Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dear Spartacus Jones...

Spartacus the first day we met him.
It's your birthday, Spartacus Jones. Or at least it's the one we've given you, August 1st. You are approximately 12 months old now. We've presented a new toy just for you and tuna popsicles. You can have all the cuddles you need. My day is yours.

If I knew what your favorite wet food is, I would have given you that too. But your favorite is still, after three months, anything that anyone leaves unattended.

I wish I could tell you, little warrior, that you don't have to fight anymore. Your battle for survival is over, and you are Home.

Safe and Loved.

It rained as well as snowed on April 29th, 2013. You followed my husband and my best friend home from a cigarette run. You have Auntie Darci to thank for coaxing you here.

I didn't want you. My husband didn't want you. We already had two cats we love like children. But I couldn't bear the sound of your cries outside the window. I thought of Freya and Sully, lost and alone in weather I was unwilling to endure myself. So I brought you inside. I planned not to get attached.

I avoided you while Auntie Darci buried her face in your fur and called you 'Tom Jones'. We watched you devour kibble like you hadn't eaten in days. Judging from the count of your ribs, God only knows when that was. You were so small, we thought you were only four months old.

Still, we made plans to deliver you to the Humane Society, even though Dan insisted he should finally get to name a cat. He chose the name 'Spartacus'. For my husband the name represents bravery, and I think it 's appropriate.

In the morning, I gave you every opportunity to leave, but understood when you didn't. Alberta weather is cruel. Two winters,No spring. A tidy suburb was no place for a young stray, with lidded garbage cans and sparse restaurants and few dumpsters. You remained inside our warm house while I tried to find your owner in some non-committal, haphazard poster way.

Three days after your arrival, you climbed onto the couch with me. I watched you tiptoe your way to my side. You put your head and paws in my lap, pleading silently with your green and gold eyes for some shred of affection, and I surrendered.

It was then I knew. There was something about you. Karma. You belonged with us. You needed to be Safe and Loved...and you were already here. Why should I put you through loss again? If I gave you up now, would you ever know the love you very much deserved? That there was NOTHING WRONG with YOU?

I found your scars. I found your fear as well. Please know, precious Spartacus that Mommy will never hit you, no matter what you've done.

The story is much longer than this, but all the unanswerable questions of your past taunt me and bring tears to my eyes.

Why do you cringe when I say 'no'? Where did those scars come from? Why would someone go through the trouble of neutering you, only to abandon you? Why aren't you angry and feral? Who were you, and what did you endure?

I think how ferociously I love you. How you are learning to play again--both with me, and your new siblings. I see your anxiety dissipating, your night whimpers becoming less frequent.

I love to inhale the clover-cat musk scent of you, and hear your rumbling purr. I adore how you always seem so excited to see me, jumping and tossing your head like a puppy. I love how you stay so close to me, sometimes spending entire days by my side, whether we are writing or weeding the garden. I love how you seem to know I'm writing to you right now, because you keep jumping up on my desk and saying "RRRrrrrr?" You always ask me that.

People tell me all the time how kind your Daddy and I are for taking you in and how lucky you are to have found such a loving home. We are the lucky ones, and our family is complete.

Happy Birthday, Spartacus Jones. Know that for the rest of your life, you are Safe and Loved. I promise.
Spartacus Jones today


  1. Thanks for the update on the cats. You have a knack for relating the bond we have with our furry family!

    1. Thanks Kevin <3 You know how I love my babies.