Gandalf – A Cat Story
We’ve heard about dog adoptions, but here’s the puurrrr-fect story about a kitty finding his forever home. Guest writer Valerie Simmons shares her story here:
I’ve been an animal lover my entire life, with a particular love for cats. I find them playful, free spirited, and aesthetically beautiful. Last Spring I was visiting a friend, and as I walked toward my car in the parking lot of his apartment complex, I heard a desperate meowing that instantly made me stop in my tracks.
It was late, and hard to see in the poorly lit parking lot, but I could make out the shape of a small cat, white, with grey tabby markings, hiding behind the back tire of a car. I slowly approached the cat, and he cowered, while shaking and continuing to meow loudly. The meowing had the tone of starvation and neglect. I proceeded to approach him and call out to him in a friendly tone, and he finally started walking toward me.
I put my hand out for him to smell, and he rubbed his face against my hand and arm. He let me pet his head lightly, and I ran my hand over his back, feeling the protruding bones of his spine. This cat was severely malnourished. All I could think about was taking this little guy to my home and feeding him.
I have two grey tabbies, at that time they had been with me for five years. I adopted them from local shelters in San Antonio. Their names are Gizmo, (boy) and Zephyr, (girl) and they are spoiled, clean, indoor cats. I knew they would not be excited about this scrappy, stray kitty coming into their territory, but I just couldn’t fathom leaving this cat to starve, hiding behind a car. I walked to my car, and the cat followed me. I opened my car door and sat in the driver’s seat, and reached down, still petting my new friend. Then I took a chance and scooped him up, and set him on my lap, knowing I could possibly be going home with some fresh scratches on my hands and arms.
To my surprise, he curled up in my lap and began to purr, looking up at me with frightened eyes. That was that, he was going home with me. The twenty minute drive went smoothly, with the cat periodically popping up his head to look out the window. When we arrived at my apartment I carried him inside and set him down in the hallway. I showed him where the food and water was, and he eagerly gulped down the food, barely taking any breaths. Once the food bowls were empty, he turned to the kitty water fountain, (hey, I said my cats are spoiled) and lapped up water for a solid five minutes.
My seventeen year old son was home and when he discovered the cat, he gave me the, “Mom, really?” look. After petting the wee cat for a few minutes, he was smitten as well. My son and I are avid fans of The Lord of The Rings books and movies, and he looked at me and said, “Grey and white cat… we should name him Gandalf.” I agreed, and he’s been Gandalf ever since.
It’s been nearly a year since I adopted Gandalf, and a lot has happened. I moved to a new apartment and I made sure to get Gandalf neutered. I feel like that’s what responsible pet owners do, especially since he is an indoor/outdoor kitty. He’s a bit of a wild child and he’ll never be a strictly indoor cat. My grey tabbies have gotten used to Gandalf, but they still have the occasional spat, as step siblings do.
I am not a fan of the “Crazy Cat Lady” moniker, and I do not feel I fit that description. I adopted two cats six years ago, and last year I happened to fall in love with a terrified, starving kitty in a parking lot. I have no regrets, and my cats fill my home with joy and love. I am very proud to work for a company that encourages adoption, and not shopping for dogs and cats. I fully support Coldwell Banker’s Adopt-A-Pet promotion!