Happiness is a Rescue Cat

Or dog. Rescue dogs are excellent, too. But right now, Emily is making me extremely happy. She’d been a stray for two years (I hadn’t noticed her) when my neighbor said, “You don’t want a cat, do you?” and I said, “You know, that would be a good idea.” So she told me about this stray cat that was spending a lot of time in my garage, and it turned out to be a three-pawed Maine Coon who might let you pet hero nce (so not feral) but mostly ran like hell any time I got close. Kathleen had been feeding her, but the neighborhood was a full of foxes and Kathleen worried . . .

So I started feeding her instead of Kathleen, and we developed a very cautious relationship as I slowly moved the food and water dishes into the tool room that separated the garage from the house. Emily adapted (and so did the damn raccoons) and one cold December day, I slammed the door and trapped her inside.

She was not amused.

But being Emily she adapted; she found the back bedroom, and I put a heating pad back there and an enclosed cat bed and moved her food and water there, and after a couple of days, I showed her the dog door so she could come in and out. I figured there was a 50/50 chance she wouldn’t come back, but it turned out Emily liked a place with designer cat food, fresh water, heated sleeping, and no foxes. Then came the real test: Krissie came to visit so the dogs and I had to move from the front bedroom to the back; yes, we moved in with Emily. I predicted some snarling but it turned out that several months of observing each other from opposite ends of the house creates familiarity: they pretty much climbed up on the bed and fell asleep together and that was it.

But the real payoff came this summer when Emily decided I was her person and started curling up next to me when I typed (like now). And when I read. And when I slept. She still has her enclosed bed (and two scratching posts and a window platform, the cat is spoiled rotten) but once I settle in to read or work or sleep, she curls up besides me and sacks out, purring, one of the best sounds in the world along with dogs snoring and the wash of waves on the shore down by the lake.

Happiness is rescue pets.

What made you happy this week?

43 thoughts on “Happiness is a Rescue Cat

  1. I love that rescue pets turn around and rescue us right back.

    Happiness for me today is mostly up to date with all administration.

    One section left. Turns out having a show on while I work helps because I can switch between the paperwork and a story while excluding all other distractions. I used to do this and study during high school with the radio on. It created a wall of sound that eliminated all other distractions.

    I’m happy I’m discovering old and new tricks to help with focus.

  2. Talking about rescues, I have been feeding some feral cats in the neighborhood for a couple of years. I had been trying to team a couple of them. A particularly beautiful red calico and I were getting close I had hoped. Six months ago she and her family are on my front porch, she gave birth to two kittens and left them. This week, the bottle-fed orphans have been fixed. I had trapped and gotten mom fixed. There are a couple more to go. The kittens are a joy and not so small anymore. We named them at Leo and Vinny.

  3. Stanley the stray showed up on our back porch. He was very skittish. My husband was determined not to let him starve, so I started hanging out with him while he ate – not touching, just being there, and talking to him. I eventually moved the food closer and closer to me – even putting it on my lap at times, just to get him comfortable with me. Three months in, he didn’t show up and I was worried. Several days later, he came back with no balls and a clipped ear. (That was the TNVR folks – trap, neuter, vaccinate and return). Fast forward three years, and he’s sleeping against my legs every night. He makes me happy when he doesn’t make me hot – or worry me by staying out too late.

    Other happinesses included a visit from an old college friend. I’ve not seen her in years, but we took up again right where we left off, falling into old and comfortable patterns.

  4. We adopted two barn kittens last summer, pulled the little babies out of a horse trough. My partner has never had an indoor pet before and wasn’t sure if he liked cats. He is in love now and it was such a good decision. They brought so much light in the last year.

    Today my sister is visiting. We are having an outdoor family picnic, since we probably won’t have a big Christmas again this year. So that is good. For myself, I am struggling with the don’ts. I don’t want to go to work tomorrow. I don’t want to cook. I don’t want to clean or work on my side project that goes up this week…. I will try to work on that. It’s a pretty day, and no point wasting it being cranky.

  5. Happiness is having my daughter have the energy to go out and be among people with me: the Big E (the combined fair of the New England states), the vet’s office, 2 dinners with guests at our house, a concert, and an outdoor party at a friend’s. Besides COVID concerns for all of us, my daughter has chronic pain and fatigue. Usually a single activity sets her back for 2 days. This past week has been more social than we were in any pre-COVID year.

    1. Hugs to your daughter. I dealt with that for years, and although it is better, I still pay if I do too much (and too much can be not all that much). I’m glad she had a good week.

