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Abby’s Christmas Miracle—A True Story

Abby’s Christmas Miracle—A True Story

I don’t know what else to call it! It happened a week before Christmas last year—the miracle, that is. The story began back in June of 2013 with a panicked phone call from a stranger. She had been feeding a feral cat for three years outside her place of business. But now the business was moving, the street had become very busy, and she had to do what she felt was right: She trapped the cat, spayed it, and brought it into her home. However, when it didn’t get along with her own cats, she called LAWS. She said the cat would sometimes let her pet it while it ate, and that it would go to the shelter later that day if we couldn’t take it. I put out a plea email friends and volunteers, and I received a response from “Jim”. Knowing that so many nice shelter cats go unadopted, Jim understood that a semi-feral cat’s options weren’t good. (And besides, it sounded like this cat was more friendly than feral.) He picked up the kitty and named her Abby. Abby immediately took up residence atop a stack of boxes in the back room of Jim’s home. But Abby soon became crabby…

The following are snippets of the email exchange that went on between Jim and myself over the next few years:

2013

Me: “Hi Jim, How is Abby doing by now? I hope she’s settling in.”
Jim: “Still unhappy and mean. Won’t let me pet her—just hisses and growls.”
Me: “Hi, Jim; how is Abby doing? Maybe try putting a comfy pillow or kitty bed at a little lower level, and maybe she’ll eventually work her way down from the ceiling. I hope she’s progressing! Hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving.”
Jim: “#%$#@!&*^%#@ CAT!!!!!”
Me: “Hi, Jim. Real funny.”

2014

Me: “Hi, Jim. Please let me know what’s going on with Abby; I might have a nice barn home for her.”
Jim: “She sometimes lets me scratch her chin and then suddenly changes her attitude and swipes at me! We’re working on it.”
Me: “Hi, Jim; it’s been a while! How are you? How is Abby? Do you all have Thanksgiving plans?”
Jim: “About the same…”

This went on for 2 ½ years. The barn home fell through. Abby would only come down off the stack of boxes when Jim was at work or sleeping. Some days Abby let Jim climb up and scratch her on the chin. Other days she’d swipe at him with all claws bared, and hissing.

Fast-forward to the end of 2015

I get a text and photo from Jim, and I’m stunned! The photo shows a cat curled up on the couch next to Jim, and the text reads, “I’m afraid to move! I don’t know what she’ll do!”. The next few days consisted of slow movements, some trepidation, and a lot of head-scratching. But Abby, Jim, and his two Corgis had a wonderful Christmas, and Jim realized Abby’s change in heart wasn’t just a passing thing.

We’ve mulled over the sudden change in Abby’s behavior a lot since then, and we decided maybe it was Chloe, the new Corgi puppy Jim got earlier that year, that brought Abby out of her shell. Maybe Chloe helped Abby to venture beyond her comfort zone—or maybe she just got tired of being crabby. Life has been pretty good since, and I’m thankful that Jim had the patience to persevere, as Abby is now a happy, well-adjusted member of the family!

Abby and Chloe

Abby and Chloe