Sunday, 6 March 2016

left behind

The sun hung low in the evening sky and its light no longer warmed Jesse’s fur.  Soon it would be dark.

Jesse’s tummy rumbled.  When had he eaten last?  Breakfast?  Had he been outside for the entire day?  It was no wonder he was so hungry.

Padding across the backyard, Jesse almost immediately noticed that something was amiss. Usually at this time, the warmth of lights blazed from inside and his human mum and dad could be seen busily preparing dinner while the kids did their homework or watched television but today, the windows were dark and there were no signs of life.  The house looked strangely lonely and deserted.

The driveway stood empty so Jesse assumed his family had all gone out together.  Perhaps for dinner or to see a movie.  Seeing nothing for it but to wait until their return, he jumped onto the deck and curled up by the back door, drawing his paws toward himself to conserve warmth, not knowing how long he would be outdoors.

Jesse awoke with a start.  Any lingering traces of sunlight were long gone now, having been replaced by the cold, faint light of the moon.  He peered into the darkness, trying to discern what had made the noise he had heard.  A neighbourhood dog?  A raccoon?  Could it be something worse?  A coyote, perhaps.  Jesse sniffed the air.  A multitude of smells assaulted his olfactory senses but as none appeared to be dangerous, he closed his eyes once more and drifted off to sleep.

Sounds of birds, singing, awakened the little black cat and he slowing rose to his paws.  He felt stiff after being outdoors in the cold and damp all night.  Jesse stretched his front legs first and then his back ones, before arching his back.  After giving himself a good shake, he stood up on his hind legs and clawed at the door, crying to his family, pleading with them to let him in.  Pangs of hunger shot through his tummy and he realized he’d not eaten since the morning before.

But Jesse’s plaintive cries didn't succeed in bringing anyone to the door.  Were they all still asleep? He glanced over at the driveway.  The car hadn't returned.  Had all four members of his human family been gone all night long?  Jesse sat back on his haunches, staring at the door.  He was locked out with no one to let him in.

His tummy again reminded Jesse of his immediate hunger but what was he to do?  The food was inside the house and he had no way to get at it.  He needed to think.

Jesse had chased his fair share of flying insects while playing in the garden and fields behind his house, but even though he enjoyed the chase very much, he really wasn't a very good hunter.  Most of the things Jesse chased got away.  No cat could exist on the spoils of his hunts. Although he had always been allowed outside, hunting did not come naturally to him, at all.

Then Jesse had a brilliant idea.  Perhaps the neighbours would find it in their hearts to give him a meal.  Just enough to tide him over, mind you, until his family returned home.  With anxious anticipation and his tail held high, the little black cat trotted across the lawn and into the adjoining yard.  And what luck!  Looking through the window into what he thought must be the kitchen, he could see a man and woman.  Perhaps they were making breakfast.  Surely if he cried for attention, they would invite him in for a bite to eat.

Unfortunately, Jesse’s cries were met with the sound of a door, slamming, as he narrowly dodged the foot of a horrid man yelling, “Get the Hell out of here!”  Jesse remembered why he had always avoided the neighbours’ house before.

But he was so hungry and his family had not yet returned.  He couldn't give up yet.  Maybe the people in the next house would be kinder.  Jesse approached their door, hesitant to cry out because of the response he had received at the first.  But knowing he had to get their attention somehow, he let out a small mew.  Nothing.  He cried a little louder.  Still no answer.  Sadly, there was no one at home.  Dejectedly, Jesse slowly returned to his own house.

He skirted the immediate neighbours’ yard, fearing he would be seen by that horrid man.  Crossing his own yard, a fly passed in front of his nose and Jesse instinctively snapped at it.  He swallowed the fly but his hunger did not subside.

Curling up at the back door once again, Jesse squeezed his eyes tight.  He was sure that he wouldn't feel the pain of his hunger while sleeping and perhaps, when he awoke, his family would be home.

                               *****************************************

A month later, Jesse was still locked out of his house.  His family had never returned and he was all alone.

Jesse had reconciled himself to living the life of an outdoor cat.  He now lived in constant fear, never knowing what dangers might be lurking around the next corner.  He had already had several narrow escapes from neighbourhood dogs, local wildlife, and that horrible, awful, nasty man who lived next door.  His tummy always ached, for it was perpetually empty.  Although still not very good at hunting, Jesse had discovered there were often edible scraps to be found in garbage cans left out for collection.  He was hungry but he was getting by.  He would survive.  But the worst thing about living outside was the constant cold.  On sunny days, the sun warmed his fur but at night, a constant chill travelled through his young bones.

And through it all, Jesse stayed close to home…  WAITING.  Waiting for his family to return and let him inside.

                          ********************************************

And then one day, a strange car pulled into the driveway.  A woman he had never seen before climbed out and walked toward his back door.  In her hand, she held a key.

Jesse’s heart filled with joy.  Someone had been sent to let him in.

Although anxious to get inside, Jesse approached gingerly, remembering the neighbour’s treatment of him.  He would wait until the door was open and then dash past the woman.  If he were lucky, she wouldn't even see him.  He could hide indoors until his family returned.

