The call came in from a man named George. At first it sounded like all the other calls..."I'm moving and need to find a new home for my cat." Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah..... It quickly turned into a different kind of call. George went on to tell me that he was finally accepted into government assisted housing that has a strict NO PETS policy. If he gets caught with a cat, he's kicked out and therefore homeless. He had no options. A friend was supposed to take the cat, but the friend backed out. He was moving tomorrow.
When I started to tell George how full we were, I heard the desperation and despair in his voice. Poor guy must've spoken to a hundred rescue answering machines and I was the only one that actually answered the phone. His voice quivered as he held back the tears , (with his eastern european accent he became harder to understand), "please...he's been my buddy for 2 years. I don't want him to die at animal control. " There was something about George calling the cat "his buddy" that struck a chord with me.
I drove to George's apartment. It was a basement apartment with no windows - a very modest place. "Tigger" greeted me at the door. Man, is he a CUTE cat! Tabby and white - four white feet - pink nose....I could've kissed that pink nose a hundred times. I love those kind of cats.
George was already crying when I put Tigger into a crate. I tried to reassure him that Tigger would be cared for (and neutered!) and loved. Oddly enough, George told me that Tigger had never seen the outside or sunshine. It's a windowless apartment and he had lived there for 2 years. You should have seen Tigger's face as we left the apartment. :)
Here's the clincher: This poor man (I was being kind when I said the apartment was "modest") shoved $30.00 in my hand. I tried to return the money - surely it was his food money for the week! He wouldn't take the money back. George looked at me with tears pouring down his face and said, "This is for my buddy."
Don't worry, George, we'll find Tigger the BEST home - with a window.