Ella and Her Cat

As you probably have heard on the news, there have been lots of storms across Texas. So last Sunday, April 17, I brought the little cat inside. Again.

Kitty 1

Look how she tucks her little paws in.

Kitty 2

I’ve missed having kittens around.

Kitty 3

I’d say she’s not concerned about much.

Kitty 4

That face.

Snuggled up against my leg

Snuggled up against my leg

Slippery slope, indeed.

But instead of simply cratering to the cuteness, I began actively looking for a home for her. I emailed her photos to all my cat-loving friends, as well as my pet sitter. I posted on Facebook. I circulated an email to the entire Austin branch of my office. And then, success! A Facebook friend who went to my high school wanted to add the little stray to her brood of four. She has a larger home than I, room for five cats, and I could tell from her posts on Facebook she’s an avid kitty lover. She promised kitty would be an indoor kitty, along with the rest of her cats. And there would be no declawing. But there was a bit of a hitch: she lives in Houston, so I’d have to transport little kitty to her.

Luckily, I had a meeting in Houston Thursday morning, so the plan was for me to drop her off before my meeting. I planned to stay at my mother’s house through Saturday to run the estate sale we’d planned for Friday and Saturday. With the severe flooding in Houston, things were touch and go whether the meet or the estate sale would take place.  The area where kitty’s new mama lives (and where my mother’s house is) got the worst of it. Video clips appeared on national news of my mother’s neighborhood: people being rescued by boat and paddling around in kayaks. But mom’s home was spared, as were a few others on her street. The prospective cat guardian’s house was spared as well, and by Thursday, the roads were passable enough for me to transport kitty, attend my downtown meeting afterward, and then head to my mom’s for last-minute sale preparations.

The drive wasn’t too bad. Kitty meowed about the first thirty minutes, and then settled in for a nap. She was so quiet that at one point, I checked to see if she’d had a heart attack. She was fine, but for the fact that I woke her, and the meowing began again. Kitty settled down quickly this time. And after two hours of driving in the rain, I pulled into the drive of a home in a pleasant neighborhood, feeling optimistic about kitty’s new home.

Kitty’s new mama answered the door and gave me a big hug. Instantly I was bowled over. By the dank and overwhelming smell of cigarette smoke. The foul smell permeated the room. I imagined it clinging to the drapes, the upholstery, seeping into the paint and the sheetrock. As we walked around to meet the resident cats I took in the scene. The house was filled with clutter. Ashtrays were overflowing with butts. The carpet was dirty and stained. Her resident cats looked well enough. And then she introduced me to her eldest, Rufus: “He’s got some goop in his eyes, but don’t worry. None of the others have it.” She showed me the litter box area: the corner of the laundry room with multiple covered boxes filled with heavily-scented litter. Little kitty was out of her carrier exploring. I asked to use her restroom.

Sitting on the pot, I pulled out my iPhone and typed a text to my best cat-loving friend:

“They smoke inside! I don’t think I can leave her. What should I do?”

When I finished peeing and she hadn’t texted me back, I sent a second message:

“I can’t do it. I’m not leaving her here.”

I came out of the restroom and faced the issue head-on.

“You smoke inside?”

“Yes,” she said. “I thought about telling you. I should have told you.”

“Yes, you should have told me,” I agreed.

“But my kitties are all fine.”

“How do you know?” I asked. “Little kitty lungs. I’m so sorry, but I can’t leave her.”

She said she was near quitting, a halfhearted plea I dismissed as I put kitty back into her carrier.

I drove to my mother’s house, where we’d been setting up for the estate sale that was to begin the next day. I got kitty settled in a bedroom with a bowl of water and cat toys we’d been planning to sell. I had no litter box. No food. No plan for what to do with her over the next two days during the sale.

I sent an email to the meeting leader and explained my predicament. That I wouldn’t be attending the meeting in person due to a failed kitty adoption moments ago. And then I dialed in. I was chided a bit on a conference call by a roomful of lawyers, as well as two judges, one federal and one state, in attendance.

“Who do we have on the phone?”