Luckily for Jesse, the woman did see him as he sped past her feet.  Although taken by surprise, she had the composure to close the door behind her and seek him out.  Scooping Jesse up into her arms after finding him cowering behind a chair in the family room, the woman stroked his fur and tickled him beneath his chin.  In a soft voice she explained that his family had moved away and would never return.  She had been sent to prepare the house for its sale so he wouldn't be able to stay there, either inside or out.  But perhaps he would like to come live with her.

Although the woman never said it…  Never said the actual words…  Jesse realized, right there and then, that the family he had loved with all his heart…  The family he had relied and depended upon…  That family had left him behind.  He hadn't just been locked out.  He had been abandoned and forgotten but now, thanks to this wonderful stranger, he would have a loving home once again.

38 comments:

  1. This story broke my heart. I can't imagine ever doing that to an animal.

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  2. When dumping cats is an offence punishable by imprisonment or 2,000 hours of community service - THEN and ONLY then will be start fo find justice for cats who are dumped. There is no justice - too many peole focus on profit and me, me , me. We want JUSTICE!

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    1. Abandoning pets should be illegal, EVERYWHERE. purrs

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  3. My mum was crying as she read this story. It is sad that it happens to too many pets. I am glad that Jesse's story had a happy ending.

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  4. Yes, that was one with a happy ending, but so many are not. We loved your sad but way too true story.

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    1. It happens so often. My heart breaks knowing how often it does. purrs

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  5. I advocate for capital punishment for anyone wilfully harming ANY cat, period, end of story. *RESCUED* has always been my family's favorite "breed" and there are three such helping me as I write this, plus two elsewhere in the house who have, as we say, bigger fish to fry. ;)

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  6. Oh Seville, I cried. Thank you for the Happy Ending. Unfortunately not all of them have the same happy ending. Although there are a crowd of Kitties here at The ARC that DID get that happy ending but not before a lot of suffering. Thank you for the story.

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    1. Anderson was abandoned, too. Peeps thought, at first, that he was feral but soon learned he must have been left behind. purrs

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  7. Grammy is crying, Seville. Such a sad story and it happens far too often!

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  8. We HATE when people dump pets when moving - we're pretty shure that's what happened to our Charlie (he wuz the "apartment cat" for TEN years before my momma took him in).

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    1. Thank goodness he and your momma found each other. purrs

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  9. This story makes us so sad. We know kitties at the shelter that this happened to...

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    1. It is sad and there's no excuse, at all. purrs

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  10. We will read the whole story later. Mom L spends too much real time with cats who have been dumped, tossed aside and left to live a feral life to be able to read it right now. Thank you for telling the truth of animal abandonment

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  11. Oh Seville, what a touching story. The truth hurts so much but not as much as the needless acts of betrayal or cruelty. Thank Goodness for those many acts of kindness! *wipes away tears* A wonderful story....

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  12. I hate when this happens to kitties, and my human doesn't understand why people do this... because they do it all the time, and not just in stories.

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    1. Peeps do do this a lot. Here in Nova Scotia, with spring on the horizon, peeps will be moving house and I bet some will leave their kitties behind. I'm purring my story might make some change their minds. purrs

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  13. the mom is crying. why would anyone ever do that?

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    1. I don't know. I only know they do and it is oh-so-wrong, for sure. purrs

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  14. Absolutely heartwrenching. I just can't imagine how some humans can be so heartless.

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    1. Neither can I. My peeps would NEVER do such a horrible thing. purrs

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  15. The mom bean's eyes are leaking as she read this. She says it happens far too often and it makes her angry when beans do this to kitties. We are happy that Jesse was able to survive that long, long month and was rescued by the lovely lady. If we had a magic wand, we would wave it and efurry kitty (and woofie) would have a long and happy life in their furever homes.

    Sasha, Sami, & Saku

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    1. I so wish you could have a magic wand like that. It would be a wonderful thing to have, for sure. purrs

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  16. OMG I am bawling. Sevvy this is so sad and true. I will never be able to comprehend it or forgive it. People are cruel and unforgivable. People need to wake up to what they are doing to another living, feeling being.

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    1. There's no excuse for such horrid behaviour and I agree... it's unforgivable, for sure. purrs

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  17. I was found in the parking lot of a lovely cat rescue place in St. Paul, called Feline Rescue. I was abandoned, too. But it only took about a month for me to find my true Mommy! And they took very good care of me at the rescue place! Lots of volunteers and playtime and foodies! We pray constantly that others will find their true homes! Or sweet rescue places like mine!

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    1. I'm so glad - SO VERY GLAD - you were found and rescued and taken to your true Mommy. purrs

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  18. What a story - I'm so happy you now have a good home, and a forever one at that. I will never understand how people can just move away and leave their house pet behind, but they do. It happens all too frequently. We think that might have happened to me too cuz I'm such a friendly fellow.

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    1. It's not right. There are laws here 'bout this sort of thing and yet, people do it anyway. MOUSES!

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