You may have heard stories similar to the beginning of this tale. Woman finds out about a feral cat colony and that there were two motherless kittens, so tiny they needed to be bottle fed. She takes them in, nurses and cares for them till they grow into two handsome silver toms, one long haired and one short, who she embraces as life long companions. For years these felines are her loving roommates, providing affection, a sense of stability and peace. One day she meets a man, not just any man, but The One. This man gives her everything she lacks in her life: an intelligent two-way conversation, the wealth of two incomes, sex, a travel partner and someone to eat the same food with. They get married, have a couple children and everyone lives happily ever.
A good story, right? Unfortunately there is a wrinkle in their tale of lifetime contentment, the second child, their son, turns out to be deathly allergic to cats. So now the woman has to make a very hard choice, a choice between babies. As much as it tears her up, as much as it saddens her husband and upsets her daughter, who is still too young to really understand, she decides that she must give up her cats.
Now, she can't bring herself to send her silver sweethearts to a shelter. She knows how that can end, two geriatric cats thrust into alien conditions, too old to be desirable adoptees, probably destined to end their days locked in a room with unfamiliar cats. However, this woman has a sister. A sister who agrees to take in her cats. How ideal is that? Her loving sister would care for Jag and Chase as she had, family staying with family. She could put her mind at ease and take joy in her blossoming romance.
Sadly, the boys's story did not end so neatly. The sister had been untruthful in her willingness to welcome the cats into her home. She didn't want the toms at all and promptly dropped them off at the nearest pound, a place full of fear and cages where many an animal met its end via euthanasia. You can imagine how horrified the woman was when she found this out and her relief that she got there in time to collect her little silver darlings before anything dire happened. But now what was she to do? She couldn't bring them home and as has been stated she couldn't bring them to a shelter.
Enter the hero of this story, Jennifer. Jenn had just moved to the state, starting out on her career, setting up her first apartment and was looking for some interspecies platonic affection. She heard of Chase and Jag's plight and immediately offered to adopt them. She didn't care that they were old, that they'd be expensive and probably had a lot of mental scars at this point, they were cats in need and she was going to save him. The woman was elated when she received Jenn's phone call. Finally, her boys would have a home! She rushed the cats over to Jenn's house and insisted on covering the cats' medical bills for life. She wanted to make sure that they had the best care money could buy and that Jenn, just starting out, wouldn't be burdened by her altruistic decision.
So there you have it, Chase and Jag after all their trials and travails lived out the rest of their lives in peace, happily cuddling with their savior and no human or other beast ever came between them.
Author: Marjorie Skiba adapted from the oral narrative of Jennifer Silverman
Illustrator: Jennifer Silverman
Editor: Marjorie Skiba
About the Artist: Jenn lives in New England with her two cats. When not drawing, she volunteers at a local shelter and enjoys decorating ball jointed dolls.
You can see more of her beautiful artwork here.
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