Leilani: The Tail of a Rescue Cat

You just know when you meet someone. You’re going to be friends…no, soul sisters forever.

That’s how it was with Samantha (Sam). We met in 2004 on a job interview (She was boss. I was prospective employee). I believe we spent about five minutes on the job requirements and the next couple of hours laughing and sharing experiences.

We just returned from spending Christmas week on the west coast of Florida with Sam and her husband, John, and their rescue pups, Quincy and Snickers, along with rescue kitties, Mikey and Keloni. Our Lucy got along with all the furkids-mostly. Even after Keloni’s claws “accidently” swiped Lucy’s mouth, drawing yelps and a little blood. They later made a truce. Lucy would keep her distance and Keloni’s claws would stay hidden.

The morning after our arrival, Sam and I went on an errand. It seemed she had some business picking up Keloni’s adoption papers at a local cat rescue.

At least that’s what she said.

Little did I know her real mission was to check out a young feline she’d spotted a month ago. “I just want to see how’s she’s doing,” Sam said. “If the shelter is too crowded because of the holidays, I might foster her for a little while.”

Sure, Sam. Foster? Good intentions, but I knew, immediately, we’d have an extra passenger when we left. After imploring me to say, “Yes, I think it’s a wonderful idea for you to take another cat home to join your crazy menagerie. What could go wrong,” a cat carrier, with occupant, was placed on the back seat of the car.

We brought the new kitty home, Sam opened the carrier door. Fur, legs, and tail skedaddled out of sight. First under the lanai furniture, then into the master bedroom. That’s the last we saw of her for almost 24 hours. After hearing plaintive meows the following day, we finally located her standing on a three-inch bed frame between the wall and the headboard.

Ah-ha! Success!

Not quite. She disappeared into the closet.

We left a few days later, and said goodbye to Sam, John, the dogs and two of the three cats. Leilani was no where to be seen. I doubted she would make the transition for weeks, maybe months.

However, Sam said she was beginning to coax the little girl to eat and drink. I didn’t believe her until I got this picture.

So, tell me. Is this a gorgeous cat or what?

After seeing only fleeting images, I was stunned when I gazed on her color, markings, and quiet dignity.

I can understand why Sam fought so hard to save this sweet girl from an over-crowded shelter.

She’s no less than royalty and deserves to be treated as such.

I can’t say I’m a cat person, but this one tugged at my heart. Thanks to persistence and belief, this proud girl has a loving place with a brother, sister, and two canine buddies. And her rescue mom, Sam.

Sweet, sweet, Leilani.

You’re home.

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