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Our "Rescue" Rescued Us

My husband was an avowed cat-hater. A "dog-man" to the core. The bigger the better. A small dog was almost as bad as a cat. If you "owned" a cat, snort, well…..

Our work brought us to this beautiful farm country in Northwest NJ. Due to the barn cat population, there are many ferals here. They were simply shadows, darting around after dark. But when the garbage didn't spend much time in the cans, it became hard to ignore the problem. Of course that just helped to raise the cat-hating bar. His original solution was rocks. "OMG - what are you DOING?" No more rocks.

One evening about this time last year, the skinniest straggliest dirtiest stray approached us, meowing. Hubby meowed back. They started a "conversation." In a resigned voice, hubby asked me to run inside to get some cheese. My heart went pitty-pat. While watching the cat devour the cheese, I suggested that if we started to feed the stray, then maybe it would live nearby, and help control the mouse population. Hubby had NO interest in saving the cat, but he warmed to the idea of preventing mice. Cheese tossing became a regular part of our daily routine. He started calling the cat Booger.

Well, the cat really didn't look like it was in good shape. So we tossed cheese closer and closer, until we were able to reach out and touch it. The poor thing was so scraggly, even hubby finally felt we needed to clean it up. He started grooming Boog, which it turned out, is female. Though skinny, a beautiful cat emerged from under all that matted dirty hair!

I bought cat food and hubby didn't complain. I suggested we make sure we didn't wind up with more cats. We purchased a crate and took her to the Vet. Hubby was quite proud that his grooming had resulted in a parasite-free cat. Booger got all her shots, was de-wormed, and spayed. At the Vet's after the surgery, poor Boog was miserable. I was sure this was the last we would see of her. But when we got home, instead of wanting to run away, she wanted cuddles! Hubby let me sacrifice a pillow for her to sleep on. Inside! She spent some time on his lap, purring up a storm.

Needless to say, Boog wormed her way into Gary's heart. I constantly caught him grooming her, picking her up, petting her, and - SMILING. We didn't rescue Booger. She rescued hubby from a cat-hating fate.

In fact, I credit Booger with rescuing the entire feral population here. This Spring, the first batch of kittens turned up. Two of them live with us inside, full time. For the rest, we now run a TNR program. We provide shelter, food, water and healthcare to them all. (Nine now, with kittens on the way).

Hubby has called all of his friends owned by cats, and apologized to them all. Hubby is proudly owned by Sheldon.