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September 10th, 2014


originally published June 2, 2009


“Patch! Patchie!”   Day after day for four years I’ve called her. She is Tommy’s sister, the one with the bee bee in her side just under her flesh. Like Tom, she doesn’t like cats either and chooses to live down the street. She picked some guys house, living under it. I’ve seen her in his drive, he has a dog that used to bark, I’d hear it from time to time. The guy would pass by the ranch on the way home from work, he’d wave when we saw each other, which wasn’t often.

I don’t know what happened, there was no sign of life at that house anymore, no dog barking, now that I think of it, not for awhile now, where is my Patch? The freshly graded dirt road shows no tire marks into the drive. I’m concerned. Could he have moved taking Patch? I call and call her for days.

Whenever I’ve called Patch, she’d show up, she may have missed a wet food feeding earlier, so I’ll walk into the woods with her can so she can eat in peace. I took a photo of her beaten path like a rut through the pine needles and leaves. Where is she? Sometimes I would see Patch late at night eating from the dry food feeder near the Receiving Center. She’ll cry when she sees me and I’ll go give her some attention and she’ll head out. It bothers me sometimes, I never know when I won’t see her again. I need to keep her home. I have considered ‘grounding’ her when I fence in this place, she’ll have to find a spot to live. 

Nanette was here the day Patch showed up. My beautiful Patch! I went to get Nanette, she’s only heard of her, now she gets to meet her. I walked ahead of Nanette so I could hold Patch, she hasn’t been around anyone in years. Patch had an injured front paw, it was time to ground her. I placed her in a cage for the first time in her life, she didn’t like it and complained for 2 days.

After treating Patch for five days I let her out. I placed a foot stool in front of her cage , it’s her ‘condo’ now and she can come and go as she wants, but she does stay at the ranch now. A For Sale sign is in front of the home now that she made her home. Maybe it’s not the same there anymore, but I’m sure glad she decided to stay with me.

Garfield's Story

GARFIELD'S NEW LIFE: (Written by Craig Grant)

One day my happy life with my family came to an end. I was put into a little cage which is a transporter taxi. I was scared; I pushed at the door and couldn't open it. I felt a sudden rumble and a jolt, as the car I was in took me from my home of three years.

It wasn't long before we bumped along a dirt road, all I could see were tree tops from the rear seat, then a sudden stop. Where am I? I hear dogs barking, that’s my biggest fear. My owners carried my taxi into a big building--I saw my people leaving. “Come back!” I said but they didn't hear me. I heard the car drive away. The dogs barking became louder.

A doctor put me on a table. I was held down, poked and probed with needles stuck into me, then something stuck in my neck; it was a chip I heard. Then I was carried into a big room. I saw many others like me in the little cages. They looked sad. I was grabbed by the back of my neck and put into one of the little cages. What is going on, I wondered.

There is still hope that my owners will be back, surely they will miss me.I felt like crying, doesn't anyone care? Soon the lights went out,dogs stopped barking, it became very quiet except for another orange cat in the cage beneath mine. She would later become my friend; her name is Bashful, it was her first day here too.

My cage is small. I can stand, walk in circles and lay down, being careful not to spill the water bowl. I can potty in the little box next to my nose. Where am I?! I just covered my eyes and tried to sleep. Soon the lights came on. Oh boy! Where's my little transporter taxi? I'm going home, I knew it! I knew it! More faces came and went,some looked at me but I didn't recognize any. The Dogs barked and the noise scares me. Food was put in front of me. I can't eat--I don't feel hungry. The doctor came in, checked my heart and hung a chart in front of the cage. I don't know what it says. It was a long day,lights went out again. I feel alone now and don't know what's going to happen to me.

Many days like these would follow. People came in and other cats put their paws through the bars, reaching out “take me! Take me!” I tried that; no one even looked my way. There were very pretty cats in some of the cages, doesn't anyone like orange? Bashful still cried. I can't tell her everything will be okay. I guess I will never get to go home. I saw people opening other cages, saying “how cute!”—but,what about me? I'm cute too.

I started marking off the days on the wall behind my cage. I started to sneeze and sometimes it had a little blood in it. Is that why I'm here? Soon Christmas decorations were hung on the walls, a small Christmas tree stood on a table nearby. I wonder if I will get a present. I used to climb the Christmas tree at home, it was much bigger and prettier. I would sometimes break some ornaments or they would fall to the floor. My owner would get mad. I wonder if they miss me? Will they come and see me? Poor Bashful still cries--it is a sad time for all of us.

Many more days of just sitting or standing passed, my legs don't feel right, I just want to give up. I saw cards with hearts hanging on the walls, none were for me. I don't feel loved. I'm just a number now.

One day, months later, some old guy with a cowboy hat came in, he was missing a few teeth. What the heck, I'll wave my paws at him, I see Bashful’s paw extending upward into my view. He looked at my chart,he seemed mad, but not at me. I laid back down. I just wanted to die.

A few minutes passed when all a sudden my cage door rattled and opened,I was put into the transporter taxi. Am I leaving here?! I looked back at the wall--over 150 marks were on it--and more I couldn't count. I saw the old man filling out paper work. He said “put them in my car”. I'm so thrilled, I want to cry out. I felt so bad for the others who waved their paws. I was picked. I hated to leave all the friends I had made, especially Bashful, I will miss her the most.

Soon the car rumbles to a start, a jolt, and we are on our way. Here's the bumpy dirt road again, I'm not scared now. Dogs barked and soon the sound faded. Where am I going now? I didn't seem to care. It's a long ride and I'm hot. We stopped for water along the way and that is when I caught a glimpse of Bashful! She was so scared, her eyes huge, I told her we'll be okay now, I was sure of it. We rumbled again, I went to sleep.

Soon I heard a clinking of chains on a gate being opened. I tried to keep my balance as me and my sidekick, Bashful, made our way past other cats down a trail. They all seemed so happy! My nose kept twitching,so many smells, um, the fresh air feels so good! I saw the sunshine for the first time in months.

We went into a building with no cages. One cat was on the steps. The old man said “Hi Ginger!” We were let out of the transport taxis. Iran under a table and Bashful ran up the stairs, the old man went outside. The old man came back in and opened up canned food I had never tasted before, I ate and ate! He picked me up and hugged me;and he said “no more cages for you”. Who IS this guy!

I later made a friend with Ginger, she told me the old man’s name was Craig. She said “he will take care of you and will love you very much”. I got to finally meet up with Bashful. We both looked out the upstairs windows together and couldn't wait to get outside! I saw trees swaying in the wind, I saw rain, it was the bright sunshine I loved the most. I hadn't seen the sun in so many months!

One day, Craig put me in his arms and carried me outdoors. I smelled beautiful flowers, it was springtime. I remember them from home. My nose wouldn't stop twitching. I let out a big sneeze. Craig wasn't bothered by it, he said “soon you will be out enjoying lifelike never before, and you can sneeze where ever you want.” I began to think that this is why I wasn't wanted.

Oh, I can't wait Craig! Please let me go out now! He said in a few more weeks...And within a few weeks I was outdoors! I chased butterflies, I climbed many Christmas trees, and I ran so fast! I saw birds and squirrels. I went up to other cats, some were so beautiful,but it didn't seem to matter to Craig what we looked like, we were all a happy family.

The old man called me by my name, Garfield. I ran to him, I jumped into his arms. He gave me this beautiful new home, I love him, I'm sure he will never get rid of me. He's not just an old man, but a wonderful man, I'm happier than I have ever been.