*This is the second in our Rescue Report series. If you’d like to submit your story of rescuing a cat from the streets or shelter, click here.
By Erika Nicklom
I was somewhat on the fence about fate until I met a cat that would change my mind into a definite believer.
When I moved from my hometown to the big city, I rented an apartment that didn’t allow pets. I did have two cats that my best friend and I adopted together when we were roommates and knew I would have to leave them together with her. I visited as much as I could but missed coming home to a cat.
A year later my lease was up and found an apartment that allowed me to have a cat. Instead of splitting up the cats I co-parented (my friend and I agreed this was not a good idea), I looked for my own in shelters around the area. I wanted an all black cat since that was what I have always had. Young or an adult didn’t matter. And I wanted to name it Sassafras – I don’t know why but I chose that name before the cat.
Before long I found a cat that matched all my criteria: all black, 8 years old, and special needs because her previous owners declawed her. As an opponent to declawing I knew there may be challenges: litter box issues and biting to start with. As I was reading her bio, I learned she had been at the shelter for 4 years because nobody wanted an adult, all black, who didn’t like other cats (because I couldn’t have two) that had to be indoor only. She was perfect for me.
I looked again at her name the shelter provided and couldn’t believe it. The cat was named Sassafras! Even if this cat hated me and wanted to bite and scar me forever, I had to take her – it was fate! Adoption complete – with some at the shelter not believing this cat finally had a home – and she fit in perfectly to my new cat-friendly apartment. I noticed that when she had enough playtime/cuddle time, she would flick her tail before she tried to nip at me (during the first few days of me bringing her home). She never bit but kind of gave motion she wanted to give my hand a little nip. Once I noticed that, when I saw the tail start to flick, I would stop doing whatever I was doing. Sometimes she would move away, other times not but paying attention to her body language let me know when she had enough.
Sassafras was with me for 6 years before unexpectedly passing – it was heart wrenching but I could take comfort that she did enjoy a home for the remaining years. I also use my story when discussing with people who say declawing keeps cats in homes. Sassafras was given up because of her attitude after her declawing and stayed homeless (but lived in the shelter) for years, so no, declawing doesn’t save a cat from being given up.
And yes, I am a believer in fate thanks to a little black cat who was a perfect match for me.
*If you’d like to submit your story of rescuing a cat from the streets or shelter, click here.