Her name is Annabelle.
She came to me right after my mother died. I mentioned in another post about signs from the departed, how I would sit under the gazebo and just cry, while missing my mom.
One day as I was sitting out there and crying, I heard a “mew”. I looked around and finally saw the source of the tiny sound. There stood a beautiful kitty, who was terribly skinny. Being the cat lover I am, I started talking to her and she continued to talk back, although she wouldn’t let me touch her. That’s okay – I knew she would eventually. I went inside and filled a bowl with cat chow and took it out to her. She was ravenous and crunched away for several minutes.
Over the next few days she would reappear, while I was sitting out there alone and sad. I talked to her each day, and brought her food. After much coaxing, she finally let me pet her. We became friends immediately and I think we were a comfort to each other.
A few months later, Annabelle disappeared. Needless to say, I was very worried about her. As I was washing dishes and staring out the kitchen window one day, I spotted her in the yard…followed by 5 tiny kittens. I raced outside and slowly approached her. She was keeping an eagle eye on the babies, but they wouldn’t let me touch them. She had a nest in the neighbors yard, and she would crawl under the fence with her babies in tow. When they went under there, it was impossible to reach them. She came over again a few days later and there were 4 kittens. My heart broke as I tried to get close to the remaining babies. I tried each day to get close to them, but they would run, and she was very protective. I did notice that they didn’t look well – their eyes were runny. One morning I went out and there were only 3 kittens, one of which was lying on his back on the hillside…very listless. I called my son out to distract her, while I gathered up the baby and quickly took it to the vet. They said it was very sick and likely wouldn’t make it. I told them about the other kittens and they said if I could capture them (and mama kitty) to bring them all in. My son continued to distract Annabelle and after a bit of a struggle (and the kittens getting sicker), I was able to get the two remaining kittens in a carrier and take them to the vet. The doctor seemed optimistic and started to treat them with antibiotics and ointment for their eyes.
I ran back home and with my son’s help yet again, we got Annabelle in a carrier and took her to the vet to be with her kittens. They put her in a cage with them, and the vet said that we would need to figure out what to do with all three kitties once they were healthy. I called around to the shelters and asked if they would be able to keep mama and babies together in one cage and they assured me that they could. I also said that I wanted to bring Annabelle “home” to our house after the babies were adopted. They said this was fine. The vet told me to call in the next morning to see how the kitties were doing. I called first thing and the technician said they were all doing fine, and that I could come and pick them up in a couple of hours. When it was time to go in, I packed the carrier with comfy blankets and walked in the vet’s office. I said I was here to pick up the cats, and the receptionist looked surprised and told me that the kittens had died. I was in shock. The doctor talked to me and said when she came in that morning, the babies had already died and Annabelle was still bathing them. I cried uncontrollably and I felt absolutely horrible.
They asked if I wanted to take Annabelle to the shelter and I said, “No way”. Since I knew Annabelle wouldn’t be an indoor kitty, I asked them to please spay her and give her all the shots she needs. I also asked if they could keep her for a couple of days for her to recuperate…they agreed.
The next few days after Annabelle was home were a little rough. She was looking around the yard for her babies, and making the ‘chirping’ sound she used to call them with. I gave her lots of love and affection and I cried plenty.
Annabelle has been with us for 5 years now, and oh how I love her. She is my little buddy. When I go outside she runs up to me and purrs and purrs. She “dances” with her front paws. It is unconditional love (for both of us), and she stares at me so adoringly. She is the sweetest cat I have ever met – she doesn’t bite or scratch. We play on the grass, and she rolls on her back for a belly rub. She purrs the entire time I am with her.
Annabelle came to me when I needed a ‘friend’…and she has been just that. My whole family is smitten with her (although it took her about 3 years before she would let anyone else pet her).
Yes, this is Annabelle 🙂