Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cleopatra’s story

This queenly cat has come a long way from humble beginnings. Dropped off at Feline Rescue’s door with her mom and two siblings, the little black cat christened “Winston” by a volunteer picked her human mom out when she came to work her weekly shift at the shelter.

All black except for a white spot on her chest and belly, Winston was quiet until she saw the one she wanted to go home with. Then she talked and talked. When the volunteer opened her kennel and played with and petted her, the year-old cat was so happy. When the human stopped petting, Winston nipped at her hand.

Winston reads people very well and she knew that this would not drive her chosen person away. She somehow knew that this woman had recently lost a black cat to kidney disease and that black cat would nip at her when she stopped petting him. It was a clever thing for Winston to do, because now the human thought, “Awww, she reminds me of Sebastian”. Winston was disappointed when the kennel was shut tight and the volunteer went away, but she held out hope for the next time her new mom would come to visit.

This particular human was not planning on getting any more cats. She had two at home and they were happy together. But she kept thinking of Winston and assumed that the cute young girl would be adopted quickly. The next time she went to the shelter, she thought, “if she’s still there, I will think about adopting her”. But when she arrived, the cage that was Winston’s was empty.

Disappointed and relieved at the same time because now she did not have to make a decision, she asked about Winston’s new family. “Oh, she’s just in the medical room. She’s got ear mites”, another volunteer said. “Surely by the next week, Winston will have found her forever home”, thought Winston’s mom-to-be.

When she came back the next week, Winston was waiting for her. Now she had no excuses, no reasons not to take her next black cat home. When she opened the carrier, Winston walked right in and waited patiently to embark on her new life.

Once home, the two resident cats were a little concerned and avoided their new sister for a few days but soon all three were having wrestling matches that traveled from living room to bedroom and back.

Her new mom asked her what her name was, really, because Winston somehow did not quite fit. “I’m Cleopatra!” said the shelter cat formerly known as Winston.

That was in the fall of 2001. Today, Cleopatra rules a healthy pack of cats and a couple of dogs, too. Her supervisory duties include scheduling naps on the overstuffed yellow chair and letting mom know when it is time to eat. It’s hard work organizing a household, so Cleo takes advantage of naptime whenever she can.

Story by Cleopatra's mom Celayne and photos by Kage Imagery and Celayne

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