16 years ago on in New Jersey I lost a beloved cat. I vowed never to replace him but something inside kept taking me to the local animal shelter. Each time I would go it seemed like so many cats knew I was there to take one home. Some all but showed off for me. They had a few that were not even kept in cages but no connection. Until one afternoon I asked them what cat had been there the longest. They showed me a cage on the bottom row in a corner and there was Benny looking at the wall, he had no interest in me. I asked the wonderful people at the shelter what his story was. The young women paused and asked me to wait a minute. An older female came out and said well he's had a rough life. She went on to explain his owner who was an elderly man passed away some time ago. During all the commotion Benny got out of the apartment and they assumed he ran away. Several weeks later there was a badly beaten up cat meowing at the door to the old apartment. The neighbors brought him to the shelter, he had a couple of surgeries and was physically in great shape but he was very distrustful of people and was deathly afraid of men in hats. At that moment I said I want Benny. They actually tried to talk me out of it. He was going to be difficult and take a lot of time. I knew he was the one. |
I took him home and I remember showing him the litter box and he ran under the bed. He remained under my bed for a month. He did eat, drink and use litter box but never did any of that while I was there. One full month later in the middle of the night I woke up and there was Benny lying on his back pressed into my right side purring away. It was worth the time and effort to earn his trust.
Benny was an old sole, he studied me, he knew me. When I was sad or upset he was always there. When I was sick he never left my side. After a few years I was ready to move out west and I did, Benny traveled well. I met my partner and Benny had some furry friends to play with. He was the one in command. He loved to corral the other cats in a room and not let them out. His way of earning respect I guess. I moved across the country a few times and Benny always loved to look out the windows in the car. Sniff the air in different parts of the country. His favorite thing was "grassy" he loved fresh grass. He ate fresh grass from Arizona to NJ to Florida. He loved grassy, you say that word and if you did not come back with some grassy he would get upset.
We have a few other cats but Benny was my number one and he knew it. Nothing feels the same anymore without him. He was nearly 19 years old and he was given so much love and attention. He saw more of the country than most people ever do.
I have so much more to say but right now I miss him so much.
I hope I get to see him again when my time comes.