“Ella’s here,” I said.

“Oh, it’s Ella and her cat,” the meeting leader said.

Ella and her cat.

After the meeting ended, I ran out and bought a litter box, litter, and food. By Thursday night I was trying out names for her.

“I think you look like a Lucy, I told her. Or maybe Petunia.”


About UB Ella

UB Ella (f/k/a Unconfirmed Bachelorette) is a 50-something recovered lawyer who left the practice of law to embrace a full-time writing life. Never-married, child-free Ella resides in Austin, Texas and Ontario, Canada with her four bad cats.
This entry was posted in Animal Rescue, Cats and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Ella and Her Cat

  1. Donna says:

    Sounds like she was meant to be yours 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. franhunne4u says:

    *smiles smugly* Told you so!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve got a very understanding law firm.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. She’s nearly a clone of my Pyxel. Looks like a Lucy to me, for what that’s worth.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Kim G says:

    Wow! She looks so much like my dear, late Pandora.


    If I weren’t in the middle of a long, Mexican sojourn with the plan for a move here, I’d adopt her in an instant. I totally miss having a kitty, and your new friend is so adorable.

    But it would seem that she has your name on her, so there’s no arguing with fate.

    Saludos y buena suerte!

    Kim G
    CDMX, México
    Where a neighbor has about 12 rescued dogs that I stop to pet whenever I pass by.

    Liked by 1 person

    • She does look like Pandora! I’m still willing to let her go to a good home, Kim. She is a neat little cat. Everyone who met her over the weekend kept commenting how “chill” she is. She was so adaptable to all the moving and the commotion over the past few days. The Three Black Cats would have been flipping out and hiding. She wandered around calmly, sniffing everything. So, if you find yourself driving past Austin on the way to Mexico . . . .

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kim G says:

        Honestly, I’d LOVE to have her, but at this moment my life is too unstable to have a cat. And of course she doesn’t exactly seem to have landed in a bad spot either, haha. Saludos!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. leggypeggy says:

    If not Lucy, then Blossom. She’s blooming loving your place.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. onedogrunning says:

    You are a very strong lady and I applaud you for not leaving her in a polluted place. Highly scented litter should not be sold and kitties do not enjoy to smoke.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. David says:

    Lucy, meet Ella. She’s nice, darn good with felines. If you need legal representation, not bad to have an attorney in the family. 🙂

    You did right to no-go the adoption.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Hopefully she won’t be up to shenanigans such that she needs to engage my counsel.

      I figured if I was hiding in the bathroom sending surreptitious text messages, that should be my clue I couldn’t leave her. When we got to my mom’s and I kissed her head and smelled the smoke on her fur, if I’d had any remaining doubts (and there were none), they’d have disappeared.


  9. Lucy is a pretty name. My name is Lily, but my Human Mommy frequently calls me “Petunia–Aren’t you lucky we didn’t name you Petunia?”

    Many purrs to you and your sweet new daughter,


    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m happy you have Lucy with you 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Judy says:

    This is a beautiful story and for me it’s all about how you trusted your intuition and followed your heart. I feel confident that everything will work out well because you have that and love to guide you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. CurvyLou says:

    Whether you end up keeping her or find her a home, you made SUCH the right call. My mom gave her little kitty asthma by smoking in the house for years. When she found out, she immediately started smoking outdoors instead, but the damage was done.
    If I was in your neighborhood, I’d be so tempted put my hand up as adopter. Even in photographs, little kitty just has a way about her, and migod I’d love to have a cat or two.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the validation, Lou. I’m guessing the older kitty’s goopy eyes were from the smoke.

      This kitty is unlike the Three Black Cats in more than color. She is curious and fearless. She loves meeting new people. And new cats. My resident cats are allowing her into the fold, already. She’s gotten farther in a few days than Sophie has gotten in three years. It’s easy to justify keeping her. I haven’t looked any further for a new home.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Leigh says:

    I’m so glad you didn’t leave her with the lady who smokes inside her house but I’m sorry the adoption didn’t work out!

    Liked by 1 person

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