When I was a baby I was taken from my mother at a young age and jailed at Petsmart with some of my littermates. I cried from the heartbreak of missing my mother for many days. Then I settled into a routine in the small cube where me and my sibs now lived.
The cube had a glass front and during the light hours people would come by and stare at me. At first it was scary. I had no idea what they wanted from me. Then one day a little girl asked to hold me. It felt so nice to have someone rub my small back.
After that day I looked forward to the people staring into my cube. In fact, I would go up on my hind legs and rub my face against the glass and beg them to hold me. I wanted someone to take me home with them and to rub my back everyday.
My brothers and sisters disappeared, one by one, until I was the only kitten left. One day it finally happened.
I went home with a nice lady. She fed me and played with me all the time. She was my best friend. I would sit in the window and wait for her to come home each day. I slept curled at her feet every night and I kissed her all the time. I thought I’d live with her forever.
But I only lived with her for 6 months.
She brought home boxes one day and started putting all of her stuff inside of them. She was moving away. Before I knew it, she put me in a box too. I was excited to be in the box and I was happy she thought enough of me to take me with her. I was so afraid she’d forget about me. But alas, she loved me as much as I loved her. I should never have doubted this.
When the top of my box was finally opened, my senses were assaulted with the worst of smells. Everywhere I turned my small head I could smell animals, hundreds of them, maybe thousands. I could smell fear, hatred, sickness and I could even smell death. I popped my head up nervously.
A strange woman was preparing to pick me up. Wait! I screamed in my head. You’re not my person! Where am I?
Where is my best friend?
It took a few days before the other cats sharing my cell would even talk to me, but when they did, the stories they told made me shake. I wanted to curl up, go to sleep and wake up to find this was all a very bad dream.
“You see your file there black cat?” I looked to where she was pointing her whiskers.
“In that file it says your owner moved into an apartment that wanted a pet deposit. You’re a pet, ya know.” I shook my head. This couldn’t be true.
The old Hemingway cat laughed at me. “Yeah, get used to it. Anyways your owner either couldn’t afford to pay, or didn’t think you were worth it. So you’re probably gonna die here.”
This alarmed me! Die? What do you mean?
The old cat plopped down next to me and continued, “You see black cat, you’re already grown. You’re not a cute little kitten anymore. No one’s gonna want you. That lady just signed your death warrant leaving you here.”
The days passed and I found that Hemy had been telling the truth. The only people that paid any attention to me were the people that worked there. None of the visitors wanted to hold me. No one wanted to rub my back.
I finally stopped crying at the glass every time someone new walked by. I gave up. I wasn’t feeling well either. So I found an old bed and curled up to sleep and to wait for my time to be up.
One day my cell was opened and a couple of new people came in and sat down near me. I stayed in my bed with my head down. I knew they probably weren’t there to see me. Then the strangest thing happened. The lady laid her hand on my back. It felt so nice, so warm. I looked up at her and she was looking at me.
I rested my head on her arm and I gave her a kiss. How nice that she should take pity on an old, ugly cat like me. Then the man laid his hand on me too. I peered at both of them. They were crying and the woman said these words that was music to my ears “He’s the one.”
They left shortly after that. I sat next to the glass for a long time waiting for them to come back and they finally did. They each held me. Then they left again.
They didn’t come back the next day, or the next.
The third day I was just about to give up when the worker came and got me. She took me into the lab and they poked me and prodded me. I didn’t feel good and this wasn’t helping.
The worker put me back into the crate and used the ringing box on the wall that I learned was called a phone. I could hear what she was saying and I couldn’t believe my ears!
“He has an upper respiratory infection so we can’t neuter him today. Why don’t you come down and pick out another cat?”
She hung up the phone and another worker came into the lab. “Are we going to put him down now?”
Put me down!? I had heard this term every time one of the other cats didn’t come back from the lab.
Was I going to die today?
I think I must have passed out from the fear because when I woke up back in my cell. So this was how it was going to end? I curled up in the old bed and waited for the worker to return for me.
And she did come for me that afternoon.
She put me in a plastic crate that smelled like another cat. Probably the one they killed before me, I thought. I was carried through the area where they keep the dogs and they barked and growled.
I was overwhelmed with the fear of dying and the fear of the dogs and I wet myself.
We went through a door and the air was cooler. I couldn’t see where we were because the crate was turned around. I could hear people talking and there was a cage full of kittens against a wall. And then she turned the crate around and put me on a high countertop.
The face that filled my line of vision at that moment was the face of an angel. There she was! The nice lady that had cried in my cell just a few days before. She was smiling at me!
I was going home with this nice lady!
I remember being sick for a long time after she took me home with her. I remember being held and cuddled by the man. I remember another cat, a pretty orange and white tabby, that took potshots at my nose on occasion. I was too tired and too sick to hit her back then.
I remember the day they gave me my name, Mavros Adra. It’s a Greek name meaning Black Male. I am proud of my name.
I live with my people on the beach now. They are my best friends. I will live with them forever. I know this is true because they tell me this everyday. I love them and they love me.
My name is Mavros Adra, and this is my story.