  6. Ours are second generation, mama was rescued from the streets by a very clever woman. She invited us to dinner, “Oh, would you like to hold a kitten…”

    The one that only sits on a lap if there’s no moving, no talking, and certainly no petting, has taken to trying to claim the middle of the bed, preferably between people. Where he growls the most sincere sounding growl if there is any talking or moving, you know, anything that might have been petting.
    Mine is a restless nature. He usually retreats to cats corner long before reading in bed is finished.

    I’ve been happy the last two days for no reason at all. Yay for the mood shift in my favor!

  7. My two are Humane Society kitties, so I don’t know where they originated, but we are besotted. Teeger has taken over DH, who has not been a cat cuddler previously (too restless), but Teeger is relentless in hopping up, getting comfy and just STAYING. He seems to only want to be with me in bed these days, but fortunately Sasha cuddles with me more frequently. One of his prime times is 5am, sadly, but it is a proof of his cuteness that I don’t actually mind. I hope Sasha will develop some “staying on the lap of reading human” talent when he is less of a bouncy pouncy kitten. At 5 1/2 months, they are pretty bouncy a large amount of the time.

    In other happies, I was in charge of a breakout group from a zoom meeting, and I felt I did well – got everyone to speak at least twice, no one talked more than was appropriate, and I think they all enjoyed it. Only 13 people, but there was one person we had concern about – he behaved like a lamb!

    Getting out first Halloween decorations today. Have some time off this week, so hopefully can get the tedious to put up lights up as well. Happy pumpkin month!

  8. Happiness is, at least in relation to this post, other people’s rescue pets and finally figuring out how to read the whole post without going directly to where I can leave a comment. And hiking. I’m on my way now for the first time in month.

  9. Oh how I miss the deep comfort of a heartfelt purr. But…no more cats for me. :^((

    What made me happy this week? Venturing out to an actual event (via subway, no less). My choir has been meeting and rehearsing on Zoom for nearly a year and a half. Yesterday we met in Toronto’s High Park (it’s huge) and sang together. Ahhh… We actually blended our voices in the songs we’d been singing in the weird solitude of our living rooms since Spring 2020.

    It was sheer heaven.

  10. I leave today despite the fact that the results from my Covid test did not arrive on Friday as promised. The French Passe Sanitaire has also not arrived on schedule, but I printed out a copy of the ” thanks for your entry” letter and hope that it will suffice. I have a ton of stuff to do before my sister picks me up today and my bank will be changing hands while I am away so I am beyond nervous, but I hope I get the important things done in time.

    I envy all of you with your furry companions because I could really use a cat to cuddle right now. Especially since I saw a mouse in my apartment last night.

  11. I am very allergic to cats, but love dogs. My first dog as an adult was from the SPCA. He had obviously been surrendered and had some behaviourial problems, including biting. I had to find him a new home when my son was small – he went to live on a farm where he was the indoor dog.

    This week’s happy includes a lovely morning at the historic garden where I volunteer. One of the other volunteers had asked for my help in figuring out how to fill some empty spots in her section. It’s a huge space, so 2-3 of us are responsible for maintaining eaxh section. She seemed pleased with my ideas and I was happy to talk plants.

    I ordered a number of fancy spring bulbs this week, incouding 2 Hellebores. At $30 per bulb, they are an indulgence. However, they like part shade and I have the perfect spot in my backgarden for them.

    I was also very happy that the two Michaels were finally released from a Chinese prison and returned home to Canada yesterday. The two men were taken into custody by the Chinese government shortly after the Canadian government detained Meng Wanzhou, an executive for a huge Chinese tech company, at the request of the Americans. They spent over a 1000 days in a Chinese prison (she lived in a $13.7M mansion in Vancouver). This has been a huge story in Canada for the last 3 years and there was a huge national sigh of relief when they were suddenely put on a plane out of China.

    Another beautiful sunny fall day. I’m going to do some school work on my back porch and enjoy the sunshine.

  12. I’ve perked up a bit, which is a relief. Nearly finished the shed; lost the light an hour ago, and it turned out the bit of paint left in the bottom of a can two years ago was still usable, so I had twice as much for touching up the far side and back walls (where I couldn’t stretch to a complete second coat) than expected. But I’ve put the cold frame back against the front, and the end is in sight.

    Phoned a couple of friends I hadn’t heard from for a while this morning, and they were both happy to chat. One might even come for Christmas!

