Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite, brought back by popular demand. It was originally published on September 6, 2012. Enjoy!
Suzanne Ledo was not a cat person. In fact, she was greiving deeply over the loss of her Tibetan Spaniel Taz (who was at least 17 years old) when she felt compelled to visit an online adoption site to see what kind of rescue dogs might be available.
“I found two adorable little Shih-Tzu and Chihuahua mix dogs, brother and sister, that the rescue organization was trying to adopt out as a pair,” Suzanne said. “They were perfect. The lady with the rescue had actually been fostering them for over a year and was very selective about where they would be homed.”
Suzanne visited the dogs at their foster home but the adoption process would not be complete until the volunteer could come to see Suzanne’s home and make sure that it was a safe environment for the dogs. So the two arranged for a visit the following weekend. But before Suzanne could have that home inspection, fate stepped in. Suzanne listened quietly as the rescue group volunteer told her about a cat in urgent need.
He’d Only Stay for a While…..
“She called me to say she was planning to come, but first she had to find a foster home for a cat who had been abandoned,” Suzanne recalls. “He was wandering around in the 110 degree Arizona heat, emaciated and very dehydrated. A neighbor of hers had been feeding and watering him on her patio, but could not bring him in because of her other two cats who did not like him. She then realized he was declawed, so he could not stay outside. She brought him in and kept him in a spare room for a few days, but then had to go out of town, and could not leave the little guy there. She said he only needed to be fostered for a short time until she could find him a permanent home. We had already decided that I would not take the dogs right away because I was going out of town in about a month, so we would do the adoption after I returned. So I offered to foster the cat for a while.”
And that turned out to be the beginning of the end for poor Suzanne, a poor unsuspecting dog lover who had no idea how quickly a cat can weave a strategy to stay forever.
“He seemed terrified at first,” Suzanne said of her first few hours with the cat. “I left him in my back room with food, water and a litter box, and went in to check on him a couple of hours later. I sat on the floor and called to him and he came right out, meowing softly and rubbing up against me. I let him out and he hid under my bed the first night, but the next day he followed me around. He slept in my bed that night and woke me up by softly kneading my leg with his soft feet.”
Yes, Suzanne’s chances of escape were slipping away with every green eyed glance, with every brush of whiskers against her cheek. As she looked at this small cat who, only days earlier, had been literally baking in the sun with little hope for any quality of life, a wave of emotion swept over her.
“He had me wrapped around his little paw,” Suzanne explains. “By the third day, I called the rescue group and told them I wanted to adopt Ninja. My friend now calls him bait-and-switch-kitty, but I think that things happen the way they are supposed to happen. This little guy was meant to be my companion.”
Though Ninja is terrified of dogs, Suzanne is making plans for a companion. Yes, it’s true. A second cat. Suzanne has been stripped of her status as a dog lover and now proudly holds her new title as animal lover.
If you have a special story to share about an animal you’ve helped, please share it on The Great Animal Rescue Chase website.