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Miracles! Nick's Story

Posted by Harry Shubin on

Sometimes, Christmas Miracles Take a Little Longer

 

We will never know how long the lanky orange tom cat was wandering on his own, perhaps long enough to develop calloused paw pads… or then again, he might have been an indoor/outdoor cat, and just have escaped someone’s house a few days before, as Thanksgiving guests came in and out.  Perhaps he was even traveling with his family and escaped the car.  However long he was out before Rachel’s family found him, it was long enough to colonize a family of fleas, but not so long that he had forgotten that he wanted to live with people.  Well, at least, he could be convinced that he still wanted to live with people.  It was a few days after Rachel’s neighbors heard the cat crying in the brush, and lured him to Rachel’s house, and Rachel’s family coaxed him into their garage, that he met Rachel’s dad and decided he wanted to move in.  Luring the tomcat to Rachel’s house was a no-brainer on the neighbors’ part – Rachel’s family volunteered with a local cat rescue, had 5 cats of their own, and it took one look at their mailbox – shaped like a cat – for anyone to know that they were suckers for a friendly stray. 

At first, they called him “Morris” since he was orange and striped, though he was far leaner than his TV namesake.  “No way we’re going to keep him,” her parents told her.  “Not with 5 cats already.  This is not going to be a six cat house.  He’ll have to go into the rescue, and we’ll find him a home.” We’ll market him for Christmas – get him a red plaid collar, and give him a holiday biography, and a Christmassy name.

Nick

Breed: DSH
Sex: Male
Age: Approx. 1 year
Color: Orange
Size: Approx. 14 lbs.
Status: Available with foster
Good With Kids: Yes
Good With Cats: Not Yet Determined
Good With Dogs: Not Yet Determined 

Could he be Saint Nick? We’re not sure, but this Nick would love to bring his friendly good cheer to your house this holiday. Nick must have been someone’s well loved big boy, because this lap cat loves people, including his foster’s 8 and 13 year old kids. He trots over for a head rub when you call him, and purrs all the while. Nick showed up at a Volunteer’s front door (hmmm… do you think he knew something?) and announced quite plaintively that he was lost. We told him that he was wrong – he had just been found, and we would find him a good forever home. Nick’s been making a list, and checking it twice – we peeked over his shoulder and it says “Home for the Holidays.” You’ve been good, right? Shouldn’t Nick come to your house this season? For more information on Nick, please contact his foster ...

 

But Christmas came, went, and Nick stayed.  And Rachel began to wonder, as she saw Nick pace around, antsy until her father would come home… call him, and Nick bound into his lap, whether a few more weeks without an adoption and they would be, indeed, a six cat household. 

The other five cats feigned indifference to the guest – Victoria, the queen, a “recovering barn cat” according to her father, made sure Nick knew he was not deserving of her attention.  Brooke, the tortie, seemed to refuse to acknowledge there was even another cat in the house.  May – the bottom of the ladder – seemed resigned to having yet another rung above her.  But it was when Nick started paying attention to fluffy white Pearl, that Henry, the long, lean panther of the group – and the only other boy – decided that it while might not be a 5 cat house, it was a one male cat house.  It had been a four cat house, before Pearl came in as a foster.  But Henry had taken one look at her, and claimed her as his.  The two slept together, groomed each other, and her dad sometimes referred tothem as “the married couple.”  (Both neutered, of course.  This is a rescue story, after all.)

“How am I going to explain to our family, two weeks before Rachel’s bat mitzvah, that we don’t have a middle couch cushion because Henry uses poop as communicative speech?” her mother wailed?  Even Rachel’s father – who had quietly given Nick a tag with his name on it, admitted that it wasn’t going to work out.  Henry left another message on the kitchen mat, just to be sure.  It was early February.

Nick Valentino

Breed: DSH
Sex: Male
Age: Approx. 1 year
Color: Orange
Size: Approx. 14 lbs.
Status: Available with foster
Good With Kids: Yes
Good With Cats: Not Yet Determined
Good With Dogs: Not Yet Determined

It was a dark and stormy night. Hard boiled cat detective Nick Valentino was familiar with the streets. It might be the season of love, but Nick was cold, wet, hungry and loved by no one (well, except his foster family, but that happens later in the story). Sniffing out clues, Nick showed up at his foster’s front door demanding answers – how could a nice guy like him be prowling the harsh city with no one to watch his back, much less stroke it? Nick might be street savvy, but inside, he was a big softie. He loved people, including his foster’s 8 and 13 year old kids. He would trot over for a head rub when you call him, and purr all the while. You’ve read the Nick Valentino adventures, haven’t you? Our favorite is the one where he finds a warm heart and good home forever. For more information on Nick, please contact his foster

“We’d really like to meet Nick Valentino”, the email said.  “We have a 16-year old cat who just lost her buddy.”  It’s common wisdom in rescue that an active young cat and an old cat likely won’t get along.  “What should I do?” Rachel’s father asked an adoption counselor.  “Think of it as a two-week vacation,” the counselor replied.  “If it doesn’t work out, you take him back, he’s been gone for a while, and maybe Henry will forget he didn’t like him.”

And so the family with the 16-year old cat came to meet Nick, who was his most charming self.  To the extent that it’s charming to hide under the couch, and only to be seen when the couch is turned on end and you’re dragged out by your hind paws.  As Rachel’s dad explained that Nick was really very friendly, that he was a guy’s cat, and hoped for a miracle – a miracle happened.  Nick sized up the family’s 11 year old son – and walked over into his lap and purred.  Adoption forms were filled out, and Rachel’s family hoped for a second miracle.

Nick and Ezzie are getting along just fine- we even caught them sharing the food bowl this morning.  Nick is becoming a regular spoiled member of the family and behaves as if he has lived here his entire life.  He enjoys running up and down our multiple flights of stairs, sliding across the floor, and chasing his tail (that seems to be one of his favorite activities!).  He also chases Ezzie around the house and pounces playfully on her when she is unaware.  She's an old lady that is readjusting slowly but surely to having a "baby" around.  That is something we are having fun adjusting to as well- it's been a long time since we had a young cat in the house; the energy! :)  Nick "sings" to us regularly and makes this funny "cooing" sounding noise that makes us all laugh.  We are all getting along just fine!  Nick sprawls out and takes up an equal share of the bed every night- the things we do for our pets :)

Sometimes, the season of miracles isn’t limited to December.


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