I think I may have mentioned a cat named Zen in a previous post, but I'm not sure I've told his story!
Zen is a kitty that was in need of a rescue. He lived at my sister Vicki's then apartment complex. He had a family, but they ignored him at best, and at worst they neglected him a lot. He often showed up at my sister's apartment looking for a little love, or a little food.
When I visited, I (of course) gave him attention. I'm a kitty person, through and through. He was a sweet boy, a huge yellow and white kitty. His name was already Zen, and boy, did it fit?! He was as "zen" a critter as I've ever met. (The definition of zen: a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind.) He was very calm and had a calming influence on me.
Vicki suggested that I talk to Zen's owners and see if they were at all interested in letting me adopt him. It was a strange move for me to do something like that, but it worked. They realized that they were neglecting him, and they let me take him. (I even thought to call my landlord ahead of this conversation, so I knew it was OK to bring him home!) We packed him up in a crate, and I took him home with me that very day.
The ride home wasn't pleasant for the kitty or me. He got carsick and he yowled th e whole hour's drive home. But, when we got there, he settled right down. I hadn't counted on some opposition from my other kitties. I had Lissy and Oscar at that time. Lissy didn't mind him, but Oscar... that was another story! He HATED Zen immediately. The two of them couldn't ever be in the same room together. They never did work out their differences. But, the good news was, Zen was used to being an outdoor cat, so he spent much of his time outside wandering around the farm. I lived in the country at the time, so it was ideal for a kitty. He would come back for food and a little cuddle time. If he was inside, Oscar spent some time in the bathroom. It may not have been ideal, but it worked out OK.
Zen got hurt very badly not long after he came to be with me. I'm not sure what happened, but he had a large gash under his front arm. He had to have emergency surgery, but he bounced back very quickly. I loved having him around the farm. He often hung out on Nancy's (my landlord and friend) fence - just sort of watching what was going on. Zen also liked to "hug". He would sit with his rear end in my lap and his face up in my face, with his front paws on either side of my face.
The hardest thing for me is not knowing what became of Zen. I've lost many pets, but Zen is the first that I literally lost. He very rarely was gone for more than one day. When he didn't turn up one night for dinner, I expected he'd be back the next day. But, he never came back. He was a big cat, so I don't think it was an owl or something like that, but more likely he tangled with a coyote, or something like that. I hold out hope that maybe he found a new home!
I don't have very many pictures of Zen. I scanned in these two to share with you. I had a camera back then, but it was before I went "digital"! I wish I had taken more photos.
Have you ever lost a pet like I lost Zen? How did you cope with that type of loss? Thanks for indulging my trip down memory lane!