He came to us very suddenly as good things sometimes do!!
He had been owned by an elderly lady who had recently died. Her family either could not or would not take him in and had turned him out on to the street. Unused to living rough; not at all street wise, he had great problems fending for himself and finding his daily food. Neither could he defend himself. A kind soul rescued him and brought him to the Veterinary Clinic in the hopes that they could find him a new home.
Our vet, who knows me well, had called me. A great cat lover, she had four rescue cats of her own, she had a big problem. A cream and caramel Burmese cat had been left at the clinic. There was an urgent need to rehouse him.
The vet continued her tale. He was an elderly cat, aged about 10-12 years. He was also very special as he had only three legs, one had probably been lost in an accident years before. She hastened to reassure me that he managed perfectly well on the remaining three legs. Apart from suffering from being abandoned and from his time on the streets which had left him very thin, he was in good health. She also called him a real purr box.
They could only keep him at the clinic for a short time and, if she could not find a good home for him, he would have to go to the local cat shelter. She was concerned that with his handicap he would find it difficult to adapt to the conditions there. So was I.
"Please come and see him", she urged,"you could then, perhaps, think of someone who might adopt him". I did just that as soon as I put the phone down.
My first sight of him took my breath away. He was so beautiful. A cream coloured coat with pale butterscotch tips to his ears and the same rich colour woven into the fur on his head, down his back ,and along his tail. Curled up in his box he looked at me with his pale blue eyes. He began to purr. I reached in and started to stroke his head with a finger tip. The purrs increased in volume. I lifted him out and held him against me. He cuddled in and put his head on my shoulder. I put him back gently after a while. I then promised him that I would do my very best to find him a good home. He gazed at me and I felt I could see a flicker of hope in those blue eyes.
The vet and I conferred. The clinic was prepared to keep him until the following morning when the shelter van was scheduled. I had very little time to keep my promise to him as it was now early afternoon.
I went home and started to call all the people I knew who might be interested in having him. Most asked for time to call others and promised to call me back. Time ticked on. It moved even faster when no one could help. The clinic was due to close and I had no solution. I would not leave him to, the cat rescue home. I called back just as they were closing and said that I would take him.
The followong morning I took my three cat friendly small dogs to collect him. They were very impressed with him, he was less impressed with them.
Once home, we named him Tai Chi and showed him his new home. So very thin and in need of much TLC, he spent the first day under the furniture only venturing out to eat and use his litter tray. The rest of the time he slept. The following three days were spent in the same fashion. On the fourth day, replete and rested he ventured out and started to explore his new surroundings. He was not at all frightened and started to adjust. He discovered our sunny cat friendly garden. It became one of his great delights. The other was a soft blanket we put on our bed for him. He is usually found there in the mornings as it is a very sunny room.
From being very quiet to start with, he became chatty. Insistent when he was hungry, sitting gopher like eyeing his food bowl. He then produces a noise that sounds just like "Now", and he means it! It is amazing how agile he is for a three legged cat. He copes well with stairs, any heights where he wants to be and runs with a strange loping movement.
It is now a year since he came to us. He has settled in beautifully, sits on the sofa with the three dogs, his long bushy tail draped over one of them. He has specific times of the dayn when he wants me all to himself and will wail until I give him the lap he craves and the attention that he needs. He has regained his weight loss and his vitality. Regular brushing has made his coat even silkier. He also has a girl friend. A pretty dark grey and white female, also a rescue cat, has moved next door and spends time with him every day.
We admire greatly the way he has coped with his handicap, his adjusting to a new environment, and hope that he has regained what he had lost which was our vet's wish for him when he came to enrich our lives.