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Smokey’s Trials

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I was born poor and black somewhere in an Oakland, California alley. When I was about three months old, Mom took off and I was left to fend for myself. I had siblings, about six of them, but nobody was around after Mom split. Food was a problem, and so was the cold. So was being on the streets, day in day out for almost a month.


A woman came and got me and took me to a shelter. This was okay except for being in a cage. I liked to go where I wanted when I wanted, (but I also liked regular food, so it was a trade off.) I sat in a cage by myself most of the time. There were other cats around, but we all pretty much ignored each other. This man came in and he seemed pretty cool. I reached my arm out of the cage to touch him and the next thing I knew, he was taking me “home.” What does home mean? The streets are the only “home” I’ve ever known!


I got put in a cardboard carrier and taken to a car where we drove for a few minutes. Then we walked inside a place and the man let me out of the carrier. This didn’t look too bad, but I knew I had to go find someplace safe. There had been too many people chasing me in my short life already, so I was ready to run if I needed to. I ran up some stairs and into something called a “closet.” From this “closet” I found a way up into the attic. This was the coolest thing I’d ever seen! There were signs that other critters had made their home right here! How cool is that?


This woman, (who I would later call Mom), came home after work. She brought up some good smelling food for me and I came down to eat it. She didn’t bother me too much and let me go back in the closet for as long as I wanted. It all felt pretty good since I was warm and not hungry any more.


I came out of the closet and went downstairs where the “family” was having dinner. I jumped up on my Dad’s lap and he started petting me. It felt great for a few minutes and then it started to annoy the shit out of me, so I scratched and bit him. I ran off and went back to my closet. Things were pretty good for a few days, until Mom had a “Mobile Vet” come to our house. This was a guy who had a big truck outside. He seemed nice, but then he wrapped me in a towel and took me out to his car. (Kids, don’t let this happen to you.) I was stuck with a needle and had no idea what was going on until I awoke, again wrapped in a towel. I was carried inside and put into a tiny bathroom space. Something was drastically different. I had crotch pain. Serious crotch pain. Mom and the guy from the truck were having a glass of wine and talking. Yak yak yak yak yak. I woke up and wondered what the hell was going on!


The guy (the “vet”) pronounced me “fine” and left. I felt a little sick for a while, and then tried to figure out what had happened. Something was different, but what was it? Oh hell, I still have all these dumb toys, and two people who want to stroke me, give me food and water and keep as their cat. It could be worse! It had been worse!

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