*This is the third 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 Mary Weigand
In late February about 18 years ago, I had received a “Dear John” (“Mary?”) email from the guy I’d been dating, breaking things off. I was ticked off and sad and all those other emotional things. While feeling thoroughly sorry for myself, I stepped out of my townhouse one Sunday morning a week or so later to find my neighbor feeding a tiny little tabby cat on her front porch. Immediately, my neighbor said, “Do you want a cat? My husband will kill me if he finds out I’m feeding this cat!” She already had five indoor cats at the time, while I had no pets at all. I was sleepy and cranky and told her I’d think about it. Which, of course, I did. Think. A lot. More like fixating. I went to the local box store and bought a litter box, litter, food, and bowls. I made the vow that if this cat was at my door later that night when I went to take out the recycling, I’d take it in. Sure enough, there she was. She strolled right into my house like she owned it (and we all know we are simply tenants to our landlord cats). I had no idea what a ride I’d have with her for the next 15 years. Needless to say, I forgot all about the break-up.
I named her Nuki. I noticed that, besides having only one eye (I refused to name her Cyclops or anything else so obvious!), she had jet black fur on the bottom of her feet. I went online looking for Blackfoot Indian names, and there it was. A book written about a Blackfoot Indian orphan girl named Naya Nuki. As folks got to know her, many people thought I’d named her Nuki for “nuclear.” She was that volatile. At the same time, she drew everyone in. She was well-loved and most definitely respected. My vet estimated her age at one and a half years old. She had already been spayed, but not ear-tipped for TNR (I don’t think TNR was even around back then). Her bad eye was still there, but it was serving no purpose so we had it removed and the socket closed up. Her peak weight was 7-1/2 pounds. But her attitude couldn’t be measured. She allowed in other cats through the years as long as they followed her ever-changing rules. And she loved men. She seduced my roommate (who was not thrilled about having a cat in the house) when she moved in and was as wanton and blatant in her affections for nearly every other man she met. Even my mailman loved her. (She was an indoor-outdoor cat. Please don’t judge, but that was the only way to keep both of us sane.)
Sadly, in June 2014, she was hit by a car and severely injured. I made the difficult but humane decision to let her go. She was 16-1/2 years old at the time of her death. But the legacy she left behind is written in the cats she helped raise who are still with me. I miss her very much, but I know she lived her life fully and exactly the way she wanted to. I really adored that girl.
*If you’d like to submit your story of rescuing a cat from the streets or shelter, click here.