This is the story of how Jackie Moon came to live with us.
It was a warm summer evening and I was actually cooking (a rarity), when the phone rang. I saw that it was a good friend of mine. She almost never calls me, so I thought something must be wrong.
“This cat followed me home and he’s really sick. I can’t take him into the house. What do I do?” At the time, she had 2 dogs, a Doberman & what we call a “Bear” mix and a senior cat. No, a sick cat could not go into her house. So, I turned off the stove, grabbed the hubby and head over to her house. It happened to be our night off of work, so that was a good thing.
This cat was not sick so much as starving. He was obviously malnourished. He had sores and wounds on his neck. Most of his fur was gone from the top of his head to the middle of his back. But when I took him out of the crate, he climbed up into my lap and laid down. My heart broke for him. I could not imagine anyone allowing an animal to get into his condition. My friend told me that she had been taking a walk with her daughter when he started following them. He literally followed her home. I guess he knew she’d get him the help he needed.
While malnourished, he was not dehydrated, so I did not take him to the emergency vet. Instead, I brought him home. We have a room that we call the sick cat room. All cats live in this room when they first come to our house. We keep them separate from the other cats until we know it is safe. First thing the next day, we went to the vet. The vet was giving him a good look over and found a tattoo. Usually, when an animal is spayed/neutered through a shelter, then they also get tattooed. So, he checked for a microchip. Sure enough, he had a microchip. He had been adopted from the local city/county shelter. I was happy we were going to find his home. I thought he had maybe some how gotten out of his house and his people must be looking frantically for him. I imagined he must have been on his own for weeks given the state of his health.
My husband called the number they gave us. The guy indicated that he had just seen the cat the day before. Wait. What? You just saw this cat yesterday? Did you not see that this cat is starving? That he has sores covering his body? Fortunately, my husband was the one on the phone with the guy. I would have been screaming at him, but my husband has a great sense of people. He said, “We found him. We are at the vet with him. Yeah, I don’t know how much this is going to cost. But you know, my wife and I we have cats, so we don’t mind…”
The guy immediately said, “I don’t want the cat.”
Since he had been adopted from the local animal shelter originally, I took him back to them. I hoped they would find him a good home. But instead they said that because of his health they would not put him on the adoption floor. In other words, he would be euthanized. I do not judge them. The shelter is a high intake shelter. They take in thousands of animals a month. There is not room or money to do much else. But I digress. Although, I did not think I had a place for him, I took him home with me.
The first thing I did was get his microchip put into my name. So, he would be safe with me. I did not want to take the chance on this guy changing his mind. Then we worked at making him better. My husband slept with him in the sick room until he was well enough to be introduced to our other cats. He and my other male cat became fast friends and bonded right away. We did try to find him another home. But I’m glad he stayed with us. In the end, Jackie found his place. We found another great addition to our family. I can only hope that the guy who let him get in that shape found his Karma.
This video is of Jackie Moon making biscuits (kneading) on me. This is the first time he’d ever done anything like this to me in over 3 years. He did this for about 20 minutes and then went to sleep.
Hyler is the white and orange cat. His story will be on here soon. Jackie is the brown and white tabby.