My home is graced with the presence of two long-haired tortoise shells. Far from identical, they couldn’t be more different. One is the nearly magical Quinn, and there will be more about that beauty in future posts. The other is Lucy, an old, scruffy street cat that came to live with me about three years ago. I had spotted her across the street many times over the years, and just assumed she had a home there.
The first time I got a close look at her, she was scoping out the area under my porch steps. I thought I knew why. It was spring, and she surely wasn’t looking for shelter for herself. Her appearance was shocking – she looked as though someone had sliced her ears off. I was furious, yet something told there might be another cause. I put a photo of her out there in the ether, and someone experienced in cat rescue said it was probably frostbite damage. When I could get another close look, I saw that she had no lips, giving her a permanent – and menacing – grin. Lucy probably got caught in one of those bitterly cold winters with no access to shelter.
After taking her to the low cost spay/neuter clinic in Avon, I decided to bring her into the house. A reasonable person might think she would have become a fairly calm kitty by now, but grooming is still off-limits. I am reduced to sneaking around with scissors and clipping off knots of fur when she isn’t looking. If you have heard my sermon on the matter of grooming, you know this is not my standard. The more I deal with “retread” pets, the more flexible and creative I have become. So many animals have been through hard times and they deserve our patience and loving care.