His name was very small, but “M” had the biggest personality. He was one of the first fosters when I set up “Yeti’s Kitty-Suites”. He and his best buddy Oliver came from the parking lot of Grant’s condo complex in Des Moines, WA. It seems quite a few of the fosters came from there!
Grant lived in a ground floor unit with a terrace and, animal-lover that he is, he placed a big bowl of food out there for the many strays he saw. In fact it’s how I got to meet him.
My friend Denise had a unit in the same building, and I used to go there to feed her cats. One day, as I approached the entrance, I spotted one of the strays and stooped to pet her. Grant had been watching and called out to me. In the way that animal-lovers do, we exchanged stories and became friends. For a short time we volunteered at a cat-rescue which was nearby. When it didn’t work out, I decided to do my own thing
I’m not a fan of my own portraits, but I can’t help noticing that I look my happiest when I am holding an animal. The picture below was just after “M” and “Olly” moved in to my new foster-home. In the box underneath is Emily. Guess where she came from !
I set up my foster-home in the ground-level basement of the house I purchased, specifically with the idea of taking in needy cats. A fellow cat-lover told me I wouldn’t need to go looking, that cats would soon find me. How right she was. OMG!
“M” and Oliver were feeding on Grant’s terrace. He had already taken in more strays than could really live comfortably in his condo, so he did a rush job of customizing my basement and before long, boy did I have cats!
Joey / Leah / Cassie
“M” loved retrieving / Emily sorted the boys out. / Oliver melted my heart
Poor Liam had a sore nose but he got adopted right away. Cassie and Leah were also gone before we had a chance to get to know them, so letting them go to their “forever homes” felt good.
“M” and Oliver , on the other hand settled in, and I fell deeply in love. As much as I wanted them to find a good home, I dreaded saying goodbye.
“M” and Oliver had been casual acquaintances, but they soon became firm friends. You could just see them plotting together.
“M” and Olly were totally bonded, and we were so relieved when Oliver’s new person came and offered to take “M” too. We drove them to Bainbridge Island and waved a sad farewell, then drove away in silence. It was the first of many goodbyes. But it didn’t quite end there.
The following morning we got a desperate call from Bainbridge Island. Oliver was doing well, but “M” had wedged himself firmly behind the fridge and could not be coaxed out. He had appeared fine when we delivered him, but apparently as soon as he saw that we had left, he seemed to panic. As we were soon to discover, “M” had his own ideas about things in general. He had decided that he was Grant’s boy and even if he couldn’t live in Grant’s home, he was happy to stay in the foster home where Grant visited every day.
We felt bad about separating the buddies and we worried about it, but it was clearly what “M” had decided.
As time went on and people came to meet the cats, it became obvious that “M” wanted no part of going anywhere. As soon as a stranger walked through the door, he would vanish into one of his hiding places, and in the end he stayed with us for the long haul.
Sadly we lost “M” in November 2017. He was mature, though really not an old cat, but he began losing a lot of weight. Our vet, that we trusted completely, ran tests that were inconclusive. It was possible a scan may have revealed a tumor, but we decided against it . We could not subject “M” to surgery or protracted treatments that he would have hated, so we opted to keep him as comfortable as we could, for as long as we could.
We had always loved “M” so much, but if it was possible we doted on him even more in his last year. We had tried introducing him to the “upstairs cats” where he would have had more time with us, but the cat politics were too complicated and he preferred to stay where he had been comfortable. (We know this, because when the door was open, he ran back downstairs.)
When the time came to help “M” cross over, a very kind and gentle vet came to the foster-suites and he died where he had lived for seven years, surrounded by what he knew and the people who loved him deeply.
We miss you