My name is Clint Lawton, and I'm writing to say a little bit about how Rosie the cat came to be my companion.
One day, a good Samaritan found Rosie the cat dying in the road in Wilton CA, she had been hit by a car and left for dead. Rosie was taken to Bradshaw Veterinarian Clinic in Elk Grove CA, where she was treated for her injuries. Her left rear leg had been crushed, her left eye was torn open around the socket, and she was suffering from lung contusions. Ultimately, her leg had to be amputated, but her other injuries healed in time. Barbara Bowen-Doty of Lapcats was called in to take over the rescue of Rosie.
Barbara fostered Rosie in her home for two months while Rosie recovered from her amputation. From there Rosie was fostered by Gail of Lapcats for another few weeks in Gail's home. Finally Rosie stayed for several weeks in the adoption center at PetSmart in Elk Grove CA, being cared for by the Lapcats team. This is where I come into the picture.
I'm a 40 year old man who hasn't had a cat since I was 10 years old. My childhood cat was my best friend, and also the only one in my life who I could truly love and trust. My cat was suddenly killed when I was 10 years old. Because our relationship was so special, and because my cat was my source of receiving love, I was completely devastated. Truly, I never did recover from losing her, and the wound stayed with me through the rest of my life. As the years rolled by I desired to have another cat, but I was too frightened of the risk of losing another friend if she were to die. So, I blocked away any thoughts of ever having another cat in my life.
One night in 2013 I had a dream about a cat that had been injured and was missing a leg, in the dream the cat was trying to heal itself. The dream left me feeling sad and lonely, and wishing I could help the cat from my dream. That night, while sitting alone, the strangest question crossed my mind, "Could it be time for me to get a cat?". I became nervous just thinking about it, and I blocked the thought away. That weekend while driving along, I "accidentally" meandered into PetSmart in Elk Grove, and began to look at the adoption cats, not to adopt, but just to feel the presence of a cat again, and quench the uncanny feeling from the dream I'd had. There I ran into Barbara, and she promptly introduced me to Rosie, the injured cat with a missing leg. When I saw Rosie, I had to choke the tears back in my eyes, my heart swelled. I knew instantly that I simply had to adopt her. Looking back, I really know now that Rosie and I were destined to be placed together. We were both injured, and we were the exact two individuals who could heal each other's wounds.
From the second I began to drive home with Rosie in my car, I felt my life change. Once we got home and settled down, I kept asking her "Are you real? Are you really here with me? Are you really going to stay here in this house? Or am I just imagining all this?". For the first couple of weeks there were more than a few times that I gave way to tears, and would cup my hands around Rosie's face while listening to her purr, to make sure I wasn't dreaming.
Its now been nine months that Rosie and I have been flat-mates (as the British say). Rosie has changed me in more ways than I can tell you, and I have watched her transform as well. There is no doubt that she and I are more complete individuals than we ever were before.
Rosie is the mighty three-legged defender of our apartment, the hunter of spiders, the swatter of flies, and the smasher of mosquitoes. I have watched in amazement as she has seemingly learned some sort of squirrel-talk. She sits in the upstairs window by the big tree, watching the squirrels who sit on the big branch, staring back at her. She talks her strange little dialect to them, sounds I have never heard a cat make; her eyes become huge, round and intense, and the strangest chirps and chatters scuttle forth from her funny little slightly opened mouth, with her fuzzy little white chin quivering as she talks.
Rosie wakes me up extra early to play with her for at least 45 minutes every morning before I begin getting ready for work. After playtime I make her a salad of raw baby spinach (she prefers a fresh cool crunchy batch with the longest stems on each leaf; they resemble little green mice). She wants me to pet her while she's crunching her spinach and making tiger sounds. She prefers it when I do the job of her missing left leg, and put my finger in her left ear and give it a little wiggle and twist, making her big round shiny eyes deflate like tiny little pleasure-filled raisins, so that she almost falls asleep with spinach in her mouth.
On weekend mornings when I start the coffee brewing, she hears it gurgling and runs while making a tiger growl, into the bathroom. She jumps into the dry bathtub (not bad for three legs!) and begins howling for me as if it were the end of the world. I tell her "Not yet kid! The coffee has to finish brewing, you know that!" but she just keeps howling until I get my coffee mug and my book and crawl into the tub with her. We sit in the tub for as long as my patience lasts. Once I'm sitting in the tub with her she stops howling and stretches out backwards with her fuzzy white belly showing, stretching so much that her pink belly skin shows through the white fuzz, and she yawns as she clacks her outstretched claws against the sides of the tub in contentment "clackity clickity clack".
Now she has a new favorite game to play which she's been at for about a week: tree climbing. I got a body harness and a leash so I could take her out into the courtyard by the big tree without the risk of her getting spooked by something and running off to get hit by another car. I take her out under the big tree and she begins trying to climb it. She does pretty good for having only three legs! But she just can't do it, so she looks desperately at me and "Wowwww"s for help. And so, I pick her up and place her on the first branch (about six feet high). I stand there at the ready in case she falls so I can catch her, but she never falls. She climbs around in the tree, sniffing the bark, stretching, sharpening her claws, rubbing her face against the bark and staring up into the leaves and branches, looking for some squirrel action. She absolutely loves being in that tree! I don't blame her, climbing trees is fun! Sometimes while she's in the tree a few squirrels will come blasting through like race-cars on a branch just above her, and she scrambles to climb higher and chase after them through the tree. But I have the leash in hand and I stop her from going up any higher; she gives me dirty looks when I stop her and then she "Rowwww"s at me in irritation.
I've moved my bookshelf in front of a big window and converted it to accommodate for Rosie's missing leg. Now she gets three levels of the bookshelf from which she can lounge among the books and peer out through the window into the treetop. When I head for the door to leave for work in the morning, Rosie body-blocks the doorway in an attempt to make me stay home and play. After giving her three chances to "politely get out of my way", I pick her up and place her lovingly into the bookshelf window. She knows this means I'm officially leaving for work, so she deflates back between some books and gives me a dirty look through half shut lids, like saying "Fine! Be a jerk then!" and I just laugh at her "Oh no. I don't feel sorry for you kid! Have a nice day". But when I get home after work she's always crawling out from sleeping in the books, yawning with a gaping mouth and her coffee colored body stretching out backwards like a fuzzy little banana. After our evening playtime in the house she makes me take her outside for a quick evening climb in the tree and some chatter at the squirrels. And after all that I do for her, she still has the nerve to complain about me going to bed at night when she still wants to play some more!
I can't thank Lapcats enough for their hard work with Rosie, keeping her safe and happy, and for bringing Rosie into my life. She and I have been placed together by some great design, it was meant to happen. I simply cannot imagine a day without Rosie now. She has rescued my heart from a very deep and serious wound which has been there since childhood, a wound that I simply knew would never heal, but Rosie has healed it, and more. I give Rosie all my love, and she loves me in return. As I have told Barbara, Rosie is my little promise, and I am her promise: that every day we will make each other feel better, and know that we are loved, wanted and needed.