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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.
 

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Thank you for sharing this story with us. Its amazing how resilient they can be, I am so happy you gave her a chance and saw how much she could be.
 

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Aww, this brought me to tears. I don't understand the level of cruelty humans beings can display towards helpless animals. It makes me so sick to think about sometimes. It makes me feel a little better to know that not all these animals lead terrible lives. Some, like Isis, get taken in by families like yours. Thanks for sharing!
 

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wow, usually i don't get teary eyed too easily, but that story definitely did it. Can't understand how people can do that. I looked up and saw my two little kitten siblings playing and how happy they are. Just how can you do that? I'm so glad you came along to rescue her!
 

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I am so glad Isis found you and your husband. Sounds like the perfect match!

It's heartbreaking to hear about black cats being tortured. My boyfriend is from Alaska and he told me that near Halloween the shelter in his city will not adopt out any black cats because people do nasty things to them. It's hard to believe there are such sick people out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the replies everyone. I found it very therapeutic to write this out actually. I was holding onto a lot of anger towards the shelter manager and the boys who did this to Isis.

@BotanyBlack I agree about being so resilient. It's truly amazing.

@Mary_NH Thanks for that. I am also trying to think that he was acting that way to deter anyone else from adopting her who might hurt her or mistreat her. But I agree, he was....different that's for sure.

I'm glad places don't adopt black cats out around Halloween, I think that's a start.

When I look into Isis' eyes, you can see there is a story behind them. I am thankful I know it and am hopefully helping to create a better life for her. Like all of you, I just cannot understand how people can be so incredibly cruel to something so fragile, innocent and sweet.
 

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Wow, what an amazing story. I'm so glad the torturers got caught and fined, those people need serious help, absolute cretens. I hadnt heard of shelters not adopting black cats around halloween! Glad it's started though. Im sure Isis is very very happy in her new home with such caring parents. Well Done to both of you :)
 

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what a jerk!!!

Wow, that manager needs to fired immediately!! Why do people think black cats are bad luck or evil. The only evil are people who are so close minded, and would not help an animal just because of its color. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww....that gets me so mad. On the other hand, I am glad you rescued her from all the suffering. She is now where she was always meant to be: in a loving and happy home :catmilk:catmilk:catmilk
 

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Thanks all for the replies :)

Lineth-I know what you mean about firing that shelter manager. I am probably going to call the shelter to speak with the "head" manager and tell her how the experience left a sour taste in my mouth. I think it is well within my rights to do so and hopefully it will be more of a helpful situation for him. Perhaps the "head" manager can coach him, or do something so that he doesn't act that way around any other prospective pet parents.
 

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Oh, that is such a sad story. I welled up, poor little thing.

I don't understand how anyone could hurt a defenseless animal, especially in such an inhumane, cruel way.

Black cats are so beautiful, so regal and 'rich' looking. I'm glad she found a thoughtful and happy home.
 

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What a story! What is wrong with some people! It's sickening to know that some people abuse animals like they do. My little Alice was shut up in a cardboard box with no water, food, or litter on a 90+ degree day when I got to her...her "owner" had put her in there because she was moving and couldn't take the cat (she was most likely headed for the dumpster next...).

I am so glad you and your husband found Isis (I love, love, love that name!)...it sounds like she's exactly where she's supposed to be with the two of you. :) It's wonderful to hear how far she's come in only a short time, and I know she's going to continue making great strides. Best of luck to all of you, and give that pretty girl a hug for me for everything she's been through.
 

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Thank you Abbie and Time Bandit. We are amazed at her progress. That is just so horrible that someone would leave a cat in a box! Who does that?

Time Bandit, it looks like you have a little "Pocket Panther" of your own. I love the eyes!

My husband bought her a window perch and she seems to love it.



He spoils her rotten. I am so happy he loves her as much as I do (and probably even more).
 

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The worst part was that was definitely not the first sign of abuse. Alice had a nasty URI, internal parasites, and was very thin...that doesn't happen from being in a box for one day. :? She wouldn't play with toys for at least a week and a half after I brought her home, she was so sick.

Rochelle is a wanna-be pocket panther. :p She's got a few small patches of white on her...one on her chest, one between her front legs, and one between her back legs. The gold eyes give her "that look" though, heh.

I love the pic on the window seat. Isis is just beautiful. I love how any color eyes just pop on a black cat. Absolutely stunning girl.
 

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The shelter here doesn't adopt black cats around halloween either.
Not here either.

This story literally brought me to tears. I love it when you can find that special fur baby that comes to you in the perfect way and you just know they are yours. :')
When I was looking for a cat to adopt, I skimmed the internet for different cats and saw my cats story and how he had FIV and had waited three months for a home and was going to be put to sleep and I never looked back..
 

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Time Bandit-Rochelle can be part of the wanna be pocket panther brigade for sure :) So pretty! So sad about Alice, but so wonderful that she has you!

MinkaMuffin-I love a happy ending and it sounds like you gave your fur baby one as well, good on you :)

Well...I actually ended up driving to the shelter today to talk to the "head" manager about the way the other manager was with us when we adopted Isis. When I told her what happened, she seemed to be quite disturbed. She asked me if I would write down what happened and if I wouldn't mind if she brought it up with him. I have NO problem with doing that, so I sent her an e-mail of my back story, as well as some other information (when we got there he was not welcoming and he seemed to be really rude to someone he was talking to on the phone.) She promised me she would do something about it. I really hope she sticks to her promise.
 

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God Bless You for taking her in. That's all I can say right now, God Bless You. I am on the verge of tears from how dedicated you and your husband are toward this little miracle.
 
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