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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Farewell and good luck, Leela.

I've hesitated to discuss this yet, as it doesn't seem quite real, and I was almost certain that it wouldn't work out. But it's been more than a month, and I think it's safe to say that Leela must have adapted to her new home by now.

For those of you who've visited us, you know Janie and I have long had two cats, Leela and Amy. Leela we got first, as a kitten, from Janie's family. She was always a little odd for a cat, intensely curious, but not very friendly. She'd come sit on your lap, but hiss at you if you moved, for example. And she wasn't afraid to draw blood. She loved Janie and I, and when no one else was in our home, she was a wonderful companion, purring contentedly on our laps. She just never liked anyone else.

We eventually adopted Amy from the local humane society, in the hopes that having a companion cat might mellow Leela out a bit. And it may have helped, kinda. But Leela never got over her dislike of everything but Janie and I. Poor Amy was often the target of her frustrations, and although Amy could defend herself, we felt badly for bringing her into this situation. Amy is all sweetness and light (in a rather hefty package), and although both cats could be found sleeping on our bed when we got home, it didn't make them friends.

With our child's due date approaching, Janie tackled the impossible job of figuring out what to do with Leela. Although we love her, neither of us trusted her at all. And how do you give away a cat who hates everyone and everything? Our only hope was that she might adapt to being a farm cat, but the market for farm cats, especially crazy ones, isn't all that great. J posted a brutally honest description on a local cat rescue's website, and we waited.

After a few false starts, we finally got a solid lead, nearly a month after posting the description. A nice lady with a mouse problem on her farm was willing to take a chance with her. We bundled Leela up in her carrier (Leela does not like going for car rides), and drove to the farm, Leela making really sad meows all the while behind us. We met with the lady, made double-extra sure that she understood Leela wasn't the sort to curl up in your lap and love you until she really trusted you, which might never happen, passed on gifts of cat food and litter and litterboxes, and got real teary as we drove off.

I spent the next week expecting the phone call saying that Leela had eaten all the mice, then killed all the chickens, and was now eying a cow, but it never came. The lady emailed us to ask about some medicine we had left for Leela, but said that she was doing well, and that Leela, after initially eating her cat food, had been letting it sit, suggesting her diet had become supplemented with mice, we hope. And that's it. No news is good news, I guess.

We miss her. Amy, loveable as she is, is more needy now, practically tackling you when you come in the door. The thought briefly crossed my mind of getting her a friend, but that seems perilous right now.

Leela, you were an awful, awful cat, who drew blood from several of my friends. But we miss you, and I really hope you're doing well, killing things like you seemed to be meant to do. I hope you'll eventually make friends with the nice lady who took you in.


Janie Ledet said...

Leela will always have a special place in my heart. -J

Batty said...

I guess I didn't realize she actually was nice to you. All these years I couldn't figure out why you kept such a vicious animal around the house. Sorry I didn't know that.

I actually always thought she would be a great farm cat. She's probably loving it. She seemed to love nothing more in life than stalking prey and attacking it from the shadows, and now she can do that all she wants without having to go into the basement for quiet time.

Have you read my blog?