Shire (2046)

Shady Cat Pet ID: 2045
My hang out: Edmond, OK

My mug shots …

Here’s my story ...

Shire was named after the little village of Hobbits from Lord of the Rings. When I watch that movie, I feel such a sense of family in the Shire so it was very fitting to name the newest member of our family as such. I would say she was like another child to me but really it was the other way around, we were her kittens. This is her tale.

As I pulled up to our driveway I could see her waiting for me safely to the side in the grass, ready to greet me. This was her routine, though I was never really sure how it had started. We didn’t have any pets but I had come to look forward to the little stray Tortie Calico’s welcome when I got home. True to form she came prancing up, meowed, and began rubbing against my legs for attention as soon as I opened my car door. I gave her a good scratch and she escorted me to the door, then made herself comfortable on our porch to sunbathe.

After a while I wanted to make it official, to make her our family cat. I had grown up surrounded by pets and I hadn’t realized how badly I had missed it until she came into my life. So we made it official, she got a name and a home. We took her to the vet for her initial checkup and discovered that she was pregnant! What exciting news!

Since the season was rapidly shifting to what would be a very cold and snow filled winter we made the decision that she was to become an indoor cat so she could safely give labor. She grew larger around her middle and I adored laying my hand on her belly to feel the movement of the kittens held safely inside. Sadly, something went horribly wrong and she was rushed into emergency surgery to save her life. Shire made it, but our hearts were crushed when we found out from the vet that none of the kittens had survived. I felt a great deal of guilt and thought had I gotten her help just a bit sooner things may have been different.

Her behavior changed after this. I was worried she would grieve the loss of her kittens but that wasn’t the case. In fact, she had started following us more closely and grooming us. I mean she had always been affectionate but it had definitely gone to a whole new level. My son was only 6 months old and a restless sleeper so Shire took it upon herself to curl up next to his head, a safe distance away, and lick his fine baby hair until he settled again when he stirred.

That wasn’t the only change either. She began to make sure we got up in the morning in time if we had snoozed our alarms one too many times, would cuddle close and purr extra loud if we were upset, and made sure she came outside with us to keep a close eye should she be needed. I think perhaps she felt my grief over her loss and was doing her best to comfort me. If we had been the right size she would have picked us up by the scruff of our necks and hauled us around to where we should be!

Our relationship with her evolved from loving a house pet to loving her as valued member of the family. We looked forward to be woken with licks and her golden eyes staring intently when we finally opened our own. Her grooming became soothing and we often found ourselves trying to garner her attention to get such treatment. Knowing she was there was always very comforting, especially since I spent many days at home alone with the baby. I often found myself talking to her and she would tilt her head, meow, come running, or give a wide variety of other responses to my words as if she was truly conversing or giving advice.

One day she started the habit of rolling over to beg for belly rubs, something I thought only dogs did. It was a curious enough behavior that I researched it and found that cats only show you their belly if they trust you. How amazing that she felt just as loved and safe with us as we did with her! I also found out that cats like to groom people to get rid of other scents and put their own on them. Well she had definitely claimed us as her family and how blessed we were to have such an incredible relationship with this remarkable cat! It is such a truly special bond that my family and I will cherish the rest of our “kitten” lives. Thus continues the journey of Shire.

Author:  Rae L.

Shady Pet Awards/Notes:

  • Rescue Pet
  • Pets Gone Shady (Series 2) Green #4 – Shady Cat Card.
  • Honorable Mention – Amazing Stories Contest