  13. I am happy because the daughter is home from hospital. I had a call from her to arrange a pickup on Friday, but they didn’t release her before start of work, so her BF picked her up instead. She’s on more and better antibiotics for the infections before they can operate, and super cranky. She still has the stent, apparently around her scents of humor.

    I’m happy, also, that the son is over the Covid – he’s one of the fully inoculated who caught it anyway. The son and daughter are sharing kidney stone horror stories, which don’t make me happy.

    1. Daughter instead of the more whimsical dotter? I’m interpreting that a a real sense of relief, (I extrapolate a lot).

      Congrats on having her back home and son in a good place too!

  14. My first Sheltie was a puppy I got from a breeder (great breeder). Since then it’s been rescues.

    The latest, Pixie, is still skitish and doesn’t want to be petted (unless she can move between my legs and stop for a couple of seconds). Her joys are walks and monitoring the squirrels.

    Still s foster and soon, I hope, to be foster fail.

  15. The feral cat that has claimed our backyard makes me happy even though we don’t really have a relationship. I don’t feed it, because I don’t want the other dozen neighborhood ferals (or opossums, raccoons, or rats) hanging around. All I give it is a safe place, which appears to be enough (plus the occasional mouse or bird it catches. I think it gets fed elsewhere). In return, it lounges attractively on the boundary wall, or on my car, or on the tarp covering our outdoor furniture, or on the back steps. Occasionally it even speaks to me!

  16. No pets here. We do look after the granddaughters cat while they are away. Think I posted how she, Clover is going after birds. She is a lovely cat who will sit on my lap as I pet her. After three days of petting her is all I can do before the allergy kicks in.

    Happy week or satisfaction week in getting more stuff sorted, fall cleaning, brother-in-law coming for a visit, estranged for several years, he is now separated and reaching out, so another happy for our family. My birthday today and youngest granddaughter’s 8th tomorrow. I love this joint celebration, so much fun. DH has started wrapping a present for me but it is really for the granddaughters. They love it. Happy day.

  17. All four of my cats are rescues. I don’t know what I’d do without them. So glad you finally came to your senses and joined the crazy cat people. LOL

    Today’s happy was have a small belated autumn equinox ritual around the bonfire with most of my group. (One friend and her daughter couldn’t make it because she got a call as she was loading her car to come that one of the kids in her daycare she runs had tested positive for Covid. Sigh. Not a happy.)

    Also not a happy that I made the difficult decision to cancel my trip out to San Diego to see my parents (in their mid-80’s), stepdaughter, younger sister, and one of my best friends. I haven’t seen any of them since I was out to CA last in February 2019. But the friend just went on a business trip with her husband and he came back with a breakthrough case they’re pretty sure he picked up on the plane (which she said was awful). So I’ve decided not to risk my parents or me. It’s disappointing, but I know it is the right choice. Freaking Covid.

    On the bright side, the cats will be happy I’m not gone.

    1. I’m sorry you can’t make the trip but appreciate your sharing the decision here. DH and I are more conservative about COVID than many of our friends and family members, and sometimes it’s hard to stay the course.

      1. I know what you mean. When Delta hit and the numbers went up in my area, we made the decision to go back to insisting on everyone wearing masks (the artists who work there and all customers, regardless of vaccination status). We got a huge pushback from vaccinated customers, and it has been tough. For a while, most of the other stores and restaurants on our Main Street followed suit, but now there are only a few with “must wear mask” signs on their doors. it makes it tough to stand strong when you are standing alone.

  18. Our daughter got a second rescue chihuahua, a youngster who reeeeaaaalllly wants to cuddle with the oldster. She moves closer bit by bit, they touch for a few minutes, and then oldster moves. The day will come…

  19. I spent yesterday afternoon at a friend’s place lying on the couch watching a movie while his cat snuggled into me and purred like crazy. The movie was very good but the company was better.

  20. Happy this week to discover our rescue dogs, Petey and Sachi, are Hotel Dogs and can be counted on to be good dogs in plush surroundings. Not even one peeing-in-the-elevator incident!

    We failed to recognize the stars filming at the hotel–yes, we should watch more tv and films–but let me tell you hotel security was impressed. Judging by the level of craft services and crew, whatever was going on is Big Budget.

    We got our flu shots for this season, yay. While there, I also fit in a mammogram and Dexascan, All to show my doctor I am a compliant patient.

