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Friends of Felines Rescue Center, Defiance, OH 43512

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Taking a Chance

I thought I’d share a story with you all, not about an FFRC cat, but about a cat a little closer to  home, for me.  I so like a good story, especially one with a happy ending!

It’s normally when you least expect it that your heart opens itself up and finds someone looking for a little heart string of their own.

Every Saturday, my local paper has pics of cats in area shelters up for adoption.  I try to avoid those pages, because it’s just too heartbreaking sometimes.  So many kittens/cats needing a home.  But we all know that story.

But this day, I didn’t turn the page fast enough and saw his picture.  Then read his story and needed to know more.  I emailed the shelter where he was and asked for his story.  They had me at hello.

Several months ago, local EMT’s were called to do a wellness check on an elderly man who hadn’t been seen by neighbors for a few days.  They entered his apartment and found he had passed away.  On his lap was a cat.  The cat refused to leave.  He was the EMT’s told the local shelter “a very sweet cat.  He wouldn’t leave his owners lap.  Very loyal indeed.”

They took him to the vet and determined he was about 12 years old and his teeth were in very bad shape.  All of his teeth needed to be removed.  They also discovered he was FIV +.  They first needed to make the decision if he should be saved, knowing his chances for adoption were not great due to his age and condition.  But the woman who runs the local Humane Society said “I just know someone will give him a chance.”

So they decided his spirit was so great he deserved a chance.  His teeth were removed and rather than be put in with the other shelter cats, he was placed in a foster home to recover.  They didn’t know his name so named him Sweetheart, only someone spelled it wrong it came out as Sweatheart.  They then changed it to Creamsicle.

While the foster mom liked this cat very much, her other cats and dog did not.  There was much tension and it only grew as he got stronger.  It was clear, this cat needed to be an only cat.

There are realities that many local shelters and rescues face.  Many do not have the room for permanent residents or what they determine to be “unadoptable” cats.  They decided they would do a complete physical on Creamsicle and determine if his blood work and tests showed he could be adopted. All results came back at good levels for a cat his age. 

There was a reason that newspaper page didn’t turn fast enough; timing really is everything.

I was struck by the words the woman kept using to describe him to me:  Every other thought, she kept saying “I just know someone will take a chance on him”. “All he needs is a chance.”  Words are not meaningless.

We had a nice first meeting and I asked Creamsicle if he would like to come and take a chance on me.  He just gave me this look that could melt an iceberg.  He had found the heartstring and yanked real hard!  In addition to his sweet, sad face I couldn’t help but notice his “clipped” ear.  At some point, someone had determined him to be feral.  That person was clearly on heavy medication that day.

He came out of the carrier right away and just explored his new home.  I stayed in the living room while he explored his new surroundings.  Then I looked for him and he was all curled up asleep in the bathtub!

After a few hours he climbed up on my lap, then my chest and insisted on love and hugs and kisses for the next hour or so.  Guess he decided he might like to stay.  I called his name, Creamsicle and he didn’t seem to respond.  So I offered up another suggestion and he head butted me.  He keeps following me all around and insists on being on my chest and under my neck.

So, that is my story for today.  I have a new friend now, a new member of my family.  His name is Chance.  And so we begin our story together, no matter where it leads I know it’ll be filled with unending possibilities and lots of love.

Sometimes you just have to take a Chance.

Special thanks to the South Shore Humane Society in Braintree, MA for taking a chance on this wonderful cat and taking a chance on me!