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"Greta's Gift"
Aug. 24, 2019, 3:25 a.m.

My cat has shat.

I have searched everywhere for the evidence but I cannot find it. I can smell it though. Her litter box is empty. She is such a coy kitty.

Greta is a big girl, a golden-eyed calico with caramel, charcoal and white colored fur. She has a missing fang which makes her mouth look misshapen. She had been abused and neglected till she found herself in the rescue shelter. She has a microchip and according to her chip records, she had two previous owners, both of whom left her wandering alone outside to fend for herself. They didn't want her back. I wondered about that, but there was no mention of why she was so neglected. Greta was in the shelter for nearly a year. Nobody wanted to adopt her. She was funny looking, she was too much overweight and had bald spots. People wanted kittens, not balding fat cats.

After my cat Mickey died, I couldn't bring myself to adopt another. But a year had passed and I missed having a kitty in the house. I know that my elderly mother did much better when she had Mickey as her companion. So I began to consider another pet and decided to go visit the local shelter.

I saw Greta and immediately said, "not her". I didn't want her. She was big. Too big. And there were so many cute kitties in the shelter to consider. I didn't make my decision right away. I checked online and at other shelters. But I couldn't decide on any cat. Then I figured I would take my mom with me to the shelter and see what she thought.

They put us in a room and we sat one at a time with several different cats. We weren't sure. Then they took us to a bigger room and brought in Greta. She immediately went to my mom and licked her and sat by her and purred. My mom looked at me and smiled. Greta had big bald patches on her legs so that her pink skin was showing. I asked about it. They told me that Greta gets anxious and licks the fur off of herself. I asked why she hadn't been adopted and they said no one wanted her because of her weight. I remembered my initial rejection of her. I looked at my mom with Greta and asked her if she liked the cat. She said yes, that she wanted her, so I agreed to take her home.

That was almost seven years ago. Greta has lost weight, and while she is still a large full grown cat, she is no longer fat. She is also on a grain free diet. She wasn't licking off her fur due to anxiety, it turns out that she was allergic to her cat food. We tried different foods, but a grain free pate is what keeps her coat and skin healthy. The other issue that I found, is that Greta does not like using the litter box. She uses it to poo, but she does not like to urinate in it. When I first found this out, I thought that Greta was acting up by peeing against the walls of the bathroom. I was grateful she stayed in the bathroom to do it, but I had a lot of cleaning up to do. I tried to train her not to do it, to use the litter box, but she wouldn't. So I finally accepted this about her and now I put puppy pads down for her to use. It's not a lovely bathroom that I show off to guests, with puppy pads taped to the floor boards, but it does the trick and keeps the puddles off the floor.

Still, having Greta here is worth it. My mother adores her. Greta always knows how to be with my mom, whether playful or quiet. My mother has mobility issues and uses a walker. Greta knows not to get in the way of the walker. While she loves to play, Greta is not a feisty cat who climbs furniture or jumps on people's legs. She is a comfort. And I am grateful.

So now I can smell that my cat has shat and I can find no evidence anywhere. I am quite sure I will find it soon enough, but hopefully not under foot. So I go now to find it.

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