For my brother's 13th birthday, on May 17, 2007, he asked me, my mom & dad to volunteer with him at the local no-kill shelter. I was recovering from deviated septum surgery, and it was the first day I was actually leaving the house. I felt totally miserable. Before we left the house, my mom set down some ground rules. No matter how much we love the cats, none of them are coming home. Do not ask for one as a birthday present. Do not get mad when I say "no." Period.
So naturally, my mom fell in love with a cat, and wanted to bring it home. This particular cat broke two of my mom's other ground rules for cat-adoption: we will never have a light-furred cat, and we will never have a long-haired cat. Period. But as soon as my mom picked her up, and held her in her arms, all bets were off.
Bringing her home was such a delight -- she kept me company for the next week or so that I was relegated to sleeping on the couch, often sleeping on my stomach or my back, and greeting me with a loud chirp when I woke up. Having her company for the following week of recovery was something I'll always cherish.
When we first met Hypatia (who was named Sara at the time) she had just been brought back to the cottage after spending a few months in a foster home, and we were told that she was about three years old. Her and another cat, Sadie, were found in the winter with matted fur, starving to death. Her foster parent, Carol, told us that she was one of worst cases they had ever brought in, she was so sick. The day we met her, she was quiet as a mouse, shy and frightened.
Two years later, we've been through so much together. She isn't as shy and quiet as she was that day, rather she is one of the most talkative cats on the planet. And she isn't three years old.. more like nine or ten. We found that out last February when she completely stopped eating and started hiding under the bed all day. Assuming that she had cancer or FIP, our vet scheduled an ultrasound to find the root of the problem. That's when we learned that she had a small benign growth on her kidney that is only found in cats nine and over. Luckily, though, it wasn't cancer or FIP. She had stopped eating because of a severe case of gingivitis, for which we give her monthly shots (and possibly may have to have her teeth pulled soon.) But I'll take gingivitis over cancer any day.
I'm actually allergic to cats, so for the first 8 months or so, Hypatia was not allowed in my bedroom. But after her health scare in 2008, I started letting her in, and she's made my room her sanctuary ever since. She has her own pillow on my bed (though she still steals mine most of the time) she keeps me company while I'm working, and follows me everywhere. When I get up in the morning and go to my laptop to check my emails, she follows me and gets cozy near my feet. At night when I watch movies, she keeps me company. If I get up to go to the bathroom, she waits outside of the door until I come out. She's become my little shadow.
She's the sweetest cat in the universe, and I just had to share her story with you. If you're like me, and you just love cats, then I'm sure you understand my motherly gushing ;)
Hypatia at the Kitty Cottage on May 17, 2007
To see more pictures of Hypatia and my other
darling, Chloe, click here to view their set in
my flickr photostream.
*Song of the week coming up later tonight, with a new theme that I'm going to have for the summer-- and, surprise surprise, it will actually have art with it this time! I know, shocking!*