Happy Valentines Day, everyone!!
Friday afternoon my husband announced we were going for a ride, and he refused to tell me where we were heading. It was a beautiful sunny day, and he drove south, which took us further out in the country. I was enjoying the ride. I felt like Uriah, except I didn’t hang my head out the window.
I could see the damage that this winter had done to some of the silos and barns, roofs needed patching and paint was wearing away. The roads were warped from freezing and thawing. Most of the streets around here have streams beneath them, anywhere from a few inches, to a few feet; the flowing water cracked the blacktop and caused waves to set in, making the drive similar to a roller coaster.
We were headed in the direction of Sycamore, Illinois.
Driving along, Michael started mumbling. “Seems someone moved a building…!”
“If you tell me where we are gong, maybe I can help.”
He snapped. “You get lost in the living room!” Michael muttered gripping the steering wheel. “I missed a turn somewhere.”
“Okay, so, if I was looking for something, what would I be looking for?” I kept my eyes forwards, because I knew he was slowly looking in my direction, he was getting miffed…
“The animal rescue?”
“Yes!” Michael rolled his eyes as he replied.
A very heavy sigh came out of him, I was sure if I looked in his direction he would have deflated half his size. I didn’t look..
“You said Kenshin needs a friend. So for Valentines day I’m getting you a new cat.”
“You mean for Kenshin?” I said coyly.
“You’re on my last nerve!” He answered softly.
“DeKalb TAILS Humane Rescue is on the left, side of Peace road.” I pointed out. “Turn on Barber Greene Rd.” I motioned straight ahead and added. “It’s the second traffic light.”
Michael made a growling noise when I tried to read the road signs. ” Stop! I know where we’re at!” He signaled then turned left, then right into the parking lot. We passed by a volunteer dog walker, and slipped into a parking space.
Our thirteen year old who had been quiet the entire ride, piped up. “This is the same place we parked when we adopted Kenshin over two years ago.”
“That’s a good sign then!” Michael opened the front door, and held it open as we walked inside. “Maybe someone in here wants to come home with us!”
Straight ahead was a counter and to the left, leashes and dog and cat food were for sale.
Between that area the doors were closed that lead into the dog rescue section, we could hear them barking.
A sweet puppy greeted us wearing a pink collar. She was a patchwork combination of black, brown and white. She wagged her tail happily. After saying hello, she headed back to a big floor pillow and laid down.
A very nice, woman welcomed us and started pointing out the rooms. They have a small critter room, where we could see birds and rabbits. They even have a rat and a mouse. This room was between two cat rooms. Both had older cats inside, they walked around, and watched us as we entered. A beautiful Siamese mix walked up to the glass door inviting us in. To bad, ‘she’ was a she. Kenshin needed friend to play with, not a female who would tell him what to do all day. That is Tomoe’s job.
The woman pointed out the large aviary type cage in the center of the room; it held black kittens, all female. The room to the left of the front door was closed off due to illness. Until the veterinarian gives them all a clean bill of health, that room will stay closed, a safety precaution for the rest of the rescue.
We were taken along a hallway to the room that housed some of the younger residents.
I was interested in seeing one guy who I saw on their web site, Hooligan, an all black male, with gold big round eyes.
The woman took him and his brother, Trouble, from their cage. We thought they were four to five months old, but they were four weeks old when brought in, not four months old as their website had indicated. Now, they looked about eight to ten weeks old, and very tiny.
I turned and saw another pair of gold curious eyes staring out at me.
“Who is that?” I pointed up, “Is that a male?”
Quickly she said, “You don’t want him.” and walked with us back down the hall into a playroom.
There we watched and interacted with the cutest little boys. They ran and passed off a toy mouse as if they were playing a football game. They were very careful with their claws, and so sweet!! But very small.
Kenshin is nearly twenty pounds. He loves to grab his very old brother PJ in a head lock and slam him to the ground. PJ taught him that move, and now I think he regrets he had.
Another woman came in the room and started asking questions concerning the type of cat we were looking for. Michael told her about Kenshin, and she pointed us towards the older cat room.
The TAILS rescue is very warm; the cats need the extra heat to stay healthy. I was melting…
“Can we see the cat I noticed in the cage across from these guys?” I repeated that request several times.
Instead she explained these young ones, Hooligan and Trouble, were brought in at the end of December with some health problems, which have since been cleared up and are now ready to be taken to a new home.
I was wondering about the large gold eyes I saw peeking out at me. “Ok, so are there any males in that cage I’ve been asking about?”
She said there were two males, I asked to see them. Once more we returned to the kitten room and looked into a cage. That’s when she explained, fearfully, they were on the edge of being feral. When the cage was opened the intelligent looking cat we first noticed came forward, a male named Buddy. The very cat we had been told we don’t want. His brother pulled back and seemed to scare the woman. She quickly closed the cage door and handed Buddy off to my husband as we headed back to the play room.
“This guy has never been in this room, and he’s never connected to anyone.” She said by way of warning and carefully backed out of the room and leaving us with Buddy.
He ran under one chair then peeked out at us, spotted Michael and ran under his chair. Michael reached down and lifted him on his lap where he sat and kneaded his very big paws. He never purred.
We started to notice the attention we were getting through the door.
The woman came in and said Buddy never reacted to anyone like he was doing with us. “But aren’t you sure you won’t like to see someone else?”
“Ok.” I said and Michael rolled his eyes.
Just a note here: Michael gets along with felines far better than he does with any other species, especially humans, and he’s proven to me time and again he knows a rare cat instantly. (He made me add this)
We left our daughter in the room with Buddy, and we walked across to yet another room with older cats; very sweet, sad and lonely cats. It was obvious they loved the woman. It was their nap time and one cat she pointed out was about two, but he loved to sleep. He was sleeping on a cat tower and just about to fall through the hole on top. We all laughed and she said, “He will fall through without waking! He can really sleep, not much for running around.” Then a beautiful black cat came up and started rubbing and purring on Michael, but hissed when he tried to show him to me.
We quickly left that room. Michael wanted to take everyone home. He pulls the “curmudgeon act” because he’s a complete “softie” at heart, when it comes to animals and his family anyway. Especially cats because; well, he is a cat, personality wise.
A different woman came forward, and asked which cats we already saw. She turned and saw our daughter cuddling Buddy, she responded like the other lady, “He never reacted to anyone like that!”
Once we saw everyone in TAILS, Michael talked to the woman and I went back into the play room. I picked up Buddy, and stood near the window, where I could see Michael. The lady looked in and seemed shocked, Michael walked up to the glass, and Buddy meowed loudly. He reached for the glass and pressed his paw against it in an attempt to reach Michael, who pressed his hand on the opposite side of the glass…
He was put into a cardboard cat carrier for the ride home. We were assured he could not escape. But while the paperwork was finalized, which took ten minutes, he ripped his way out of the box. We borrowed us a plastic cat carrier:-)
I haven’t slept at all, since Thursday night. Buddy, is now called, Sanosuke, keeping with the anime flow of names. He stays in a cage, set up in the middle of the living room, until he gets a clean bill of heath from the veterinarian. He has an appointment, Tuesday at three.
Tails Humane Society
2250 Barber Greene Road
DeKalb, Illinois 60115