We got Bethany as a rescue we adopted through Alberta Animal Services in December of 2014. She is technically my husband’s cat although she loves everyone! My husband is not normally a cat person but one day while hanging out with his daughter they stopped in a local pet store to play with the adoptable cats. Bethany was there, in her cone of shame, with a little stub of a tail. As soon as my husband walked in the door she sauntered her way over to him and began nuzzling and licking his hand. He claims it was his daughter that was smitten with the cat but I think we can all guess the truth.
He asked about what kind of cat she was, why she was in the cone and why such a short tail. While they didn’t know exactly what kind of cat she is, she was in the cone to stop her from licking her stubby tail. Turns out the poor kitty was cold (winter in Alberta, trust me it gets cold) and so she crawled under the hood of a truck to get warm. When the truck was turned on the poor kitty’s tail got caught in the fan belt. The man who owned the truck heard her yowl and freed her from the fan belt and took her to the vet’s office right away. They had to amputate the tail and were unable to find who she belonged to so put her up for adoption.
That night my husband took me to see Bethany. I watched as she pulled his hand into the bars of her little kennel and held on for dear life. She proceeded to nuzzle and lick his hand and looked at me with her big sweet eyes. The next morning after setting up a second litter box and blankets in our spare bedroom we brought her home. Our other cat Eve was initially rather un-amused with her new housemate, where our four dogs (Max, Belle, Rosie and White Paw) wanted nothing more than to cuddle her. It took a few days for the chaos that a new family member brings to settle down. Then we got to see what kind of personality Bethany had…
First let me start by saying she is the most people oriented and loving cat I have ever seen. She loves to spend hours curled up on a lap snoozing away. If we are too active to snuggle her she goes over and will cuddle with any of the dogs. When one of our dogs, White Paw, passed away at 16 years old she would sit and snuggle as I cried and made sure every one of the other fur babies got lots of snuggle time. She insists that every single house guest greets her with scratches and as soon as their laps are open she will commandeer them.
She is also very playful! I think she thinks she is part dog as she will play fetch with you. One of our dogs, Max, is very addicted to tennis balls. So much so that there must always be a few in the house and the yard or he will drive you insane barking for one. I have caught Bethany playing with them, rolling them up and down the hallway, and always at supersonic speeds. Being a solid cat it hurts when she rams into your leg! She and Eve are often shadow boxing and pouncing on each other. Incidentally Bethany is a larger cat than Eve and I often watch as Eve prances around Bethany, until Bethany just runs her over. That cat is a tank. They will chase each other across the house until they collapse on their cat tree and have a good power nap.
Bethany, unlike Eve, seems to have absolutely no interest in anything magical in nature. She does however have a fascination with toes; yep that’s right toes, a creepy and almost unnatural obsession with toes. For months I watched as she played with the pads on the pooches’ paws, giggling at her strange obsession. I would go to bed at night, with the illusion of safe toes until one dark night she came for them. I was settling down for a much needed night sleep and it was rather warm outside and even warmer in the house. The blankets had been carelessly tossed to the foot of the bed and I laid there as the soothing sensation of drifting to sleep washed over me. Abruptly this sensation was shattered as the feeling of wet sandpaper raked itself across my big toe. I shot my foot to the side, accidentally kicking my husband, when the sandpaper came back for the other toe. I flung the light on as I threw myself out of bed to see what evil creature lay lurking at my feet and was greeted by a pleasant ‘meow” of the innocent looking Bethany. Since that night we keep a blanket over our feet and have to be careful about what we wear, at the hint of a naked toe she is there, ready to scrap her tongue all over them.
As with all our rescue pets over the years I cannot help but wonder what their lives were like before they came to us. I often find myself reading a book or magazine in bed, with Eve purring in my ear and Bethany at my side, staring at where my toes will be under the covers. As she looks up at me when I scratch behind her ears I ask “where did you come from before kitty”. We have so little information. We think Bethany was abandoned. A few weeks ago we had to take her collar off since she had bent the ring holding the bell on her collar and it could have cut her. As we took the collar off she got very nervous, making little mewing noises and trying to pull her collar towards her again.
Now this is a cat that can, and often does, take her collar off on a whim. She leaves it somewhere we can find it and as soon as we find it we hunt her down. She runs to the nearest table and sits there for us to put it back on her, this is one of her favorite games. But when we took it off of her I could see panic in her big eyes. She mewed until we got it back on her and then she spent the rest of the day following us around and snuggling into us. It makes me wonder if once somebody she loved took a collar off her and left her in the countryside where she was eventually found. That idea breaks my heart and haunts my nightmares. But then a tongue rasps against the exposed toe, and a mischievous feline mews and I pull her close for a good snuggle and whisper to her “this is your home, forever”.