Her new name is Angel. I don't know her story, or how she came to be left off in the alley behind the office where I work. The only things I do know are that someone must have loved her at one time, and whoever that was had her front claws removed (and I hope had her fixed as well). It was Monday and I had stepped out back to have a smoke at mid-morning break. I heard a faint "meow" coming from behind the fence of the house across the alleyway. So I answered "kitty?" From a break in the gate I saw a face. So I talked some more. And she answered each time, but was too timid to come to me.
The next day I brought a can of Dixie's food to work and set some on a dish by the gate. Out popped her head and she immediately wolfed down every morsel - and allowed me to pet her head.
I brought a little more food out in the afternoon and set it further from the gate and called her. She came all the way out and after finishing off the food allowed me to pick her up and hold her, just for a little before she jumped down and scurried behind the safety of the gate again.
I kept feeding her - and by now the whole office knew about her. My boss, Gail, brought her 3 cans of cat food. By Thursday I was hooked on her and decided to bring her home. A decision everyone thought was a good one. I talked to Dixie about her too. I know she remembered Scupper from when she was a puppy because her ears pitched forward everytime I said his name. And I think she had a pretty good idea of what I was saying. I had been feeling bad about leaving her alone all day while I worked. She has always had someone there since she was a little puppy. And she seemed kind of lonely to me.
Anyway, Thursday, after I found a box and a blanket for her to hide in, I brought her into my office for the day. I don't think I have ever had that many visitors! Everyone wanted to see her and pet her. And she took it all in and seemed to be loving all the attention.
But she was so thin. You could feel each disc in her spine and each rib. She ate with such gusto that she would throw up after.
She still purred though. I don't think she was in the alley for very long, and each time I was out there I expected each passerby to stop and ask if I had seen a cat. But no one did.
So I piled her in the car at the end of the day and we drove the few miles home. She meowed the whole way, and panted, and tried to sit on the dashboard. She finally found a spot on my left shoulder with her nose poking out the space between the window and the car, with me trying to hold her and comfort her while shifting gears and trying to pay attention to the traffic.
Well, we made it home. And, so far, she has decided she likes it here. I think she has checked out every nook and cranny of the house, as well as the backyard. She has been with us for a couple of weeks now, and it almost seems as though she has always been here.
I haven't tried to force Angel and Dixie to pay attention to one another. Each of them is quite aware of the other. At first Angel would hiss if Dixie came too close. But the other day I caught them touching noses (how cute I know, but the camera was on the other side of the room). And today Dixie actually chased Angel into the house from outside!! Which is pretty much all Dixie wants - she really is in it for the chase!! So I think with time they will become good friends. I know Angel has brought a calm into our home that wasn't there before. And she is such a good cat. And while gratitude is probably not in most cats vocabularies, I get the feeling when she is rubbing against my arm and purring, that she is just a little grateful that we met in that alley, and that she is once again safe, and full, and can finally relax a little. Take care. K (aka Mad Beach Maven)