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The Return of Stormy

In the fall of 1995 my ex and I bought a new manufactured home and moved it to the farm where he grew up. This was the first place we'd lived that actually belonged to us and where we could have pets if we wanted, so as soon as litters of kittens for giveaway started appearing in our newspaper we set out to adopt some furkids. We chose two six-week-old brothers named Smokey (by me) and Storm (by my daughter who was temporarily staying with us after graduating from college).

Smokey quickly became my cat, and Stormy adopted my ex, following him everywhere - even sitting at his feet in the bathroom. Whenever my ex was away for the evening, Stormy would mope and soon come dragging out a sock or t-shirt from his laundry basket while meowing pitifully. While Smokey was chubby and not the least bit interested in grooming, Stormy was lean and kept his long silky fur immaculately clean. Smokey was an alpha male who did all the talking and ran the house. Stormy was shy and quiet, hiding from visitors.

When I left my ex in December of 2006, I had to leave my cats behind. There were no apartments available in town that would permit pets. It broke my heart. I missed them far more than I missed my ex. Smokey went to live with my daughter and her husband enjoyed a good life there. Stormy also went to them (since my ex refuses to scoop litter boxes), but he didn't like being around so many other animals and missed his "Daddy" greatly. His Daddy missed him too. So I returned Stormy home to the farm where he also became very attached to my ex's girlfriend. I was worried that he would be very lonely without his brother... boy was I wrong! He became Mr. Sociable - taking over laps, talking non-stop, and welcoming visitors.

But now my ex is in the process of foreclosure on the home we purchased. He will be going to live with his parents down the road at least for the time being, and his girlfriend will stay with her mother. There is no place for Stormy. With John in agreement, I offered to take him in, knowing that he will be fine here with Emily and Sophie for company, and the guest room to call his own if he wants privacy.

So today I met up with my ex and his girlfriend at a town half-way between us, to facilitate Stormy's transfer. We ate lunch and visited a little, and then we loaded up my car with his dishes, litter box, etc. When the time came for them to tell him goodbye my ex's girlfriend began to cry, and my ex fought hard to hold back tears. Cats are so very telepathic and Stormy curled into a ball with his nose in the back corner of the pet carrier, meowing pitifully. They loved Stormy deeply and they will miss him. Right now their entire lives and relationship are in a state of upheaval and uncertainty, just as mine was when I left him over two years ago. I remember well how much it hurts to walk away from pets who have been like children to you. It was very hard, and I felt sad for them.

Stormy obviously remembers me, and quieted down quickly as I talked to him and petted him while driving down the road. We are home now, and he is settled into the guest room, resting quietly under the bed and probably trying to comprehend what is happening in his world. Emily and Sophie are very curious about this new visitor and they met briefly thru the carrier door before I took him to his room. I'll give him a chance to settle in before I bring him out for a more proper introduction but I'm sure they'll get along fine. I am so glad to have him here where I know there is adequate money to keep him well fed and cared for, where he can live safely and comfortably in his senior years. He will celebrate his 13th birthday this month!

It is strange how life comes full circle... a relationship once full of love and promise began with a pair of kittens and ends sadly and so symbolically with Stormy's return to me.

17 comments:

  1. It is full circle that Stormy has come back to you! Sad that he can't be with his pop, but then cats / dogs / whatever, they're like kids and shouldn't have the burden placed on them that "adults" force them into yes?

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  2. I don't know why, but this post made me cry. I suppose because pets ARE like children, and they suffer as much in family break-ups. I have been down that road many times. In fact, my best-kitty-friend--Mason, was my daughter's, and when she and her husband split up, you never saw a more pitful sight...him crying all night for his dad. The funny thing is--this cat was meant to be mine, although at that time I would never have believed it. He is the happiest, most content kitty on this earth now. I swear, I can read his thoughts through his eyes, and he is HAPPY. I know how stupid that sounds, but if anyone would understand it, it would be you, Jos. So, my point here is, you may just find that he is MEANT to be with you and John. He just doesn't know it yet. You are wonderful to take care of him, but that is no surprise to me. Happy Sunday friend. :)

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  3. hello joz--
    this is happy news to me. i am sorry stormy will miss his other mom and dad-- but i do know how much you love that cat--and i am glad he is HOME.
    love you
    soul sis

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  4. ps-- thank you for all the kind thoughts and words lately---
    hugz

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  5. You are absolutely right JY, and there weren't really any other good options for Stormy. He's doing fine here and he will be pampered and loved!

