Saturday, October 30, 2021

Meet Roy Hobbs

Roy Hobbs behind bars
He began Thursday at the shelter. By Thursday night, he was home. Here. With me and Connie.

I actually met him last Sunday when I visited the shelter with my empty carrier, hoping to bring back a cat. I begin going back to the office next week (just one day/week at first) and I was worried about Connie. How would she handle being alone -- all alone -- with no me, no Reynaldo, for hours on end? 

Roy called out to me. He wanted me to open the cage and hold him, and I obliged. He's a big boy -- 13 lbs., twice the size of Connie or Reynaldo. A very loud purr.

Unfortunately, I couldn't bring him home because he was recovering from a cold. I saw no sneezing or coughing, but still he couldn't be released to me before his Wednesday checkup from the vet. I let them know I'd be back for him on Thursday.

Once I heard his story, I knew I could help him. If you look at the little cards on the cages at the shelter, you frequently see the words, "Seized/Surrendered" to indicate how the animal ended up there. "Surrendered" is almost always circled. An owner is moving and can't the cat anymore, or a compassionate neighbor brings in the hungry stray that's been hiding in the yard ... This card had "Seized" circle. You seldom see that.

Because of the criminality involved, the shelter staff couldn't give me all the details. But here are the bare bones ...

A woman had Roy (then named "Bandit") and his "sister" (were they really littermates? we don't know) for a couple years. Then she got involved with a bad man. He decided the way to "discipline" the cats when they threw up on the carpet was to throw them into a running shower.

The humane society got wind of this and and seized the cats. The girl cat "didn't make it." This big fella spent a few weeks in foster care, to get him comfortable with people again. In early September, he was placed for adoption at the shelter.

Now he's with us. Me and Connie. A human who won't abuse him, and a girl cat who will -- eventually -- become his friend.

At his furever home
I renamed him Roy Hobbs for a number of reasons:

1) Roy Hobbs is the hero of The Natural, my favorite baseball movie, and I adopted him during The World Series. 

2) In The Natural, Iris tells Roy, "We each get two lives, the one we learn with and the one we live after that." I want this guy to enjoy his second life, the happy and safe one.

He does love it here. He purrs all the time. The resiliency of this spirit is truly inspiring.

Connie is beside me as I post this, pre-dawn on Saturday morning. She is coming around to accepting him. It took her 24 hours to realize he wasn't going to hurt her. Now she views him with a wary curiosity. I predict that by Thanksgiving, they will be pals.

And, next week, when I go back to work, she'll have some comfort in knowing she's not the only living thing here at home.