understand we gave him more than showing him a whole new world of grass and clouds and smells and having his own toys and his own doesn’t-have-to-share-with-anyone place in this world.
No, he knows we saved him from more than just that.
He seems to know and treasure that we invited him into our hearts.
He seems to know that he would experience sincere, consistent love from sincere, consistent people.
I’m convinced he knows because he exudes this immense affection I can only assume is gratitude.
It’s difficult to describe. You know how some of the most meaningful relationships in life are also so… ordinary?
The deep love between husband and wife is most felt in everyday kind of moments like sitting cozied up on the couch, exchanging a knowing look that no one else knows the meaning of, or laughing at inside jokes only the two of you get. The depth of friendship can often be recognized in the simple ability to be apart for a long time and then pick up where you left off without missing a beat.
It’s like that.
The depth of connection with Laddie is most felt in his constant presence. I’ll be standing at the sink and out of the blue, he’ll come and brush up against me. Or he’ll sit regally nearby, as though standing guard over me. The others tend to go off on their own, lazing in a sunbeam somewhere. Not Laddie. He’s always around, staying close, giving affection. And each night he’ll always join the other three cats in their nightly campout on my chest.
If it doesn’t already, this is going to sound mushy for a guy, but… well, every time I look at him, I feel like I’m being given a gift. Like I’m the one being saved. Like I’m the one discovering a whole new world of gratitude and affection I wasn’t even aware cats could possess.
I had no idea a cat could love so deeply.
Or, perhaps I should say, that a person could feel that cat’s love so deeply.
It does something to my soul. I’m refreshed and even fulfilled in a way I hadn’t been before.
I had no idea what I was missing before Laddie. Now I can hardly even imagine my life without him around. How did that even happen??
That’s what I wanted to tell you – that even if you’ve adored cats, even if you’ve known their affection and felt the calm their presence can bring, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
If you’ve never rescued a cat, my wife and I highly recommend you do. It won’t just change their life. We’re willing to bet it will change yours in deeper, more moving ways than you ever thought possible.
Go on. We dare you.
Craig Street Cats is where we found Laddie. Others are eagerly awaiting their own forever home! Check them out here.
And, if you can’t see your way to inviting them into your family right now, that’s okay! It’s a process, we get it.
You can still help though, by donating to Craig’s Street Cats to help more cats find homes here.