On a cold evening in December of 2019, my wife Shelley and I were running errands after work. We had ordered a takeout dinner and while killing time before picking it up, we decided to visit our local shelter (shout out to TAILS in Dekalb, Illinois).
This is something we often do while out and about with a few minutes to kill. We had no intention of adopting a new pet to join our fur baby family of 3 cats and one dog.
The story of our Ragdoll cat, Hamish
As we walked into the shelter, we could see that it was crowded. The buzz of the crowd was chaotic but festive. Holiday decorations were up, and people were in a charitable mood.
Cat Colony Rooms
TAILS has several “cat colony” rooms and when we visit, I like to go in and sit among the kitties. I found our last cat, Cricket, by doing that in the very same room. Or perhaps I should say that she found me! But that is another story!
As Shelley and I socialized with the cats, one cat caught my eye. A shelter volunteer was bringing him into the colony room. She told me that he was an 8 month old kitten, and being placed into the colony room after being in the required quarantine that all the new intake animals endure when they first arrive. After the volunteer set him down, he sat on his paws and had a sad and bewildered look on his face. He just looked so out of place. There was something about him that just pulled at my heart.
Spending Time in a Meeting Room
We asked if we could spend some time with him in a “meeting” room. Soon we were sitting in a quiet room with this scared little fellow. I held him in my arms, and he buried his head just under my chin. I could immediately feel his purring and he seemed to relax a bit.
Shelley looked at me and said, “Are you feeling it with him?” “Yes”, I said. She looked dubious but the longer I held him the more he seemed to relax, and I was sure feeling it! I handed him over to Shelley and he snuggled with her with no misgivings.
How He Ended Up at a Rescue
Another volunteer, who also happened to be a vet tech at our veterinarian’s office, came in to check on us. It was then that we heard the story of this little guy. Volunteers are not allowed to reveal the background of the pets that are brought into TAILS, but she was making an exception.
This kitten had been brought to TAILS from the county Animal Control shelter. He had been found by a police officer in a compacting garbage dumpster, stuffed into a cat carrier with 4 other cats. The officer heard the cries of the kitties and rescued them from certain death. After being transported to the county Animal Control shelter, the cats were scanned for microchips and the owner was contacted.
The owner was a young woman. While she had gone to work, her boyfriend broken into her house, gathered up the cats, placed them in the carrier, and left them to die in the dumpster. As the young woman could not afford the fee to get the cats out of the Animal Control shelter, she did the honorable thing and released them for adoption.
Completing the Adoption Process
My wife and I were shocked. How could anyone do this to a defenseless animal? I could completely understand the look of bewilderment on his face and his frightened demeanor. I looked at Shelley and she looked at me and we decided right then and there that our fur baby family was going to increase by one. How could we not adopt this little fellow?
We completed the adoption process and took him home in the cardboard carrier the shelter supplied. Since we had not planned on adopting that day, we did not have one of our cat carriers with us. He was quiet during the ride home.
When we got home, Shelley took him upstairs and closed the door while I took care of the dinner we brought home. It was then that I heard Shelley say, “Geoff! Oh my God, this cat!” I quickly ran upstairs thinking that the docile little cat we just adopted was now going feral and tearing up the place!
When I got upstairs, Shelley was laughing and this quiet cat from the shelter had transformed into a head butting, purring machine! He was so happy to be petted and held. I could hear his purring from across the room!
We decided to name him Hamish. Hamish is the favorite cat of family and friends in this house. Whenever I look at him, I think of the ordeal that he went through that cold December night and yet, he is friendly and trusting. He truly is our little gift from God!
I have always believed that cats choose us. But sometimes, you must follow your heart. We did that night and now I cannot imagine our life without Hamish!
Submit Your Cat Story
Ragdoll of the Week or Floppycat of the Week on Floppycats isn’t a contest or really a selection process – as long as you follow these guidelines (that keep us sane), and submit your story and photos in full, your kitty will be next in line for Ragdoll of the Week or the Floppycat of the Week. If you are interested in submitting your kitty as Cat of the Week, we welcome you to share stories and photos of your cat or cats with us and Floppycats.com’s readers.
We know that not every Floppycats.com reader has a Ragdoll cat. And we’re not Ragdoll cat exclusive, so we started a Floppycat of the Week so that readers that don’t have Ragdolls could share their kitties too! Or readers that do have Ragdolls and other kinds of kitties, could share their whole house of kitties individually.
Read more on how to share your cat story.