happy tales:  autumn

It's been ten years, but the memory of how Autumn came into our lives is still fresh in my mind. We'd lost a cat to oral cancer. It was hardest on my husband. When he said no more cats, he couldn't handle the loss, I understood. But as we are both animal lovers, our home felt empty with no fur baby. A few weeks after Kitty was put to sleep, we got a letter. It was a plain white envelope with Rick's name and our address. Inside was a newspaper article about Forgotten Felines. No note, just an underline under the phone number.

After some discussion, I made an appointment for us. Rick walked in first, so I heard rather than saw, a passionate MEOW. In one of the cages was a misty gray calico. An unusual looking cat, staring at Rick. The lady who was showing us around said she was a year old and had just come the day before from one of the municipal shelters.

We looked at every cat there. And at length, Rick sat down so he could look more closely. Autumn saw him and began her meowing again. She was let out of her cage. Rather than getting on the floor, she took a flying leap into Rick's arms. Snuggling up to him, she allowed no other cat into his lap.  "I think she chose you" I said. "Yeah, well do the paperwork, I'm taking my new cat to the car." And that was that!

At that time, I was in sales and out on the road. I went home every weekend, but other than that, Rick and Autumn were alone. It wasn't long before I had reason to thank God she was there. Rick is Type II diabetic. He had just started on insulin. From time to time, his sugar would drop, mostly at night. When that happened, he was sound asleep and slipping into an insulin coma. This can be fatal. But, Autumn sensed the change in his chemistry and woke him. Every time. Sometimes just by jumping on the bed. But more often she had to give him a scratch. And on a couple of occasions, she'd bite him. Hard enough to draw blood, but more importantly, to rouse him so that he could drink some orange juice and then test his blood and stabilize himself.

My job has changed. I'm home very night. Autumn still knows when Rick is having a sugar drop. She lives up to her name, Queen Autumn. Queen of our Hearts.

If Forgotten Felines hadn't taken Autumn in, she would have been put to sleep. If Rick hadn't gotten her from Forgotten Felines, he would likely have died in his sleep on one of those nights.

Thank you Autumn!

Thank you Forgotten Felines!

Valerie Darling