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  6. The whole thing made me cry too Jamie, 'cuz yes our cats are our kids and all the transition is so very hard on them. They are so sensitive to our emotions too. I totally agree that Mason was meant to be your cat and he knows it! Stormy was orginally to be my daughter's cat, it was he who chose my ex for his human. He has always loved me too and at this stage of his life he will be far better off here. I am so grateful John was fine with me bringing him home.

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  7. You are right Soul, getting Stormy back is like recovering a piece of my life that I had to leave behind. He is my family too, and I am so glad to have him here. You should see Emily and Sophie this morning trying to figure out who this new guy in the house is while keeping a wary distance, just as he is. Very entertaining! :-)

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  8. Animals are like fur babies. They are babies that never grow up. They too are affected when families are broken. I too cried when I read this, but I'm so glad you were able to take Stormy and give him a good home. He is with someone that has known him all his live and loves him, rather than having to be sent to a strange family. I know he will adjust in a few days. A good ending to a sad story. You see I'm such a cat person. My fur baby, Oscar Snuggles, King of Tidewater is 14 and is very loved by me and my husband. :-)

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  9. I am a cat person too Tee, and would probably have a dozen if I had the space, time and money. :-) You are right, they are our children and are very much affected by what goes on in their families. I know Stormy's life with his "dad" was unsettling at times so this is really a better place for him. He is already beginning to settle in and will feel at home here within a few days. I love having him back!

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  10. I've never known a cat who couldn't adapt. They are like the perfect role models.

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  11. You're right Maria, cats have an incredibly strong survival instinct and will find a way to fit in whatever environment they find themselves in. Stormy is already settling in, enjoying his share of lap time and teaching the ever bossy Emily that she is no longer in charge of everything. :-)

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  12. i'll bet it's entertaining--- two little girl flirty cats and one big stormy tom ? lol
    fun stuff
    g'night

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  13. Wow. Life is funny, isn't it?

    Good for you for taking Stormy for them. At least they can be comforted knowing their/your kitty didn't have to go to strangers.... or worse.

    xoxox to all of your little fur balls. I wish them a happy life together.

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  14. Well Soul, Stormy is neutered and declawed, as are the girls, so there isn't too much hanky panky going on, but there is a good deal of posturing and pretending to be much bigger and badder than each of them really is. Sweet little Sophie is the most adorable of the bunch, she just watches the new guy and the proceedings with wide-eyed wonder. I bet she and Stormy will end up being the best of friends. Emily is still not sure she wants someone horning in on her territory and laptime but she realizes Stormy just might have the upper hand. Cats are sooo entertaining! :-)

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  15. It is a comfort to my ex and his GF to know that Stormy is where he will be loved and cared for, Boxer. They have already called to check in on him and are glad he is adjusting fine to his new environment. They know they are welcome to visit him if they get to Odessa. It is indeed surprising to me that Stormy has come back, when I left the farm it felt like I would never be able to have furkids in my life again. I am so very, very blessed! (And as my daughter puts it - any cats that get adopted into our house have pretty much won the lottery as far as being pampered goes :-)

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  16. I am glad Stormy is back with you but sorry for those who will miss him. Pets are like family. In some ways they have meant more to me than my family ever could. There is definitely some symbolism going in Stormy's return to you. Maybe things have come full circle now.

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  17. Yes Selma, Stormy's return is bittersweet because he has to adapt to a new family and his old one will miss him. Such full-circle endings are non uncommon in my life and usually mean that something new is about to happen.

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