“I went to the shelter looking for a kitten. I’ve never had a kitten because I always take in older rescues so it was time to treat myself. But when I went to the shelter I found Bandit, a 6-month-old blind cat, the shelter worker said had been there for months. No one wanted him. It broke my heart and even though I was looking for a kitten I took him. I couldn’t imagine life without him. He melts my heart every day sometimes I cry I’m so happy we found each other and people passed him up because he’s blind. He is the most special boy in the world. He can’t see but he knows his mom. As soon as I pick him up he collapses in my arms purring, and always finds his way to nestle in my arms at night.
I got Daisy when she was about 4. I was living in a farm community in Massachusetts and she was a friend’s mom’s cat. The mom just got a divorce and she couldn’t keep Daisy, or her companion Scuter, anymore. So, I took them both to avoid them going to a shelter. It was just a few months after my childhood cat Lou died at 16. Daisy had a great life living outside hunting squirrels and birds in Massachusetts. She would literally swallow them whole! (it was sad and impressive) Eventually she went to the vet where they informed me she has FIV. I was devastated. I didn’t know what this meant. I met with experts at the vet and joined community boards and it turns out that Daisy will live a fairly normal life, but she has to be an inside cat to avoid injury and transmission. It was a long hard adjustment for us. Every day she would cry and scratch at the window screens and try to sneak out. Eventually after moving back to NYC she has gotten used to her simple life playing with fake mice and laser pointers. She has been living with FIV for 7 years now and all her tests come back great. She is the best cat, and my best friend. She has been through everything with me. 10 moves, multiple partners, breakups, deaths. I couldn’t imagine life without her. Although I am starting to think more about it because she is about 11 and I know the time will come sooner than later.”
Maggie Freleng is a journalist and audio producer who works from home and is obsessed with her cats.