I’d like to take a moment and tell you a story about how I rescued a cat that became a part of our family.
First of all, I began pet sitting as a way to make some additional income. I’m not a huge fan of pets and had always considered myself a dog person. We had one cat in the house already that we lovingly call “fat cat” and had no plans on getting another pet.
The lady that I pet sit for has a beautiful home and lots of pets. The area she lives in is known for people dumping animals so being the animal lover she is, she always puts out food for the strays and asks that I do the same while they are away. One week while I was sitting for them, a beautiful gray cat was sitting outside their front door when I opened it to take out some food.
One week while I was sitting for them, a beautiful gray cat was sitting outside their front door when I opened it to take out some food. She purred at my feet and was eager to eat. After putting food down in various places outside and filling up the water bowl, I sat down on the front stoop with her. She was incredibly friendly and wanted me to pet her.
I sent the homeowner a quick picture and text to see if the cat was familiar, but she wasn’t. The more I sat with her, the more I could tell that she had been outside for quite a while. Her paw pads were black, hard, and calloused. They looked as if a layer of skin was going to peel off. She was dirty and had fleas. I couldn’t believe that someone had dumped her. Maybe she just escaped her owners or was an outside cat? I stayed with her a good 15 minutes while she ate and let me pet her, then I had to tend to the other duties and head home.
On this evening, she was there again, patiently waiting for me to step outside with the food to fill the bowl. I’m totally not a cat person, as mentioned above, but for some reason this kitty really liked me, and it made me like her. You know how they say animals can tell the nature of humans, this one must have seen something in me that she liked. (I’m thinking it was the food.) I again sat with her, watching her while she ate. I couldn’t wrap my head around someone dumping her. It was that night that I officially named her “Socks” due to the fact that all four of her legs were white up to a certain point. I went home and nervously told my husband about her. I was already getting attached to her.
On my drive to the home where I pet sit, I found myself hoping that Socks would be there again. I had somehow managed to convince my husband that I needed to rescue her. He begrudgingly told me to do what I wanted, and if that meant bringing home a new kitty, then he would accept it. I wanted to wait until the end of the week just in case she had been a lost kitty that someone was looking for. She again waited for her food and let me love on her before leaving for the night.
I arrived at the home in the morning, making a stop before I headed into my regular job. Up until this day, I had only seen Socks at night, so I was surprised to see that she was at the house again that morning. I made a preemptive decision to grab her, put her inside the home where there was a pet carrier. I gave her food and water and then left. Excited and happy I was going to pick her back up after work and take her home.
Later that day at work, I was just beaming about her. I happened to tell a young man that came into my job the story about the kitty, and that I had her waiting. That’s when he laid into me, telling me that I was exposing the other pets in the home to possible virus or infection if Socks was diseased. I never even considered that there might have been something wrong with her and immediately went into a frantic. I didn’t want anything to happen to the pets I was already caring for and I certainly didn’t want Socks to be sick. I immediately left work and went back to the house to let her out. I couldn’t take her to work with me or to the vet until after I got off. I was crying, I was upset and panicking. I let Socks back outside through stinging tears and hoped that I would see her again that night when I returned.
On this evening, after much debate with my husband and daughter, we decide to take our pet carrier with us and hope that Socks will make a return. It was my last night sitting so I was really hopeful. Luckily, she came around before we left, we scooped her up and brought her home.
This is just the beginning of my adventures with Socks the cat.
She seemed healthy and happy to be in our home. I kept a close eye on her but noticed that she definitely had worms. Of course, all the vets have closed already. I was fortunate enough that the local Petco had a veterinarian come on site once a month and provide shots, dewormer, and flea medicine. Everything I needed for Socks! YAY! They didn’t make appointments, just show up on Sunday with the kitty.
We make it into Petco and she gets all her shots. The vet indicates that she’s healthy but without running any lab work, it’s hard to know if she has anything wrong with her medically. At any rate, we left with receiving all the shots she needed, wormer, and the flea medicine. My bank account suffering a loss of about $150.
Over the next week or so, I felt it was necessary to have her checked out by a vet, see if she was micro-chipped, and get her spayed. My husband had to help with this since I leave for work before the local vet opened. He dropped her off to be checked out and ready for surgery.
I received a phone call about an hour after her being dropped off. The person on the other line says, “she’s ready.” I was surprised, “that was quick!” I say.
“oh, well we didn’t have to do anything.” She says to me. Now I’m totally confused.
“We got her on the IV, started to shave her down then noticed that she has a tattoo.” She continued.
“A tattoo?” Who gives a cat a tattoo? My mind was blown at this point.
“Yes, usually when a pet is spayed, the vet will put a small tattoo on them which is an indicator that the surgery has already been performed. We won’t need to spay Socks.”
I’m completely amazed and yet also upset. Because now I really feel like I catnapped someone’s pet. Even though they didn’t perform the surgery, they still ran labs on her and naturally I had to pay for that, but not as much as I was expecting. Wheww!
After work, I pick her up. They tell me that her labs all came back good, she had no infections to be worried about and wasn’t a danger to other animals. That was a huge relief in itself.
While at the vet office I ask if they checked for a microchip yet. They had not. They perform the check while I wait and wouldn’t you know, she’s chipped too! The chip information came up blank in their system. They explain that sometimes people will pick up cats and bring them in to be fixed and then they let them go again and that this was probably the case with Socks. To be sure though, they suggested I take her to the local animal shelter and see if they get any info on the microchip.
OH NO, I WASN’T!
Socks was officially part of the family. After all the time, money, and energy I spent rescuing her and making sure she was healthy, there was no way I wanted to find out if she had a previous owner. They obviously weren’t looking for her and in the condition, she was in when I found her, they didn’t deserve her anyway. She’s basically my child now and I dare anyone to try and take her from me.
It’s been a little over a year now and she has been the best kitty. My youngest daughter has pretty much claimed her as her own. It’s the weirdest thing and I totally think she could be a therapy kitty. She’s so in tune with me and the children. Anytime we are upset, angry, or crying (3-year-old temper tantrum) she is right there as if she knows something is wrong. Almost every single time, just her being there, purring and pushing against you is a huge stress relief. I’m pretty sure she used to be a hooman in another life. In this one anyway, she is our sweet Socks cat and I’m so glad she came into our lives.