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Casey, My Little Angel

On May 23, 2008, my beloved cat Emma passed from this life.  She fought a brave 20-month battle with cancer before taking her well-deserved rest.  I miss her and will never forget her.

Emma’s friendship and love made me certain that I would eventually adopt another cat; perhaps later in the fall when some of my grief had eased.  However, as Fate would have it, about a week or two following Emma’s death, I received an email from PetMAC/ Homeward Trails.  On a whim, I viewed their website of adoptable animals, and a female black and white “tuxedo” cat, a “tripod” named “Casey,” immediately caught my eye.  She was beautiful, and her personality profile described her as “affectionate and sweet.”  I was also sympathetic to her having only three legs, knowing that such a physical “challenge” might make it more difficult for her to find a home.  I wanted to meet her.

I completed an application, and Danette Cordone, Casey’s Homeward Trails “foster mom,” responded immediately and positively, suggesting that she and Casey come for a visit.  Casey was understandably shy at our first meeting, so while she cautiously explored her new surroundings, Danette shared what was known of Casey’s life story.  Casey had been surrendered once to the Prince William County (Virginia) animal shelter, then adopted, and then returned by the second adopter.  Sometime in her past, for a still unknown reason, her left rear leg was amputated mid-femur.  When Homeward Trails and Danette discovered her at the shelter, Casey was facing imminent euthanasia.  It was by the grace of God, Homeward Trails, and Danette that this sweet and beautiful little cat was saved.

In the brief six months they had spent together Casey had completely and utterly won Danette’s heart, so much so that she herself considered adopting Casey.  But, with numerous other foster animals needing her care, Danette directed her heart and love toward finding Casey the loving, permanent home she so deserved.

I had already fallen in love with Casey from her website description, and our first face-to-face meeting sealed the deal.  Casey came to live with me on July 12, 2008.  Danette wisely advised that it might take Casey time to adjust to yet another new home and new human companion.  But, if Casey was ready to give me a try, I was more that ready to welcome her into my family.

Indeed, Casey spent most of that first day under the bed, while I sat in the next room patiently waiting for her courage and curiosity to bring her out.  Every few hours I went and talked to her, offering food, toys, and reassurances.  But, this timid little cat, who had been bounced from shelter to home and back again, who had only three legs, and who had faced certain euthanasia, was understandably reluctant, fearing perhaps that she had once again been abandoned.

CaseyThen late that evening just when I wondered if Casey would ever feel safe with me, I looked under the bed again, and out she came – purring and meowing and head rubbing against me, asking for pats and attention.  Like we had been friends forever!  We two stayed up until nearly midnight, exploring her new home and each other.  She delighted in discovering her old, familiar cat condo and her new catnip and feather toys.  Finally, exhausted but very happy, I tucked Casey into my arms and took her with me to bed.  There she curled up on the pillow next to my head, one paw deliberately touching me, and purred us both to sleep.

Casey’s indomitable spirit of love won the day!

Four months later, all is wonderfully well with Casey.  She is healthy and nicely adjusted into our home and family.  She happily chases feather-wand toys, goes crazy for catnip, and has discovered the joys of grazing on her own pot of organic grasses.  She’s a happy chatter-box, talking and singing to me throughout the day.  And she greets me by flopping on her side and offering her furry white tummy for a rub.  Best of all, not one night has passed without Casey snuggled close to me in bed, purring us both to sleep.

It’s said that certain, special individuals come into our life when we most need them.  Danette was there for Casey at the shelter, to save her life and to help her trust humans once again.  There is no doubt that Casey came into my life to help ease my grief at my Emma cat’s passing.  And, I think I’m here for Casey to forever keep her safe and loved.

Casey has a unique and special place in my heart.  I now affectionately call her “angel.”  She is the beautiful little embodiment of the need we all have to love and the indomitable spirit that allows us to do so, no matter what.  Thank you, my little angel.  I will love you forever.

Christine, November, 2008

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