The Story of Lucy

I’m a “cat person.” Always have been; always will be. Don’t get me wrong, I love all animals including dogs (except bugs), I’ve just always had cats. I grew up in an apartment in Manhattan (NYC) and we weren’t allowed to have a dog so we had cats. Almost always three for my whole life. I used to say my family had three cats before it had three kids. Growing up we had Tiger, Mercury and Penny. When Mercury passed away we had a roommate whose kitty fell in love with me. So when she left, she let Muffin stay with me. Muffin died when I was 12 and we adopted Boots, a grey Tuxedo cat and the most loving 22lbs I’ve ever known.

My first apartment was in Brooklyn with my friend Rebecca. Rebecca’s boyfriend was deathly allergic to cats so I couldn’t bring Boots with me. He got sick while I was in Brooklyn and I always thought it was my fault, but I’m pretty sure my leaving didn’t cause his Diabetes…just a guilty conscience. I lived without a cat for almost two years and, for the first time in my life, my blood pressure was high (low pressure runs in my family). When me and my then boyfriend (now Hubby) got our first place together I went out that very weekend and combed the shelters with my mother to find my next kitty. Elton is a big, terrified, Tabby cat. He was abused or abandoned, I’m not really sure, but someone hurt him before he came home with us because he’s not exactly “normal.” The people at the shelter said I was the first person he’d ever let hold him so I knew he had to come home with me. He’s 12 now and definitely warmed up, but still pretty skittish and will surely let you know when he doesn’t want to be bothered.

catface

We always assumed Elton was meant to be a single cat so we never considered getting another one as much as I’d have liked to give him some company. In the 12 years we’ve had the big grumpy guy, we’ve moved a few times and currently live in a nice apartment in a 3 family building. The other two apartments are occupied by a nice Irish family (2 brothers with their families and their lovely older mother).  Grandma lives downstairs with a large deck on a wooded cliff. Grandma had a frisky, barky terrier named Sparky who she used to let run around on the deck to burn off some of his excess energy.

One day, as Grandma tells it, Sparky had gone under the deck and out into the wooded area and come back with “this grey furry thing” in his mouth. To her surprise it was a tiny kitten, probably about 4 or 5 weeks old. At first she thought Sparky had hurt it, but it got right up and started mewing. She had no choice but to feed the thing and try to take care of it. Being allergic, she couldn’t bring it inside so it lived on her deck and hung out with Sparky and the other stray she took care of, Emily. We would watch them play from our deck. She was so frisky and curious I named her Rascal just to have something to call her. She was so freakin’ cute! All grey from her nose to her toes and so playful. Sparky would chase her around the deck trying to clean her and playing around and she would swat at the weeds blowing in the breeze. I never once asked if we could take her in, but Hubby must have known I was thinking it.

Sparky, Rascal & Emily Lucy by the pool

I went on vacation with Mom and Sis for a week and I’m not home 10 minutes when Hubby says “I think we should take her in.” I was shocked, pleased, but so shocked that he would be the one to bring it up. I don’t even think I questioned it; I just said “yes!” The next day he mentioned it to Grandma and she was fine with it; happy to give the tiny thing a good home. We had to check her for fleas since she lived outside, but she clearly wasn’t in bad shape. I bought a flea comb and some baby gates to keep her separated from Elton and she was ours by Saturday. The baby gates didn’t last long; I think it took her 3 days to climb over and start trying to get Elton to play with her (he wasn’t having any of that!). We got her to the vet for a check-up and all the necessary shots and testing and she was fine and super healthy.

Lucy's 1st day home

Elton still hisses at her from time to time when he’s not in the mood to play or be bothered, but they’ve come to love each other. He even grooms her! My big grumpy guy who took 8 years to warm up to his daddy is grooming a baby kitten! It’s amazing the difference between our terrified older cat and little Lucy. She IS a rascal; always getting into things and climbing on stuff she shouldn’t climb on. I couldn’t be happier to have both of them and I couldn’t imagine not having little Lucy in our lives.

Tolerance

Sparky passed away from a stroke about 2 months later. We miss that little bugger, but at least we know that he fulfilled his purpose in life which was to find our little Lucy and give her a happy home. Thank you Sparky. We’ll never forget you.

Adopt a homeless pet today…it will make your heart grow 2 sizes. I promise.

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