I thought I am not a pet person. Until one day, eight, may be nine years ago my friend asks me crying to adopt her two cats. She is in crisis. Madly in love she leaves on Monday to reunite with her at this time ‘husband-to-be’. And her ‘husband-to-be’ does not allow pets. I did not know back then – where pets are not allowed – love is restricted too.
My own back then ‘husband-to-be’ did not agree to this pet adoption. He had a list with well defined sensible arguments. I agreed to all his arguments. He was right. With one subtle difference: my friend was suffering.
I remember this one day she cried desperately on the phone. Some dude came into her house following up her adoption ad. He brought a metal cage, put on rubber gloves and tried to catch Reginald, the tortoise colored female gentle cat.
– Do you have experience with cats? – my friend asked watching his clumsy attempts and mask of disgust on his face.
– Sure. – He slurred, – Lots!
We did not know back then that a cat goes for $3, transported in cages to the South of the country. Meat sold as ‘rabbit meat’. Fur processed to ‘rabbit fur’.
My friend did not trust this guy; neither did she trust anyone else who crossed her threshold those days. So she called me, crying.
– Please take my little ones!!!
And I’ve taken both: Reginald, a rescue Tortoise female and NR. 3, a rescue European Tabby male. At this moment both have spent couple of years together and have grown fond of each other. ‘Funny’, – I thought, ‘Two cat friends. How is it possible?’ How little did I know what IS possible!
– What are those two heads under the sofa? – asked my husband-to-be.
– I am sorry, – I sighed, – I could not refuse to help.
Two days with two cats – and everything changed. Sitting on the balcony, my husband, me, Reginald and NR. 3, I felt that we became better, calmer people. We stopped arguing. Some different type of love entered our home.
While Reginald was very careful with people, NR. 3 trusted everyone. NR. 3 went missing several months after he’s been adopted. We have been looking for him, running in circles around our compound. We never found him.
With NR. 3 disappearing, Reginald became very sad. She would spend all her time in the farthest corner of the apartment, seldom coming out. Playful before – she turned, well, really sad. I thought – it will pass, but six months later she was still sitting in her corner grieving. ‘A cat grieving? How is it possible?’- I thought. How little did I know what IS possible!
One night, I was working late. Through half the night I could hear some distant but very persistent cry. ‘Who is it?’ – I thought. ‘No matter who it is – this thing has great strength to keep crying like that for hours.’
The very next day, on my way out, I found a carton box with a little milk kitten. European Tabby. Male. Still screaming! Such a powerful little thing! Screaming through the night and still some strength left. ‘I take it to Reginald’, – I thought, ‘Hopefully it will do her well’. The little one, looking like a little sparrow, got the name Warabei, the Sparrow in Russian.
Reginald blossomed up. Day and night carrying the little Warabei around, taking care of him, bringing him to be fed, hiding him in far corners of our apartment.
Time passed by. One day we moved out of our apartment to go to Minghang area of Shanghai to open our garment factory. This is the last picture I have taken before taking the cats out of the apartment. Where is Reginald? What do you think?
Our new home was a villa. Villa De Coco. Finally own garden! Cats loved it. Reginald claimed huge space of land around our house and beyond to be hers. Soft small Tortoise managed to be respected by dogs 10 times her weight. No one would dare to enter Reginald’s estate. Only Warabei was allowed.
As time passed by, Warabei was getting all grown up and Reginald was getting old. She became sick over a certain period of time and passed away at 2 am in February. Most souls leave this plane between 2 and 5 am. So did Reginald. Sitting next to her I was telling her: “It is all good my love. It is all good. We are here. You are home.” We saw her last breath. And she was gone. We took her out middle in the night and buried her in the nature. My husband cried. I cried. Who would have known that love entering our heart does not ask for permission…
With Reginald gone – Warabei started facing extremely difficult times. Neighbor cats started entering Reginald estate and question Warabeis authority. There was this one particular cat, white, one-eyed, who would enter our house, find Warabei whenever he would be hiding and beat him up tremendously.
I was worried.
– Reginald, – I sighed, – With you gone there is no one to protect Warabei any more.
– Do not worry. – whispered the wind.
The very same day a little yellow puppy was sitting on our porch.
‘I am not a dog person.’ – I thought.
– I am not a dog person, – my husband said and brought the puppy to the neighbors.
One day later coming back from the factory, who is sitting next to our door? The little yellow puppy! A Tibetan Spaniel half breed. Poodle we called her.
Since Poodle arrived – the One-Eyed Cat never came back and Warabei became the proper owner of the Reginald estate.
Having pets – I have got my heart re-installed. I’ve learned to love the gentle nature around us. I’ve learned that creatures around us are very much the way we are.
Do you remember my husband not willing to adopt Reginald? He is in rescue movement right now, helping rescue pets to be adopted. We have saved quite some little ones and found them a new home.
I want to warmly thank everyone who did adopt a little soul!
We have three foster dogs right now who are looking for a loving home: Pomidor, Xiao Liu and Marusia. Breed: Our favorite one – The Rescue Loving Heart.
Much love, Julia Antufjew 🙂