When I was a tiny baby my brother Adam and I lived in a big store called PetSmart, in the section called Paws and Claws Feline Rescue. Those were big words and I didn’t know what they meant, a nice lady named Jean took us to her house to sleep at night. Mama Jean told Adam and me that someday a perfect person would come into the store and take us to something called a forever home, she used a funny word, I think it was ‘doption. I loved Mama Jean a lot but I got tired of people looking at me in my cage behind the big glass wall.
My brother Adam was way bigger than me. I heard Mama Jean say Adam and I are Red Point Siamese, we have pale blue eyes and pinky orange ears and orange striped tails. Sometimes someone would come into the office and Mama Jean would let them hold us, she told them I was born with something called a growth in my mouth and I could not get nourishment like Adam so I am very small. My foster mama took me to something called a vet and the next thing you know I woke up without the big sore in my mouth. I was hungry and ate a lot but I never got as big as Adam.
Sometimes someone would want Adam but they wouldn’t want me, they said words like sickly and puny. At night sometimes I’d cry cause they hurt my feelings and Adam would snuggle up tight to me and tell me not to worry, he said everything will be just fine. One day a lady came into the store and talked to Mama Jean and then Mama Jean let her hold me. I sat on her lap and it was so warm and soft I went to sleep right there.
Mama Jean told the lady that Adam and I have to go together. They went outside and talked a little while and the lady came back and put Adam in a box and took him out of the store. I screamed so loud and Adam screamed too. We never knew anyone but each other, we’re brothers, we even smell alike. You can’t take brothers away from each other.
As if it wasn’t bad enough I was sick, Mama Jean said I had something called a “respatory fection.” Back to the vet I went, he made me take some nasty medicine and put drops in my eyes, let me tell you I was plenty mad but I tried to be a good boy for Mama Jean. All I thought of was how much I missed Adam and I worried about whether Adam was in a good place, what if something bad happened to him? I worried so much I had a hard time feeling better.
A week later Mama Jean put me in her car and I thought I was going back to that bad old vet. Instead we drove out in the country past big fields and trees. We got to a house and Mama Jean carried me to the front door and knocked. The lady who stole my brother came to the door, I was confused and scared. The lady gave me a big smile but I was still mad at her for taking Adam. Suddenly I heard the happiest sound in the world and there stood my brother. We ran to each other and licked each other’s faces, we were so happy to be together again. I didn’t get left behind; the lady said I just had to get well enough to come to my new home.
The lady had two big dogs named Sam and Sadie; I had never been around dogs so I was a little scared. Adam told me they were something called Boxers and they’re not mean at all. He says they’re not smart like we are. Sam lets me get on the bed with him if I lick his ears, he is very old. Sadie is younger than Sam and tries to play with me sometimes. New mama and daddy bought a big play tower for Adam and me to climb if we don’t want to play with Sadie. There were two other cats too, an old striped tabby named Stinky, I asked him why he was called Stinky and he told me it was none of my business. Our litter boxes are in the laundry room and now I know why his name is Stinky. He likes to nap with me in mama and daddy’s big walk in closet though and we are friends now. The big, fat, gray, girl kitty is named Juliet. She washes my face sometimes, she told me that all of us are dopted, there’s that funny word again.
New Mama became just plain Mama and she calls me Stevie, I love playing with all the toys Mama buys for me and Adam. Sometimes Sadie the Boxer gets jealous and steals them but mama fusses at her and makes her give them back. Adam and me like to sleep with Mama and Daddy at night and I wake up happy every morning. Mama says we are two little clowns and she loves taking pictures of us and putting them on something she calls Facebook. One day I had a big sneeze that made everyone jump and Adam laughed at me. I pretended I was mad but Adam knew I wasn’t. Mama even got a picture of it. Daddy is good to me too, he says he gave Mama permission to get one kitty but instead she got two. Then he laughs and hugs me up close and tells me I’m the sweetest little plus one in the world. I don’t know what that means but I ‘m starting to love my Daddy just as much as I love Mama.
Once I heard Mama say everything happens for a reason and she knew when she went to that PetSmart store something good was going to happen. Sometimes I think about my other Mama Jean and how she hugged me and Adam bye that day, she looked sad but happy too. I heard her tell my new Mama that when two kitties find a forever home it means she can take in two more. Mama says thank goodness for people like Mama Jean who’ll let themselves love even though it’s only for a short time, and I think Mama is right. Adam just says, “I told you so, everything worked out fine just like I said it would.” I think ‘dopted is the best word I ever heard, and guess what? I’m almost as big as Adam now, but he still lets me win when we play fight, cause he loves me more than anything which is good cause I feel the same about him.
Of course this story is fictional but the only fiction is getting Stevie to dictate the story to me. Everything else is true and Adam and Steve are very much loved members of my canine and feline family. A lot of things have happened since Adam and Stevie came here to live. The two cats Stinky and Juliet passed away earlier this year and the Boxer Sam is gone too. My husband passed away September 30th and he is very missed by the animal population as well as the humans in the family too.
I wrote this story mainly as something I could read to my grandchildren but also as a plea for people to adopt pets that need a home. I wanted to give credit to the many people who become foster parents to pets and save their lives by getting them out of crowded shelters. This is something I’m not sure I could do because I have no trouble getting pets but parting with them is almost impossible for me. Adam and Steve are three years old now and still deeply devoted to each other. My life would be a lot sadder without them and so many kittens will be born this spring to suffer and die as babies because of the refusal of so many people to spay and neuter. Adam and Steve’s story had a happy ending and I hope lots of people read this story and go adopt a kitten or two so they can have a forever home and happy ending too.
June is National Adopt a Cat Month. Please bring home a cat of your own.
Jane Franklin’s new book “White Trash Odyssey” is available now on Amazon.