On Nov. 6, 1995, I walked into the Humane Society of Hall County (now Northeast Georgia) looking for a kitten to fill the void left by the loss of our 18-year-old calico Missy. The one who caught my eye was a beautiful, slightly scruffy little (no surprise) calico.
As I left the shelter with her, she seemed perfect. Docile, quiet and maybe even a little shy. She looked healthy and cared for but in an abundance of caution, I took her to the vet to be checked out and to get needed “spa” treatments.
My husband and I went later in the afternoon to hear the results and, we hoped, to bring her home. The vet declared her a fine, healthy kitten in need of nothing more than the usual follow-up attention and “a little cleanin’ up.” They brought out an irresistible, fragrant, fluffy handful of kitty wearing a lavender ribbon around her neck.
We dubbed her Cincerella, which soon became Ella, in tribute to her transformation into a princess. The docile, quiet and shy routine turned out to be a ruse. She was a racing, romping rascal and a totally reliable source of joy and beauty for the next 17 years. (The words “spoiled rotten” come to mind.) She never realized she wasn’t a kitten and we chose not to mention it.
After her one and only illness, she is now gone. Our hearts are hurting; our laps are empty. But we remember where she came from and, in time, we’ll return.
Gainesville is very lucky to have a first-rate Humane Society and I’m writing this to urge anyone with a willing heart and an empty lap to give them a visit. You might find out for yourself why we’ll always consider Nov. 6, 1995, one of our best days.