My Community Cat

One year ago today, a group of us took responsibility of animal care and animal control in Petaluma. The shelter transformed from a municipally run entity to non-profit bonanza. I don’t have time to reflect, but I think this story exemplifies the transformation.

I was passing by the front desk today when a woman rushed through the front door with a cat in a box. She was concerned. She’d found this cat – emaciated, hungry, thirsty. When she told us the location, I blurted out, ‘Is he blue? Is that my cat? He left 2 days ago, is he skinny and looks like….’ You get the picture.

Mr. Blue has gotten out again the past few days, spent time at the neighbor’s house, and then just disappeared. I heard him mewling outside my bedroom window the other morning at 3am, but by the time I got myself out there, he was gone. We’ve been searching for him. It seems like he’s been gone for months, but it’s only been 48 hours.

You remember, this cat adopted me 2 years ago while I was walking my dog. His family left him. He has kidney failure. So, he lives in my house (when he wants to!) and he drinks water by shushing it into his mouth with his paw and he eats canned food – a different variety every few days. And I love him.

So, when his bony body emerged from the box today and he leaped into my arms, I had to burst into tears. He is what the Petaluma Animal Shelter is all about. His family couldn’t keep him, so I took over. He’s deciding to live all over then neighborhood and everyone puts up with his antics. He is truly a community cat.

It goes further. The woman who found him? She and I have been emailing about a community event that the shelter will participate in. She had already committed to adopting Bluey if he didn’t have a home.

The Petaluma Community is truly amazing. Every animal is loved and adored regardless of origin or destination. Thank you. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

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