Isis' Back Story (Very Long/Sad/Could Be Graphic For Some)
On May 20, 2011 our lives changed forever, for the better.
My husband and I had always wanted to adopt a cat. We talked about it for the past two years. Where we were living before we moved into our house did not allow us to have pets. After finally getting out of that hostile environment, we decided to go to the local shelter and give one of the fur babies there a forever home.
After entering the shelter and meeting with the manager, he directed us to the “cat room”. All the cats were in cages, it was late afternoon and many were sound asleep in their cages, barely moving when we walked past each one. My eyes filled with tears as I had never been to a shelter that had the cats caged all the time.
As my husband and I walked past cage after cage of cats, we came to the last cage that was in the corner of the room. She was sitting pretty in her cage and rubbed and nuzzled her face against the cage bars as we approached and she started to chirp/purr as we got closer and closer to the cage. We looked at each other and smiled, then looked back at the cat, who was rubbing her whole body against the bars and she actually stuck her paw out to us from between the bars.
The shelter manager came in and said; “ Ahhh, that's Maybel (which we changed to Isis), she's been dubbed the cat that will never leave. No one wants a black cat, especially her. Too many problems, and too much work for anyone to ever want a cat like that.”
So I asked questions: What did he mean by that? What was her story? Why would she never be adopted out?
The manager said that people that have grown up “in these parts” think black cats are evil and there was a recent rash of people who were torturing black cats. She was the only one who was saved out of four others who endured what she did.
I react very strongly to anything that involves animal abuse, but I wanted, no, needed to know what happened to her.
As I pulled her out of the cage to let her run around in the room and to see how she got along around my husband and I, the manager explained that there was a group of teens and young men who were taking these cats and throwing them around and playing catch with them. Some of the boys then started a bonfire and were tossing the cats in the fire and watched them run off while on fire, some were doused with gasoline, some were tortured even more.
He went on to say that Maybel (Isis) was the only lucky one, she was thrown around, her whiskers were burned off (which have grown back beautifully), and she was found in the apartment of one of the people who tortured her, starving and on the verge of death. (Good news: The boys who did this to the cats where charged with animal cruelty and found guilty!)
My heart literally hurt and I could no longer hold back tears, as this sweet little love bug wrapped her tail around my leg and as I bent down, she head butted me and started to purr as if to say “I'm okay now, don't worry.”
The manager said that Maybel didn't know how to play with toys (she would howl and get stressed whenever they would try to play with her or show her any toys). She also didn't eat much and for the longest time they had to feed her with a syringe; she had never had cat food before. He said that it might take a long time for her to warm up to anyone and that she probably wouldn't eat any food put in front of her and that no one would want to spend the time to turn her into a playful and “normal” cat.
My husband turned pale as he was listening to the manager, and then bent down to give Isis a scratch on her chin. The manager told us to be careful, she would probably bite us if we put our hands around her face. Not so! She just closed her eyes so tight as my husband gave her chin a scratch and she actually started to drool a bit! He leaned over and whispered to me “she's magic and she's going to be ours.”
I got up, my face full of tears and said, “We don't need to see any other cats, this is OUR cat.” The manager told us not to take her and that she would be way too much work. I told him I didn't care, she was just too special to leave there.
We went and bought all the things that a cat would need, and even though she didn't know how to play, we bought toys for her because we knew we were going to work with her to make her life a happy and playful one.
We got back to the shelter with a carrier, and she reluctantly went into it, but did not meow or make any scratching motions toward anyone. We paid the fee and the manager said “Well, you have ten days to see if you like her. I'm pretty sure you'll be returning her soon.”
We put her in the backseat of the car and I chirped and purrmeowed at her all the way home (I'm sure people will think I am nuts for doing that!) She talked to me a little on the way home. She did not howl, scream, or make any sounds that would have suggested she was unhappy.
Once we reached home, my husband got her out of the backseat. We brought her in the house and let her look around in her carrier for a bit first. I chirped and meowed at her and she answered me a few times. Then she pawed at the door of her carrier. We let her out and she started to explore. Within minutes she was eating and drinking water out of her kitty water fountain.
My husband told me that he wanted to name her Isis, because that was the matron of magic and nature, and protector of the dead. He said the way she acted around us was like magic, so Isis became her name.
Although it's only been a month, she has adjusted better than we ever thought possible. She is slowly starting to learn to play, she is starting to half-roll onto her side (hasn't shown us her belly yet, but I am sure she will soon). She has had no problems attaching herself to either one of us. She sleeps with us, and follows us everywhere in the house. She is quite the chatterbox as well; she chirps and purrs throughout the day. We both love her and think she is quite the little sweetie.
I called the shelter a few days ago and told the manager how wonderful she is doing (she is still skittish about loud noises, and she is strictly an indoor cat. She still has problems with playing and gets stressed out when we leave the house, but I know she will get better soon). The manager was surprised and said he was glad we liked her so much and that she adapted well.
Isis is quite spoiled by us, but she has spoiled us even more. She has trusted us and allowed us to love and care for her. As time progresses, her personality is shown more and more each day. Right now she is batting at my fingers as I am typing. Even though she came from such a bad beginning, I could not have asked for a better cat. She has taught me patience and just how much love I can have for a cat. For this, I am grateful.