July 18, 03
Euphrates, the Marmalade Tabby
His name was Euphrates. He was a marmalade tabby. He and
his brothers and a sister and their mother lived under a
neighbor's shed. No one knew where Mama came from
but several of us neighbors would feed her.
She was a stunningly beautiful, long-haired
she had been someone's pet, but somehow she ended up a stray.
She had been living under the shed and producing kittens for
several years before I moved into the house next door. I
befriended her immediately, being a cat-lover from my cradle.
Her boys and the girl cat were half-grown, probably 4 or 5
months old, and only somewhat friendly. I couldn't catch
them to try to tame them or have them neutered, but they would
allow me to feed them and pet them if I didn't overdo
it. I named them Macho Man, Uno, and Euphrates, and the
girl was Gazelle.
I persuaded the mama to move in with me, and I had her
spayed. I named her Merechatte (pronounced mairshot -
French for Momcat). I finally managed to tame Euphrates,
so I got him neutered, but the others were just never trusting
enough to let me tame them.
Little Gazelle finally showed up with a litter of kittens one day,
and after many days of my coaxing and putting food on
the porch, one warm day she strolled in the house and the kittens
followed. I quickly put them in a room and shut the door.
They stayed with me about 2 weeks, then I determined that
the kittens were old enough to leave her. I found homes for
all of the kittens, and I took Gazelle in to be spayed.
She was still very wild and didn't like being handled at all. After
she recovered, I finally let her go outside again. She was
clearly too unhappy living with me. I continued feeding
her, but eventually she adopted a family on the next street.
I don't know if she ever became a house cat, but she
stayed over there at that house.
I saw less and less of Macho Man and Uno because,
being unaltered tom cats, they grew more untamed as they
grew older. I would see them occasionally, with battered
ears and tough looks on their faces, but they have long since
gone on about their tomcat business where ever that is. I
was sad that I couldn't tame them and turn them into pets,
but this often happens when kitties are born in the wild.
After several years, I moved to a town about 25 miles away.
Merechatte was quite tame and always had enjoyed the
pampered life, but Euphrates never really adapted to being
a house cat.
He would NOT use a
cat litter box, preferring the houseplants,
so he stayed outside most of the time, but stayed right there
at home. Anyway, when I moved to the next town, I packed
up my assorted other kitties and moved them. I had to make
a special trip for Euphrates because he was out when I was
moving the other cats, so I went back for him.
I moved him in a closed box at night. Because he didn't much
like the car ride, I had the box on the floor to minimize his being
tossed around by the car motion. He stayed in the new
house for several days to get used to his new home. I finally
let him outside when I couldn't stand his using the houseplants
for a potty any longer. As it turned out, I probably let him go
out too soon, because two days later, he was
gone. I berated myself and mourned for a month.
Then, a month later, I went to visit someone at my old home.
There, in the front yard, was a marmalade cat. I felt a chill,
and I said unbelievingly, "Euphrates?" My friend said,
"Yes, that's him. He showed up here just the other day.
If he wants to live here so badly, then he's welcome
to stay." My friend agreed to put food and water out on
the porch every day, and Euphrates stayed there.
Now, here's the even more amazing part of this story.
Remember that Euphrates was moved in a box at night, so
he certainly couldn't see where he was going, not that
cats need such mundane human senses to work with anyway.
Euphrates also had to cross a busy highway and a river that
has only 3 bridges within a 50-mile range, and the bridge
nearest my house was several miles away. He then had to
cross coyote-infested New Mexico high desert and then go
up into the mountains to find my old home in the small town there.
Sent in by: Samantha Darnell
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My pet would tell me that .....
You mustn't leave home without me EVER! Don't
you understand I have a need to protect you at
ALL times? Now that you've left me at home by myself
and gone off without me, I'm forced to chew
something of yours in the house.
GEEZZZZZZZZZZZZ and they get mad at me? :0
Cracker Jack was There for Me
I think that one of my dogs probably saved my life too. I
never go to the animal shelter, because I just can't stand
to see the animals there and know that I can't take them all
home with me. But one day, there was an ad in the paper
about a Chihuahua at the shelter. I didn't know that someone
had already taken it. When I got there, I saw a little black
and white puppy about 8 months old in a cage alone. Someone
had just brought him in.
I couldn't leave without him. He was so scared. I took him
home, cleaned him up and took him to the Vet for his shots
and to be checked. A couple of months later, I had a heart
cath done, the cath slipped and nicked a main artery in two
places. I had to have major surgery and almost died. Three
days in ICU and 3 more in the hospital. When I got home, I
couldn't climb the stairs to go to bed so for over 2 weeks,
I slept in the recliner. Each time I would be in bad pain or
just want to give up, there was Cracker Jack. He would climb
in my chair, lick my face or just lay quietly for me to pet
During those weeks it took me to heal, Cracker Jack was
there for me when I needed him and he kept me sane. I
believe the Lord works in mysterious ways and sometimes He
uses our love for animals and their love for us to heal,
both in body and mind.
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