Monday, May 5, 2014

The Empty Cat-bed

Cammie has gone to her new home. She left on Friday. She often sat on the cat-tree in the parlour, peering out the window, and I would see her as I left for work. I looked for her today, out of habit. It will take a while to grow accustomed to having just my four perma-cats again.

I will miss the little Siamese cat. She was with me since last July, if I recall correctly, and she came a long way from the frightened, untrusting animal she was then. Just before she was adopted, she had begun coming out into the sitting room more often, and not worrying so much about the other beasts (except for Josie, for whom she maintained her dislike until the end). As is the way with cats, these changes were sudden, and they were pleasant to see, though Cammie faced even greater changes before they could have much of an effect.

I think I will feel Cammie’s absence more than I might otherwise for several reasons. Firstly, it comes so soon after Bear-Bear’s death. Cammie, of course, is alive and well, but it’s still a loss. Secondly, I did not expect her to be adopted soon, or ever. My reasoning wasn’t sound in this. I knew that she had come from an abusive background, that she needed a great deal of time to learn to trust; I figured that that would deter many potential adopters. But of course no one interested in adopting Cammie would have known these things about her. The notion that she would not be adopted soon nonetheless probably settled in my subconscious. It was as well that other people did not let Cammie’s origins discourage them, because she has moved beyond the limitations imposed by her background, and is more than ready for a trusting, caring relationship with someone.

That is a third reason why I will find her absence greater than I might: she has come such a long way while with me. She would hiss at everything when she initially arrived at my house. Everything was a threat to her. The day she left me, she wandered almost unconcerned among the other cats, and almost no behaviour of mine elicited displeasure from her. (She’s a cat, so something I do will cause her annoyance; that’s a given.) Jumping on to my lap became a habit, and she would purr and purr while I stroked her smooth fur. I purposely touched more of her over time, getting her used to being handled. She still dislikes being picked up, but that too may change with time and attention.

She wasn’t hard work on my part; I just let her be, and she realised in her way, and over time, that she was in a place where she was safe, with all her needs attended to. Except for her relations with my Chubs, Cammie learned to live with the other beasts, something which she had not had to do previously. She found her place with them, and was developing a (very rudimentary) friendship with Renn. There was hissing when he got too close now and then, yet at other times, they lie near each other on the parlour couch. I think Cammie liked showing him that she was tough. But I also believe that they would have grown close.

But the home that Cammie is going to will be very good for her. It contains only one other cat, an easy-going fellow named Bo. If she can deal with four or five at my house, one laid-back cat should not pose her any problems. There will be more than one human with whom to interact, but Cammie will learn to trust them, as she learned to trust me. She just needs time. Give her enough of that to come to her own conclusions about her environment and she will be just the cat everyone would want. If things do not work out for her, then she will come back and live with me again. She may be wondering where I am, and why her world has changed completely, once again. There’s no way to explain to cats that such revolutions in their lives are for the best, and that they will have much more after the changes than than they did before.

I hope I do not see Cammie again, as much as I want to. I hope, and believe, that she will find her place in her new home, and that the little cross-eyed Siamese cat will have the happy life she deserves.


  1. I think it's marvelous that you take in cats that need homes. Only I could not do what you have done. Let this lovely soul go. I am sad for you but so happy that she has and will have love.

  2. I hope you don't see Cammie again, either, except perhaps in happy updates from the adopter, if you're so lucky.

    I wish her good luck and hope she settles in with relative ease. The boys send purrs to her, of course. :-)

  3. It is always heartwarming to hear of a good end to a long foster. She sure came a long way. We have our own little kitty who is finally coming into her own, Miss Fitz.
    We also wish Tungsten a very Happy Birthday

  4. congrats to Cammie....sometimes these adoptions are harder than others as you see the progress that has been made....but the point of fostering is (usually) for them to find homes of their own - even when it is hard on those that foster. purrs

  5. It is so hard when they leave. It sounds like she will be very happy and probably because of the way that you treated her. Just being patient with cats that are nervous, I have found is the best way to earn their trust. You did a fine job with Cammie just by being patient with her. Keep us posted as to how she does. The other kitties will know you are sad and will give you some extra attention. Take care.

  6. It's bittersweet. No other way to describe it. How can only be happy and sad simultaneously? Cammie knew, and I hope (and I'm sure you did) explain to her what was happening. I also share your hope that Cammie does well and finds much happiness in her forever home. It's like raising a child and letting go for them to become adults themselves. Fly Cammie Fly.

  7. I hope Cammie will be happy in her new home... All the best!

  8. It is hard to say goodbye, but you have done such a good job of restoring Cammie's trust. I hope she continues to flourish and is very happy in her new home.

  9. It is indeed sad to say Good bye to dear Cammie. We hope that she enjoys as much love at her new home as she had from you. We are sure it was your thoughtful posts that led Her new human to Cammie. Eileen and Jessica

  10. Hopefully you will get an update soon from Cammie's new mum :-)

  11. I am sad and glad for you. Hoping the updates will be good ones :)

  12. Hi Bellen! I love what you're doing for those cats. I'm sorry Cammie had to go, but we all know it's for the best. I'm just glad you admitted to yourself that you can't take care of the four of them altogether. Some people would quit mid-way, but you're dedicating your life to them. Keep it up! We cat lovers salute you! :)

    Vyvian Gorbea

    1. Actually, I do take care of four of them: I have four perma-cats. Cammie was a foster-cat, who was never meant to be permanent, though she came close. She was always destined to find her own home.