Honey the Cat Update
Our story began before I even knew about Honey. We had lost our orange tabby, Lenny to Cancer in May of 2015. He was my cuddle buddy and sleeping partner and although we still had his sister Lola with us, our house felt smaller somehow, a littler empty. “Get another cat!” I was told by one friend. “Oh, don’t get another cat, Lola will get jealous! “ someone else told me. My heart was broken and I didn’t know if I could get another fur baby to love. Anyone who has had a special bond with a pet that you love like a child will know the feeling that I am talking about when you lose that purity that they bring to your heart.
Lenny came from Georgian Triangle Humane Society back in 2000. He was a hard adoption they told me when I called after seeing his wee face in an ad in the paper. He couldn’t be around other animals or small children. He would cower and cry and was skittish. I was alone at the time. Had no other pets and no children and was known to be a little nervous from time to time, maybe we were perfect for each other? And as it turns out, we were. We added a sister for him 7 years later that he adored and a Dad for him whose lazy boy chair Lenny stole at every opportunity. When we lost him, we were all left with a missing piece to our family.
So, lets fast forward to August of 2015. Lenny had been gone just over 3 months and when we talked about the possibility of getting another cat, I said I didn’t know what I wanted. I couldn’t tell you a colour or a breed or an age. Like with Lenny, I would just know when I saw the cat that needed me, that needed our family. I was on Facebook later that night and on a friend’s page I saw a notice that the Georgian Triangle Humane Society was trying to find a home for Honey who had been with them for over 500 days. Wow – that was a terribly long time! I clicked on the ad, not expecting to instantly fall in love with a pair of big green eyes and a delicate face. How could no one want a beauty like her? I read people’s comments. Some had seen her at the shelter and said that she had health problems but was beautiful. Another mentioned her age and how could you adopt her knowing that your time with her was limited. (Honey was just shy of 12 years old) hmmm….I showed the notice to Larry, my other half, and after some discussion, thought I would sleep on it and maybe send an email in the morning asking about Honey’s health concerns. In letters back and forth with Jennifer over the next day and a half, I learned of Honey.
Honey was a senior cat with arthritis and dental issues who had been surrendered when there was no one else who could or would take her in the family of her previous owner. She was incredibly over weight when she was brought in but had lost enough weight so that her fur hangs down like a loose suit when she stands up. She loves nothing better than a sunny place to sleep and to be left alone. “Well…. She sounds like a difficult adoption” Larry said to me. But I just kept looking at her little face. I scoured the GTHS web site looking for pictures or videos of Honey and I found one with her on Sonya’s lap. Ok – so new plan. I will just go and visit her and if it doesn’t “feel right” I won’t fill out the paper work.
I took the Friday off work because I couldn’t wait until Saturday to visit her. I will print out the paperwork but NOT fill it in I thought. That was the new plan! Just have it handy I thought. I kept looking at her little face, showing her pictures to co-workers, re-reading Jennifer’s emails and then sending Honey’s picture to my mother and family members – “I’m just going to meet her” I said to Larry. I just want to see if we fit. Two hours later, there was a new plan again! I will fill out the paper work but not fill in the name of the kitty. I mean, why stand there filling out paperwork and take up the staff’s valuable time?
I walked into the shelter and asked for Honey. There was a lady working on a computer who pointed to a table by a window where Honey was laying in a pool of sunlight. I walked up to her and gently pet her head. She looked up at me and that was it – she was mine. The woman at the computer commented that Honey isn’t normally that happy with people interrupting her while she was trying to sleep in the sun. For me, she was purring. I walked up to the counter and handed them the paperwork, all filled out with Honey’s name already at the top of the page. We stopped on our way home to meet Honey’s new grandma, then headed for Penetanguishene to meet her Dad and start her new life.
I had the spare bedroom set up for her with her litter, new toys of her own and a padded window cat ledge for her to look out into the yard with. I slept in there with her for weeks so that she wouldn’t feel alone. We had a baby gate up during the day with a towel over it, keeping the girls separated but open enough for them to get used to each other’s scent, and with baby steps, made very slow introductions to the rest of the house and in time with Lola, Honey’s new sister. Every night she and I spent time together just the two of us getting used to each other. The second night she layed on the bed beside me through the night getting closer every time she moved. The 3rd night, she was nudging my arm with her head and I couldn’t figure out what she wanted. I lifted the blanket and she crawled in between the covers and nestled in beside me. That is where she stayed most of that night and every night after. Of course she was in the dead centre of the bed so that I had to sleep around her but that didn’t matter. She was making herself at home and that made me, her Mom, very happy.
