Yup, I’m kind of a cat lady. Don’t get me wrong, I have a dog that I love to death, but when it comes to Orangie, well…
“GET THAT FILTHY THING OUTTA HERE!”
David claimed his hatred of cats when Orangie just kind of showed up in our yard one day about 10 years ago. Yup, he was filthy. He looked horrific. But he just kept winding his way around our dog’s legs, rubbing against him, kissing him…something is very weird about that cat! And something pretty cool. He is also very cross-eyed.
“OKAY, WE WILL PUT HIM IN THE GARAGE OVERNIGHT, AND LEAVE THE DOOR CRACKED, BUT IF HE’S GONE IN THE MORNING, THAT’S THE END.”
So, guess what self proclaimed “cat hater” ended up putting out some food and water, a blanket to sleep on, and (gasp) a couple of “toys” in the garage?
The next morning, the cat was gone. The girls were so sad. Whatcha gonna do? That’s just how strays are.
Enter the bus stop! And guess who’s there, getting pets by all the kids at the corner???
“WILL YOU BRING OUR CAT HOME?”
Our neighbor, Jane was down at the bus stop, and the girls asked her to bring their cat home. She didn’t know we had a cat. She shows up at my door, holding this filthy creature out from her body, and tells me
“HERE’S YOUR CAT, HE WAS DOWN AT THE BUS STOP.”
So that was the beginning. There were no “Lost Cat” signs anywhere. We put the word out to the neighborhood and school, but nobody lost a cat.
In the meantime, (after a bath, of course!) this cat was loving on us and our dog nonstop! We fell in love!
We soon realized he is deaf. Can’t hear a thing. How in the world could we let this cat leave when he can’t hear? How do you catch a mouse, or run from cars when you can’t hear?
“FINE, YOU CAN KEEP HIM, BUT YOU HAVE TO TAKE HIM TO THE VET.”
Our visit to the vet proved that indeed, he is deaf. The vet also told us he suspected neurological damage, because of the kind of sideways walk and the way he holds his head. We don’t care, he’s the coolest cat we have ever seen!
HERE COMES THE AMAZING PART!!! THE PART THAT MAKES HIS STORY SO INCREDIBLE!
One year later…Orangie somehow gets out of the house. We never let him out, how do you call for a cat that can’t hear? NOT sign language! We were devastated! I am not exagerating when I tell you that I walked miles in search of him! I scanned the back woods several times. It was fall, maybe he is blending in with the leaves? We posted signs ALL OVER the area. No luck. I walked the ditches of I-75. If he got hit by a car, at least I would know. It had been three weeks.
“THIS IS GOING TO SOUND WEIRD, BUT I THINK THE CAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR USED TO BE MINE.”
“How do you know?”
“Because your signs say he is deaf and cross-eyed and very loving. Does he have seizures?”
Turns out, this lady had had Orangie before he showed up at my house. She adopted him from a shelter. Someone dropped him off there after seeing him
BEING THROWN OUT OF A CAR DOWN THE HIGHWAY.
I’m not even going to go there right now. The thought makes me sick. She then told me that he got out of her house during a very busy time in her life, and that she didn’t put up signs. They thought he would come back. They accepted the fact that he was gone and said a prayer that he found a good home.
“I KNOW THAT HE DID BECAUSE OF ALL THE SIGNS ALL OVER WATERFORD.”
“If I see him, I will return him to you, you are his owner now.”
Fast forward two more grueling weeks without him.
“I THINK I FOUND THAT CAT EVERYBODY’S LOOKING FOR. HE’S BEEN UNDER AN OUTBUILDING IN MY YARD. MY DAUGHTER KEPT TELLING ME IT’S “THAT ONE CAT”, SO I BROUGHT A FLASHLIGHT OUTSIDE AND GOT HIM OUT FROM UNDER THERE. IT’S DARK OUT, I CAN’T TELL IF HE’S CROSS-EYED, BUT LET ME TELL YA, THIS CAT AIN’T RIGHT.”
I knew! I knew it was him! Five houses down! I cried when we pulled up. I’m actually getting teary eyed as I’m typing this! I can’t express the relief and joy in seeing him. He was filthy again, very skinny, no hair left on his ears, and he had a terrible looking wound on his backside. He was traumatized. He meowed for days after returning home. I cannot imagine what he must have gone through. What did he eat? What animal beat him up so badly? All that really mattered was that he was home.
Orangie is my comfort. He has a way of relaxing me. Just looking at him relaxes me. He does none of the yucky things other “catty” cats do. He never runs and hides under the bed, or hisses, and is always ready for a petting. He follows me around the house, he sits next to me when I sit. (He is next to me right now.) He sleeps in the crook of my legs at night. He lets small children pick him up by the neck (“No, no, no! Not like that!”) He has wrestling matches with our dog throughout the day. He also keeps the dog clean, that poor Golden of ours just lays there and lets him lick him to death. Sometimes they nap together. People who hate cats come over and end up loving Orangie, they hate admitting it! Even dogs love Orangie!
So there you have it…Orangie’s story. Oprah says everyone has a story. He’s part of my story.
When I’m dead and gone, people will remember that part of me.
“REMEMBER HOW MUCH SHE LOVED THAT WEIRD, COOL CAT?”
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