Thomasina, a beautiful, long-haired black cat, was our first shelter pet. We already had a calico cat named Crystal (a farm kitty in need of a home), but my son wanted a cat of his own. Being a cat lover since childhood, I wasn’t too hard to convince.

Thomasina, a beautiful, long-haired black cat, was our first shelter pet. We already had a calico cat named Crystal (a farm kitty in need of a home), but my son wanted a cat of his own. Being a cat lover since childhood, I wasn’t too hard to convince.

He had already seen a Siamese at a local shelter that he wanted. He was underage and needed me to go with him for the adoption, so we headed out to Wayside Waifs. He was dismayed to learn that the cat he was interested in was a companion cat to another elderly cat and they preferred not to separate the two. Our Crystal was also elderly and in declining health, so I really didn’t want to take on another ailing kitty. We looked around for another Siamese but didn’t find one. We played with many nice cats, but none of them seemed like the special one he was looking for. We decided that we wouldn’t find “our” kitty that day, but we would continue to look, maybe at another shelter.

 Just as we were leaving, we both spotted a black cat in a cage that seemed to be waving at us. Since waving is not a normal cat practice, it really got our attention. We walked over to her cage and she just sat there looking at us as if to say, “Well, here I am. I’m the one you’re looking for.” We turned to look for an attendant who could let her out of the cage and, thinking that we were going to walk away, she raised her paw again. From this closer vantage point, we could tell that the movement was not quite natural. When the cage was opened, we could see that she limped on that same paw. The bones in the arm of her paw were all jumbled as if once broken and not properly knitted back together. It didn’t bend quite properly, and the paw itself turned out slightly in the opposite direction.

We knew that this little girl had been in some terrible accident, although no one knew exactly what had happened. However, Thomasina, like her literary namesake, seemed to take it all in stride and was perfectly adapted to her injury. I looked at my son and could tell he was as impressed with this little kitty as I was. She was definitely going home with us.

Thomasina was her shelter name and it seemed to fit, so we kept it. She has been a part of our family for over five happy years now.

Besides the limp and some arthritis, she is very healthy. She’s friendly, sweet and playful, as well as beautiful. She loves to be snuggled close in your arms and even hugs you back, purring all the while. Adopting her was such a great experience, that we have since adopted two dogs who now run the household and bring us great joy.

My son is now an adult and will be moving to a place of his own soon. He is not even considering removing “his cat” from his mother. It would be much too traumatic for both me and Thomasina. He is, however, considering adopting a dog of his own. Maybe he’ll let me help him look.