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Callie Finds Her Way Home

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I didn’t want it in my house. It was a given that it would only be in the way, smell up my home and leave a trail of who-knows-what wherever it went.

Its “human”, the mother-in-law of our oldest daughter, Beth, had recently died and left it all alone. So it was up to Beth to make a daily trek to the house to care for it—a calico cat. Beth supplied the cat with its necessities, and spent a little time with it. But with working a full-time job and helping her husband cope with the loss of his mother, caring for the cat was wearing on her emotionally and physically. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised when I got a phone call from Beth one afternoon, in tears and pleading with me to “foster” the cat until they could find someone else to take it. “I must be getting soft.” I told my husband, Calloway. “I told Beth to load up all the cat stuff and bring it here…ONLY until she can find a home for it.” I didn’t care for cats. They smothered me, and just the thought of one trying to snuggle with me made my asthma flair up.

Beth and her husband, Jesse, brought the cat to our home that evening. They weren’t even sure what the cat’s name was, so I named her "Callie" because she was a Calico (duh)—and a beautiful calico at that. Can you tell this is where the orbital shift begins its rotation?

Beth was sure she could find Callie a permanent home within the first week, but that first week came and went and there were no takers. And I, meanwhile, was suffocating from flying cat hair and litter dust. I hadn’t had to use an inhaler in years, but I dug it out of the back of the medicine cabinet, and consumed its contents within days. Callie made it a point to climb in my lap and snuggle close to my face when I would sit down. She’d nuzzle her face into my neck…and purrrrrrrrrrrrr…loudly. I posted Callie’s photo on Facebook to generate interest in finding her that loving, permanent home she so badly needed and deserved. Her photo generated a lot of “Likes”, but no “Takes”!

By the middle of the second week with still no interest from anyone in taking Callie from our home, I was starting to feel a little relieved. What? Relieved? Yes, relieved. Sure, I didn't know anything about cats and didn't even know how to care for a cat, but I actually started looking forward to the evenings when I would lay out across the couch and Callie would jump up on me and stretch her long, graceful body across my hips. And even my breathing had improved to the point of being able to pass by the inhaler without taking a hit. I’d never had a cat treat me this way. Before Callie, my relationship with cats began and ended with plaid welts from where they would inflict me with claw marks. I didn’t seek them out and they veered away from me. No cat had ever sought me out for affection. My younger sister, Lisa, is the original cat-lady, and Callie would even pass her by to get to me. It was like becoming a new mother all over again…well, almost.

After two weeks, there was no question. Callie was there to stay, to watch over her new “humans”. She had become our heating pad for sore muscles. She soothed my anxious thoughts with her deeply resonant purr, while her cold, wet nose tickled my ear. She mussed my hair, and left red marks on my neck as she kneaded her way closer and closer to me. I was smitten, as was Calloway. Callie now herds Calloway into the bathroom to fill her food bowl or to turn on the water at the faucet so she can get a fresh drink…no stale water for this feline! She provides him with company as he prepares for work in the morning, and then waits patiently for me to take up where he left off.

Yes, we have become Callie’s adored “humans”. She’s been patient with us, teaching us and treating us with rewards…a warm snuggle…a long stare into our very souls, …and that mesmerizing purrrrrrrrrrrrrrr in our ears that lulls us into believing that all is right with our little part of the world. Callie found her way home to us, and we will never be the same.

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