We had our little heart aches in the beginning. After 2 weeks, we had an appointment with our Vet to have Honey checked out. Dr. Sheila Driver is the best veterinarian in the area and I knew that if anything could be done for Honey’s arthritis or dental issues, Dr. Driver would be the one to lead us in the right direction. On the way to the clinic for our appointment, poor Honey had begun to panic. She was panting and crying and she wet herself in her carrier. (She had done none of these things on her way home on adoption day) At the appointment itself, it was like she had given up and was just lying on the blanket like she was depressed – occasionally letting out these sad little cries. I was confused and worried and thinking that there was something wrong. Dr. Driver, after assuring me that Honey was healthy, wondered if Honey had panicked that I was taking her back to the shelter? She said to watch Honey on the drive home and if she did the same thing as the ride to the clinic, maybe it was simply being afraid of the car? Honey was quiet and peaceful all the way home. We got into the house and I put her in her room with her treats and Honey immediately got on the bed with her toys and curled up in a ball for a nap while I gave her reassuring pets. I called back to the clinic to let them know that Honey was fine and Dr. Driver said that she was obviously afraid to leave her new home, thinking that she was going back to the shelter. She said that Honey must really like her new home. Something every adoptive Mom longs to hear!
We have had some bumps along the way with Honey and Lola getting along. Occasionally they would give a wee hiss to each other as they pass in the hallway but luckily, we have had no blood shed or scratches. Phew! The girls, for the most part, accepted each other as “there to stay” and would leave each other alone. One night in October, I fell asleep watching a movie in the bedroom and woke to see both girls lying beside each other on the foot of the bed. This was a lovely surprise to see them laying beside each other in peace and thought to myself “huh, we are figuring out this being a family business after all…” And proceeded to take multiple pictures to mark the occasion.
Honey has blossomed here in our home. She still loves to lay baking in sun the front room where she can watch the neighbourhood’s comings and goings. We live near a forest with coyotes and foxes so our girls are in-door cats. Honey wouldn’t mind going out the back door into the yard where the bird feeders are, but I just don’t want to take a chance at her getting hurt if she runs into wild life. So she sits happily in one of the big windows available to her, watching the birds and chipmunks. She follows me from room to room waiting for me to sit down so that she can sit beside me with her head on my lap. She will stand beside you on the couch and simply fall over so that she is half on you and half on the couch. Then let the pets begin! If you stop before she is ready, she will twist her head around and patiently stare at you until you start again. It’s pretty adorable, if I do say so myself! She has become quite the cuddle bunny and still remains a bed hog when we turn in for the night. I stand at the end of the hall and call to her saying it’s bed time, and along she comes. At least once a week I comment to Larry, “How could no one want her? How was she there for 500 days and no one take her home?” Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that no one did, because I wouldn’t have gotten to be her mom if they had.
We know that Honey is considered a senior citizen and in her twilight years. There are health issues that we knew we would have to deal with on a regular basis like medicine twice a week for her arthritis and the proper food to ensure she is getting the nutrients that a senior cat needs. We know that we won’t have the time with her that we would have had if we had gotten a kitten. But she just fits in here. I can’t imagine her not being here with us – not seeing her face in the window, watching for me to come home from work, walking in the front door to her sitting there waiting to greet me every day. As soon as I looked into her little face that first day, I just knew. I knew that we would go for quality of time and not quantity. I knew that we would enjoy her for as long as we would have her and give her a family for her remaining years. She needed us as much as we needed her.
As I write this, Honey is laying beside me with her head on my lap, staring out the front picture window at the squirrels that are playing in the Maple tree in our front yard. Our house feels complete again. I want to thank the people that were Honey’s family at GTHS. When word was passed around that I was adopting Honey, there were so many caring faces there, expressing how happy they were that Honey was finally going to have a home. It made me happy to know that even though she was in a shelter, a temporary place, she was cared for. And not just being fed and having the necessities of life, but the people there genuinely felt for the animals in their care. They showed compassion and warmth and hearing the little tips that got passed onto me, like how much my Honey likes salmon, it made me realize that they treat the animals in their care like they are their own until they find a forever family. So thank you for caring for my Honey. And thank you for being her family until we were ready for her to come home to us.
Kari (Honey’s Mom)