Sometimes there is a story to tell even at the expense of the storyteller.
On Saturday, June 29 I received a message on my phone after going out to dinner: “Hi, this is Dr. Brooks. Your sister just had emergency surgery at the Cape Cod Hospital. Her vital signs are stable. Call her in the morning.”
So began the long drive to see her whenever I could. It would have been easier if we lived in the same state, but I moved to Maine decades ago.
I never gave her cat, Buffy, a second thought after my sister said her kind neighbor in the condo complex where she lived had a key and was taking care of him. That is, until I got a call from the area Elder Services advising me to contact the neighbor who was “either hard of hearing or had completely flipped out.” Apparently, she'd run out of cat food, kitty litter and good will as the days turned into weeks.
From here, it seemed like a local kennel was the best solution. A great friend on the Cape agreed to take him there. Only problem, when I called to make the reservation, they said they'd need the cat's medical records. When I called Buffy's vet, they told me they hadn't seen Buffy for a couple of years. In the end, my friend took Buffy to the kennel via the vet's.
You would think this should be the end of the story, but after 10 days with an alarmingly expensive kennel bill developing, I decided I had to bring Buffy back to Maine.
The day I was to pick him up, the short-term care facility my sister is now recovering in requested some clothes for her to wear while doing therapy.
For the first time since my sister had been stricken, I went to her condo.
My husband and I walked in and our eyes immediately focused on my sister's lounge chair. It had been torn to shreds! Since only my sister and her cat live there, it must have been the work of Buffy. We were horrified but had arranged to spring Buffy from the kennel that day. The ride home suddenly felt even longer.
In the morning, my husband loaded Buffy into the crate and said he was taking him to a shelter for adoption despite my supplications not to. His rationale was that my sister would not be able to take care of Buffy for a while anyway and when the time came, we could search for another cat that looked a lot like him. He was adamant. There was no other choice.
The following day, thinking it would be a good idea to get a photo of the cat, I called the shelter to see where Buffy would be on display. As soon as I got out of work I drove there. After taking one look at a truly forlorn Buffy, I turned to the lady behind the counter and in a clear voice said, "I want to adopt this cat."
I told them I could pick him up in a couple of days and ordered a cat cage from Amazon Prime, guaranteed to arrive by then. Now Buffy, aka Jack the Ripper, is all set to return home someday without getting into trouble in the meantime.