When they say cats have nine lives, they really mean it. I got my new owner, Gary, after going through Hurricane Charley, in 2005 off the west coast of Florida. Have you ever been in a hurricane? I’ll tell you more about that later.
Actually, it was Gary’s son, Andrew, who picked me out. After the hurricane, they gathered up all the stray pets from the neighborhood that was blown down from the storm. They put us in cages and drove us to a safe area about 50 miles north, just outside of Tampa in a town called Largo (not to be confused with the movie). But, there were no cats in the movie, so I really don’t think the movie was that great.
We were displayed in a makeshift ASPCA shelter at a mall in that town. Several people came to our cages to look us over. Talk about a meat market. I thought I was a goner when a Chinese lady was viewing me. Just kidding (I hope you like cat humor)! Well, several people looked at me that day. When a person that seemed interested in me, but looked mean, or had dogs or other cats, I would pretend I was sick. Sometimes I would pretend to throw up, just to scare them off. That always works, nobody wan when they went by I could smell that they already owned a dog. It was a female Labrador. A kind gentle scent always accompanied a lab, which matches their friendly personality. I usually don’t mind them, but sometimes they are a bit too friendly and it gets annoying!
Andrew had a nice aura about him and I could tell that the dog belonged to Mike. I heard Andrew say, “Dad, these poor animals need a home, Mike has Jet (that was the Lab’s name) and I would like to have a pet of my own.” Gary answered, “What would we do with a cat?” “Oh, I’ll take care of it,” he pleaded to his father.
I could see that Gary had a kind soul and wanted to make Andrew happy. So he said, “Okay, pick one out,” trying not to sound too excited.
We were put in a special room, in cages stacked up about 6 feet high. My cage was at eye level to the humans. Most of the cats were in a state of shock from the storm. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t feeling that great myself. Ever been in a rain storm with 125 mile per hour winds, being blown around like a soccer ball? I was in need of a good meal; not this dry meow mix they were feeding us. And this cage was very uncomfortable. What I needed was a place in front of a window with plenty of sun shine to warm me up.
I could see Andrew looking at every cat, very carefully like he was picking out and engagement ring. Some of the cats were sleeping in the food dishes, as the bars from the cages were very uncomfortable to lay on. But I knew this would give the appearance that they had some kind of post-traumatic stress disorder. So, when Andrew walked by, I gave him my intellectual look. But, my best trait is playing a little hard to get. And it worked! Andrew said, “Dad, I want this one!” Gary said, “Okay, go get the attendant.”
The young volunteer from the ASPCA came over and they talked about me…very personal stuff. My previous owners had a computer chip placed in my ear in case I got lost or something. The young girl said I was spayed, and really, I was okay with that. I had had my share of kittens and I had to beat the “tom cats” off with a baseball bat. I guess that’s because I’m so beautiful. Well, it’s the truth. I have a perfect body with a beautiful black coat, yellow eyes and a great smile (when I want to show it), that can melt an iceberg. And, I can walk like a real black panther!
The girl said my name was Sheri and I was 3 years old. My owners had been notified, but they had already driven to Ohio to avoid the storm and they didn’t t want to drive back just to get me. Talk about ungrateful! After all, I gave them the best 3 years of my life. But you have to realize that being a cat has its ups and downs. Some humans love us and others would like to kill us…literally!!! I saw Gary filling out some paperwork and reaching into his pocket for the 35 bucks they charge for adoption (I think that’s what they call it).
Andrew and Michael were really interested in me and when they tried to take me out of the cage, the young girl scolded them, “Not till I get approval from my manager!” Manager?! I have never heard of a cat adoption manager. So, I had to wait a little longer. “Just get me out of here,” I was saying to myself. It seemed like an hour but I think it was only 10 more minutes and they were my new owners. In a few minutes I’d be in my new digs, giving out orders to that Black Labrador, Jet.