Now don’t get me wrong; I believe most people are good. Really I do. But occasionally it’s hard to remember that fact when experiencing evil. Don’t worry, I’ll fill you in. Patience dear friends…
As you know, a good portion of my time is spent helping feral cats. We have colonies of sterilized ferals living on public land where our dedicated volunteers feed them. On occasion we leave a motion sensor camera to alert us when newbies show up, as ferals can be elusive.
And that’s how we discovered a black and white cat engulfing the food at one of our locations. Our volunteer, Shirin, along with other volunteers, alerted us to this new cat at our feeding station.
Since Oreo didn’t bolt when he saw Shirin (she’s a bit of a cat whisperer), she was able to snap his photo. But something about this cat caught my attention from the uniquely familiar markings on his chest.
That’s when I recalled Lori, a gal who emailed us months earlier with a disturbing story about her cat, Oreo, who she believed her neighbor snatched and dumped in Marin near his work, 36 miles away. And sadly, it wasn’t the first time the confessed cat-hater stole neighborhood cats when they wandered onto his property. Like I said…
Anyway, I searched my computer through the hundreds of feral cat photos I’ve accumulated the last 15 years. And there he was lying on Lori’s bed looking rather kittenish. My heart skipped a beat, or so it felt. So when I located his flier with her information, I couldn’t call her fast enough.
But she didn’t answer! Can you believe that? How dare she not be there to hear the exciting news. So I left her a message. (I know, anti-climatic, right?)
The next morning I wondered why I still hadn’t heard from Lori. So I drove to the location hoping to see our new visitor. And there he was waiting for his breakfast. But when he saw me, he immediately took off. Evidently I’m not a cat whisperer like Shirin.
Guessing he was going to another of our feeding stations close by, I headed there. When I arrived, he was at the station. But again when he saw me, he started to bolt. Instinctively I shouted out, “OREO!” And guess what? He stopped, turned, and stared at me for a few seconds before disappearing into thick brush. I thought, yep, no doubt that’s Oreo.
Turns out Lori, in the process of moving to Arizona, didn’t realize she’d missed my call until later that day. Excited beyond words to hear he’d been found, she immediately dashed over to Marin. It’d been over 5 months since Oreo was taken so she assumed he was lost forever. Although Oreo didn’t reappear that day, Lori planned to return the next morning, alone. (I didn’t want to scare him away again.)
When my phone rang early that morning, an ecstatic Lori said Oreo was at the feeding station! She slowly approached him then got down on her knees, softly calling his name while reaching out for him. Apprehensive, he stared at her from a distance before recognition kicked in, whereupon he meowed and moved closer.
Lori quickly scooped him up and placed him into his carrier. While she filled me in, Oreo meowed nonstop. I asked if I might come by to take some photos and she kindly agreed.
Lori and Oreo are now enjoying their new life in Arizona where he’s back to being the relaxed, loving cat he always was before he learned the hard way that sometimes people suck.