One wonderful benefit of cat adoption is companionship. Sometimes this means a new cat friend sitting next to you while you watch Netflix, but sometimes it means a true spiritual connection between you and your feline companion. Below is the story of Eddie, a remarkable cat who transformed his family’s life in the darkest of times.
“A few months after our elderly cat passed away, my husband and I decided it was time to bring another cat into our lives, we have never been a one cat household and decided it was time. We were thinking originally of adopting a kitten: our cat Slip was still young and had lived her life with an elderly cat who was not much for playing. We started looking at different cat rescue sites, so many cats and all so beautiful! After a week or so, I came across the Team Cat Rescue site. I was going through the profiles when I came across Eddie's picture and stopped immediately. It was an instantaneous "click!”' I knew immediately that this was the cat for us. I sent in a request for adoption, we went through the adoption process and were accepted!
It was late October when we brought Eddie home. He and Slip had a bit of a rocky start, but within a week were becoming tentative friends. All was good, and getting better every day. I could not have predicted that two months after adopting Eddie, my life would be irrevocably changed when I had to undergo an amputation of my right leg due to a horribly fractured heel bone.
The day I signed the paperwork to go ahead with the surgery was a dark and scary day. That night when I went to bed and Slippy and Eddie joined me as they always did, I was lying there feeling so much fear. Slippy left the bedroom and Eddie was about to follow her when I held out my hand to him and said, “Eddie, please don't go, I need you, please stay with me.” He stopped and looked at me with a slightly perplexed look on his face, and after a few seconds slowly settled himself back down next to me. I stroked his fur and he purred, and his presence lulled me to sleep. When I woke up he was gone, but he had stayed with me until I fell asleep.
That one desperate plea to him seemed to be a catalyst in our relationship. From that point on, he shadowed me everywhere, slept by my side every single night, circled my wheelchair, carefully avoiding getting run over! The day of my surgery came. I kissed him goodbye and left to go to the hospital. I was in the hospital for seven days and my husband told me that Eddie was not doing so well. He was hardly eating and would pace the apartment, stopping in the hallway and just sit staring at the door. He is not a vocal cat, and only seems to speak when he has something very important to say. Brian told me he started meowing a lot. He was agitated and at times frantic.
The day I finally came home, my little Slippy was so happy, she pirouetted and pranced around my wheelchair. Eddie was underneath the dining room table staring at me with such an intense look, but would not come to me. His tail was swishing madly, so I just softly spoke to him, tried to coax him to me. I was so exhausted, I went to lie down and fell asleep. When I woke, Eddie was on the bedside table like a sentinel, just staring at me. I got up and got myself into my wheelchair and Eddie once again just stared at me intently from underneath the dining room table. Finally he slowly approached, let out a very long, low drawn out meow. I kept very quiet and he came and sniffed my cast, sniffed all around my wheelchair, then stopped right in front of me, went on his hind legs and gently put one paw on my cast as if to say, “I see this,” looking straight into my eyes the whole time.
The ice was broken! After this he became my shadow. Letting me out of his sight was not an option. My family jokingly started calling him “Stalker Cat.” Everywhere I turned, he was there. Every time I felt despair, he would be there, he would make me smile and feel better because it was impossible to be sad around this little cat who seemed to know just when I needed him the most. Eventually I had to go into a rehab hospital to learn how to walk with a prosthetic leg. Luckily I could come home on the weekends, but my husband said that once again when I left Eddie became inconsolable, and would pace and sit in front of the doorway for hours on end. I finally came home to stay and I now had my prostheses. The first time I put it on in front of Eddie and I stood up and walked he seemed completely alarmed and started howling at me and then circling me, but as soon as I sat back in my chair, he calmed down. Over the course of weeks and months he has come to understand this apparatus allows me to walk. He watches very intently when I put my leg on.
He is an extraordinary cat. He has helped me emotionally through some of the darkest days of my life. By lending me his strength, and making me laugh, the bond we have developed is so strong. I train myself in the hallways and stairwells of our apartment building, and Eddie is always along with me, following me up and down the stairs, walking the hallways, always by my side. My little guardian angel. I wonder sometimes what I did to deserve this wonderful soul in my life. My sister, who is rather spiritual, told me that maybe from the day Eddie was born, he started making his way towards me.”