Thursday, January 19, 2012

My way of thinking/ Mommee the cat

What the....?  An Austin's Thoughts about a cat?  I thought he only loved dogs.  I must be on the wrong blog.  Oh, well it still says Austin's thoughts, guess I'll go ahead and read it. 

Jon and I lived in Key West, Florida from 1993 - 1997.  It is a very different kind of place, almost like living in a foreign country.  We owned a mobile home there in a trailer park that was right smack dab in the middle of downtown.  Right between the Atlantic and the Gulf Of Mexico.  Chickens run around free in Key West.  Kind of like pigeons in the rest of the country.  There are also hundreds of stray cats.  I want to tell you about one of them.

Soon after we settled into our home I noticed a particular little black and white cat that seemed to like hanging out around our lot.  Of course, I was off to Circle K right away to buy some cat food.  She didn't look underfed.  In fact, I thought at first she might be pregnant.  That's why I started calling her Mommee.  I couldn't get near her but I decided to make it my personal challenge to tame this savage beast.  I began moving her food dish closer and closer to the sliding glass door that was the entrance to our home.  Inch by inch at first. Then a foot at a time.  I began to sit outside near her, but not too near at first, while she ate.  Slowly her dish and I were getting closer to each other.  I would talk to her while she ate in my most soothing voice.  She seemed to be listening and enjoying the non-threatening sound of my voice.  When I finally got to the point where her food dish and I were on the step that was in front of our door, I put my hand right next to her food dish.  She was suspicious at first, but I didn't move my hand while she gobbled down her dinner.  She was beginning to trust that I wasn't a danger to her.  After about a week just sitting on the step, I started leaving the door open so that I could sit in the threshhold just above her.  Then I moved the dish up next to me one day.  Mommee was about to take her first step into a home.

She was wary for the first few days of this but curious as well.  Then one day she decided to smell the hand that had been next to her dish for weeks.  I still didn't move my hand.  I just let her sniff.  But I was slowly inching my way further and further inside.  Once we had achieved all four paws inside the trailer, I decided it was time to touch her.  Slowly I moved my hand to her nose as she sniffed it.  Then I caressed her head.  Surprisingly, she seemed to like this.  I'm sure it was the first time she had ever experienced human affection.

I then began to do the opposite.  She was coming all the way inside without fear so I began moving away from her dish.  And lo and behold, she began coming to me for those strokes of love and affection.  I had myself a cat.  This process was weeks in the making, but it was fun to see if I could make a wild cat into a tame one.  Jon had always liked cats and had owned a few, but I had never had one before.  After awhile she was sitting in my lap while we watched TV.  She was allowing me to pick her up so it was time to go to the vet for shots and to have her spayed.  That's a whole story by itself.

I just realized that the story of Mommee and me could make a nice children's book.  The ending wasn't a happy one but I could change the real ending for a kid's book.  The real ending came in 1997 after Hurricane Georges ripped through Key West and destroyed our home and everything in it.  Everything but my precious Mommee.  We felt that it was time for us to leave so we gave our kitty to our next door neighbor.  He was a good friend and he had always brought Mommee treats so she liked him.  We had to leave but it was sad indeed to leave my friend behind.  We were taking the Greyhound back to California and I cried half the way there.  I miss Mommee to this day.  I wish I had a real picture of her.  The one I used for this story was borrowed from a friend who is a member of my facebook group, "Robin's Hope: A Place for Animal Awareness".  If you haven't already visited our group, you really should.

There is so much more to tell about Mommee.  I will add more stories as we go along.  For now, I'll leave it with the message that love can truly make miracles.  Austin and his CAT!  Who'd have thought it.

                                           Peace and Love,




  1. I love Momee the kitty! There's nothing like gaining the love & trust of a feral animal, and there are so many feral cats. Good job!
    So sad about the hurricane -- more for you & Jon. I'm sure Momee lived a happy, loved & full life :)

    Heidi & Atticus
    "commentary to give you paws..."

  2. I loved this story! You have unbelievable patience my friend! I don't know if I would ever have been able to accomplish this. I am sorry you had to give Momee away, but as Heidi remarked, I am sure she was loved and happy. You and Jon have gone through so much and the way you deal with adversity is to overcome the obstacles and grow.You inspire me, and many others, I know!

  3. Thanks Heidi.

    Sandy, the only area of my life where I truly display patience is with animals and children. Otherwise patience is the one thing I work at every day.

  4. I am a complete cat person so loved seeing the Mommee post! My cat, Fretta, was a stray, but we always joke that she must have spent about one night outside in the wild. She ate a whole can of tuna and then walked in as soon as we opened the door! She was finding comfy sleeping spots within a day and seemed to know her way around a home. We don't know what made her end up wandering (she was pregnant - so perhaps she'd been kicked out...) but she clearly was looking for--and found--a new home.

    Mommee was very lucky you were willing to be so patient, and that you loved her enough to find her a good home when you had to move on.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

  5. Bill, I have fallen in love with Momee! What a sweet story but am so sorry about the hurricane disrupting your lives. Wow, that's awful.

    I love cats and have two right now (we've had up to five at once!). Thank you for sharing this story.

    caregiving. family. advocacy.

  6. Thank you Judy and Trish.

    Mommee, accent on the second syllable, was a very special cat. Jon had his first major seizure shortly after Mommee moved in for keeps. He was in the hospital for about 10 days while doctors tried to figure out what was going on and I was extremely worried and upset. The cat knew that I was acting differently and she never left my side. She even sat outside of the shower and waited for me. Up til then I hadn't known how loving a cat can be. I still miss her.


  7. What a beautiful story, you made a difference in that sweet babys life. You touched her life and she touched yours, now you touched mine. thank you xo

  8. What a lovely comment. Thank you, Wendy!