Date: Dec 19, 2008
She was going to be a challenge to place. "Beauty"- so named because she was sleek, black and beautiful like the horse - had been abandoned and ultimately trapped at a local park and for a while was thought to be a feral that would never be tame. She was fostered with several other adult cats that were more outgoing and seemingly had a much better chance to be adopted.
Over many months, she saw her roommates come and go as they were adopted out. When people came by to look at the adoptable cats, she would hide or would stay quietly in the window seat, not interacting in any way. When picked up, she would act panicky, so most people didn't consider her. And it didn't help that she was black - which means in many shelters, you don't have long to live, since black cats and kittens and larger black dogs are too numerous and "ordinary", and are often the ones euthanized first due to a lack of space.
I got a call from a woman whose brother, a mentally challenged, middle-aged man who was now living independently, wanted a companion animal for his new home. He had gotten a job as a maintenance worker for a resort, and they provided him with a cottage and gave him permission to have an inside pet. She asked if she could come by with her brother to have him select a kitty for Christmas. He had already purchased a carrier, collar, food and supplies for his new companion and was very excited about this new chapter in his life.
As I usually do, I showed the cats and kittens (cats in one room, kittens in another) to them, describing the personalities and needs of the individual animals. I pointed out Beauty, noting that she was a little shy. I then left the room to do other things, leaving them free to interact with the animals and to possibly find just the right one.
They spent a long time with the cats and kittens, but that is okay because bringing a new living being into your world is a decision not to be taken lightly. I am often surprised at the cat or kitten someone selects, but never more than when he walked down the stairs about 40 minutes later with Beauty in his arms. He said, "I guess she picked me." Here she was, being held in the arms of a stranger, outside of the comfort and safety of her room, purring like there was no tomorrow.
We completed the adoption papers, placed Beauty into her carrier and they went on their way. He said she would keep the same name since she was so pretty.
I heard from the sister a few weeks later, and she said her brother had never been happier, and his new companion was the perfect pet for him, there to greet him when he walked through the door; quiet, affectionate and patient. As a foster caregiver, over the years I have adopted out hundreds of cats and kittens, but I think this is the one that touched my heart the most.