  21. Rescue cats are the best. My most recent cat, Harry-le-beau, turned up in my garden one day. I thought he must live over the fence and just be spending the day here, because he was so beautiful and well kept. He was also incredibly friendly – used to try to climb into my arms when I was gardening. After a year I realised he was actually living here, so I started feeding him and shutting him in the laundry at night. I had another cat, Miss Mouse, at the time, and he used to bash her up, so I wouldn’t let him further into the house, even though he was always asking.

    Then Miss Mouse died, and Harry appeared at the back door with an expression that clearly said, ‘I hear you have a vacancy for a house cat. You will be pleased to hear that I am available.’

    So he moved in and stayed for 8 years, until a brain tumour knocked the legs out from under him. That was a few months back, and I still miss him dreadfully. He was the best cat I’ve ever had.

    I keep hoping that another cat will appear out of nowhere. Hasn’t happened so far.

  22. My current two are former shelter cats, and, of course, my brother’s two are foster fails who were rescued from a cat colony as sick little kittens. Happiness is having one or more jump to the desk and curl up, purring — preferably not on the keyboard.

  23. We have some feral cats in the neighborhood and I get amusement from their antics. The black one takes a stroll down the pavement almost every day. Sometimes they walk on my car and leave little footprints.
    One morning my daughter saw a cat standing on its back legs with a front paw in a wire fence. There was another cat sitting on the grass. Thinking it was hurt, or stuck, she ran outside with wire cutters. The two cats immediately ran away. She said they were just chillin’ having a Sunday morning chat.

  24. Terrific post; as a “mom” to several rescue/shelter animals, (past and present) I know what a difference they’ve made in my life.

    For 15 years, I’ve run a national non-profit that assists older adults getting shelter pets for companionship. My mail is all happy mail, because the shelters in the program provide photos of the adopters with their new pet… it’s a joy. And for me personally – not sure how I’d have gotten through the worst of shut down without my dogs and cat to amuse me.

    1. Thanks for your efforts. Last summer, mostly alone in the pandemic, I really missed having a dog. Enter Ted, the tiny terrier. He’s eleven and I’m seventy so it is a perfect match and we are very happy.

  25. I wonder how they know there’s a vacancy. My much loved and ancient outdoor cat passed away August 31 and he was the last (or so I thought) of the outdoor cats. Well another cat has materialized and decided this is home. He seems to be staying close to the back porch to supervise my putting out crunchies and water, he sleeps on the car, and anytime I go outside without the dogs he makes a pest out of himself to get attention. I took a picture and asked the shelter if someone had reported him missing…nope. Never saw him until my boy died but he has definitely moved in.

  26. We have a golden and a rescue. Lola is more the family dog but Sadie loves me. She just so damn happy when I come home from work.

  27. Happiness is a day like today, kind of rainy and cool, but with Rocketman the Wonderdog (a rescue — who had been trucked up to southern NH from the rescue in Florida where I used to bring abandoned cars and their babies when I lived down there!) nearby, snoozing on his blankie, a cup of hot tea by my side and books and knitting to look forward to…

  28. A sad and a happy. Bean, the lab cross I’ve been trying to rehabilitate for my friend, and who is 65 lbs, got into a fracus with my 15 lb jack russell/Yorkie cross and injured her.

    The sad is that Bean has gone home and I was unable to help her be a better dog. She will be re-homed by my friend for fear that she will injure her little beagle. I worry for Bean. I hope they find her someone who can deal with her energy and she won’t be bounced from home to home. I am actually very sad about the entire thing because I feel it was my fault for not seeing that they were having a stand off over the compost I was culling from my freezer.

    The happy part is that Pippin is recovering well and is supporting her weight on the injured let – so there is unlikely to be a break in her shoulder where the bite wounds are. Also the swelling has gone down from the crushing of the muscles in her upper leg and shoulder. She is going to have a full recovery and I’ve even found a way to cover the open wounds so she can’t lick them. That is all good news.

    I know I’m just one person and I can’t save every troubled dog I meet, but I can’t shake this sadness and the feeling that I could have done more. Should have been more alert. If I had been I could have prevented Pip from being injured and kept Bean from an uncertain future.


    1. I’m glad Pippen is better. I feel your pain. We adopted a rescue,and named him Sherlock, (Bad choice Sherlock was a jerk). Much training. A “Please don’t bite People class”. Muzzled on walks. And it was the cutest can dog ever. We stopped having people over. It was a nightmare. Thank you for trying. In the end our house burned down, I wonder what we would have done. I do appreciate my current dogs; no matter how many steaks they’ve stolen.

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