⦿ Tessa the Rescue Cat

Some years ago my neighbors, a retired couple, adopted a  young shelter rescue cat, Tessa. They’d ask me to look after her when they travelled, and Tessa and I developed a special bond – she was a sweet affectionate kitty.  When they  passed on their adult son came to sell the condo; we became friends.  The situation arose of what to do about Tessa – neither of us could take her in,  and I made great efforts to find her a new home,  but ultimately failed.
I wrote this story to find some resolution to my emotional involvement in the situation.
This is her story, in her voice… = Warning = :: this is not for everyone, not a happy ending.

My name is Tessa.  I’m 12 years old — I’m no kitten anymore.
But  ever since I was little, I’m scared  of  loud  noises and  scared about  being alone.

I have 3 brothers and one sister and when we were kittens, one day our Mama didn’t come back, never ever.  We cried and cried, we were hungry and cold and scared.  Then someone put us all in a box and took us to a scary place we didn’t like at all.  There were big dogs barking real loud and howling–we were so scared we were  trembling.  There were a bunch of other cats too,  all  ages and  sizes  and colors,  all of them yelling and screaming and crying.  It was horrible.  We never were around  other cats  before, and we  didn’t like it !
And  right away  the 5 of us were  separated. I heard 2 of my brothers calling for  the  rest  of us,  and  we all were crying for  Mama.  But we never saw Mama again, and I never saw my sister or brothers again. It was  a  bad  place,  allright,  and  I  was  alone  now.
“Crybaby. . you’re such a crybaby.”  It was a calico in the next cage making fun of me,  just  to  be  mean.  A  black and white cat on  my  other side said  to the  calico  “Oh you shut  up over  there,  leave  the  baby  be . .  she just lost  her  mama.”

To me she said   “You go ahead and cry.  I know how you feel, kid—they took  my  babies  away  from  me.  But  it’ s done.  Things  will  be  ok,  you’ll  see.”     
That made me feel not so alone and scared, someone being nice to me.  I was getting used to the  constant  noise and was suddenly  sleepy.   I  laid  down on the soft towel in  the  back of  my cage.
The people in this place came around to give us food and water twice a day.  They were nice,  saying nice things and  petting us —  but I still missed  my family real bad. Sometimes some of the cats would be taken out of  their  cages to  be  taken  somewhere  else,  but  we  didn’t  know where.  Some  of  them were  brought  back  and  they  looked  so  sad, but  they  didn’t  talk  about  it.  Sometimes people would walk around looking at all of us, maybe pointing to one and smiling, and that cat would be taken out and didn’t come back.
The day came pretty quickly for  my turn to come out. .  and I  got  adopted !!   A lady picked ME to be her  cat !  She was a real  nice lady with a  man,  and  they took  me to  their home.  I got put in a cage again and rode in a car, that was scary.  But then I didn’t have to be  in a cage anymore and  I  wouldn’t  be  lonely  any more — I  had  a  home,  and  people !
The lady was sweet and nice, so happy to have a companion. The man wasn’t so sure about me, but he tolerated me because I made the lady happy.  Sometimes the lady and man would leave on trips and  another Lady who lived upstairs would take care of me,  feeding me and playing with me.  I was sad when she went home but she came back later every time.  She gave me my favorite toy, my little pink mouse.
But after a time  I was sad again, my nice lady was gone away, she died.  The man was so sad, he didn’t know what to do.  But he had a good heart and came to love me, because  I reminded him of the lady.  He got me toys and talked to me, I was happy again.
Then he was gone too. I was scared and sad again.   When the man died, I couldn’t live there anymore, I didn’t have my own people anymore.     I was very sad.  The man’s son came  there for a while and the nice Lady upstairs tried real hard  to find me  a new home and people,  but it never happened.
The time came for all of us to leave.  The Lady & Man caged me  .  WHY  are you doing this ?  Please,  no – I’ll be a good cat,  don’t take me there.  I’ll be good , I promise !  Please, no.
The Lady was crying, I’m crying too.. Why are they doing this ? Everything was fine before, they liked me. The Lady brought me special treats all the time  and petted me  and played red laser dots with me a lot.  She put my favorite toy, the pink mouse, in the cage with me..  She was talking to me  but  I didn’t  want to listen anymore.

I’m back at that place where I was taken as a kitten, where that nice lady came and got me out.  I do not like it here, at all !   The people that work at this place come by once a day and take some of the cats out of their cages.  They’re scared and we never see them again.  But I  think they’re getting adopted like I did before !  It will be my turn soon,  just like before. I’ll have a new home with nice people again !
Soon it was my turn to go.  I’m going to be adopted !   A nice girl  held me as she walked, she even brought my little pink mouse too.
I heard someone say  words I didn’t understand :“This is her second time here, she’s too old now.”
We went into a bright room with tables and cabinets and strange metal things. It smelled funny and it frightened me.  The girl handed me over to a nice man. He held me close, the way I like, and said nice things to me as he  stroked me, and said my name.
I liked that.
“This won’t hurt a bit, Tessa . . go to sleep, sweetheart”  as he gently slipped the syringe into my leg.
He laid her down into a cardboard box and tucked the little pink mouse between her paws.

7 thoughts on “⦿ Tessa the Rescue Cat

  1. I’m sitting here weeping.

    I “liked” this post because you wrote this so VERY well! You captured exactly what it must be like for so many beautiful cats and dogs. They are so loyal and loving and just want a safe good home…to be loved and enjoyed…and so many of them have such rough lives, and heart-breaking endings 😦

    Through this past year I’ve thought about the many pets who have had their Human-Bean die of Covid19 and I’ve worried about what happened to those sweet-furry-ones. 😦

    My youngest kiddo and her roommate/friend rescue and take in foster cats and give them a great home and great care until they can find a good and hopefully forever home for them.

    Less than two years ago now they found a little cat on the street…she was wild and scared and pregnant. They took her home, got her vet care, and were going to let her have her babies and then find all of them, including “Mama Cat” good homes. Mama Cat was just so young herself…the vet said less than a year old.

    Well, my daughter decided…we are NOT going to find Mama Cat a new home, I’m going to adopt her. 🙂 It took some time (because Mama Cat had lived a harsh, scary life on the streets of a BIG city), but she grew to trust and love my daughter. 🙂 She is a different cat today than she was when they found her! My daughter adores her and is such a great mom to her. 🙂

    🐱 🐈 🐱 ❤ 🐱 🐈 🐱

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  2. I so wanted to take Tessa in, but my big boy cat Buster wouldn’t stand for it, he’s a bully with other cats. He once badly attacked Tessa outdoors. It just killed me that I couldn’t get her another home.
    I wrote part of this story at the time but couldn’t bear to finish it, because of what the ending was.. so 6 +years later, yesterday, I was finally able to do it… through the tears.

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  3. I understand. I only have one pet because I can only afford the expenses of one pet.
    Thank you for writing this story, even tho’ it was painful and brought the tears flowing. Tessa’s story is important. I’m so glad you were a positive, loving human in her life! 🙂 I’m sure she loved you and loved seeing you when you came by. You did W-A-Y more than most people would have done. (((HUGS))) 🙂

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