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animal Names: urrow

Urrow is the number 100+ most popular animal name on

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American Shorthair

{STRIPERS} (The Tabby Cat Club of of which Urr is President and Founder: If Your Cattie is Stripedy ask Urrow for details on how to Join)
Mommy's Story About How I Saved Her Life, and Versa Vice...

(Warning: Glurge Content High. If Heartwarmingness Overdose makes you wanna yark hairballs, ya might wanna skip or merely skim the following. It's long. But it's about ME ME ME! so that's excuseable automatically. Love, Urrow)

After four and a half years of hell in the wake of a bad breakup following a 10 year relationship, I was in the worst time of my life EVER, having lost my lover and also my home since his new girl friend snatched my space, my lover, my trust of love in general: she took my life and my home away from me. Maybe they are better for one another, maybe Love is simply impossible to resist even when it devastates someone that a person once felt it for but finds it's all about this Other Person, now...but the term 'homewrecker' still describes her. Because that's what she did to me. Survival of the fittest, the loser gets a big ball of zero. I've got a far more sane attitude about the whole thing now than I did when it happened. But 2006-2007 was rapidfire nervous breakdowns followed by two more endless years of complete apathy and atrophy of all emotion, all motivation. I was close to death.

For most of the years following the breakup I stayed in the garage of my ex, like an exile, but in 2009 everyone decided they wanted me gone and then I had to live in terribly temporary, non-cat-allowing situations. In the summer of 2009 before my mom passed away, she gave me her last birthday present: a check with enough deposit money to move into an apartment!

My birthday is July 22 - and on that date, as I pounded the pavement seeking a place to live, I remember thinking to myself: "Somewhere, today, here in this City, a cat is waiting for me. Thanks to my dear mother's gift to me, now it will only be another month or two before we find one another..." I concentrated on the place in 'Frisco where the pound is, and thought, "hang in there, I am coming..."

I found the apartment the next day, signed the lease and moved in on August the first. I settled in - but I kept putting off going to SPCA or the Animal Shelter to find a cat, because to be seeing all those little faces and know I could bring only one home was too much for me. I may be a Crazy Cat Lady, yet not the sort that hoards 67 cats and so cannot give them individual attention and bonding. That's no good for them.

Then on the morning in September 2009 I woke up feeling terribly alone after a really icky nightmare. I suddenly decided that day was the day that I needed to find a cat. So I looked around online, noticed a site called "Pet Harbor" which was a search referral for pet adoptions, and typed in the search box the following things: San Francisco/Cat/Under 2 Years/Tabby.

I clicked the search button and what came up was only one listing with a very badly-focused picture of a little cat in a cage, with the name "Carmel". I looked at that face, a half orange and half grey tabby's face with a little pointy nose, and IMMEDIATELY knew, somehow, THAT HERE WAS THE CAT who was waiting for me. Without another thought I slung my bag over my shoulder and zoomed out of the apartment to make a beeline for the SF Animal Care and Control shelter where the page said this cat was waiting. That cat needed to not be in that cage, she needed to be with ME. Would I have felt this way about ANY picture that had popped up? Honestly, I think not; this was way more impulsive than I get at my age, this leaping from my chair as if every minute counted. Someone else might adopt her...or worse! That kept running through my mind.

When I got there I gave the volunteers the name and number of the "Carmel" cat and asked if I could just see her, please. I sat in the "get acquainted" room they have there and a little cat was brought to me and placed on the floor and then we were alone together.

She was sweet and lovely and as she got closer I noticed those markings, that amazing orange tabby/grey tabby mix with no 'calico' splotches or white spots. Half her face orange, half grey, right to the nose bar under her eyes. The stripes on her back seemed to have been applied transparently, with watercolour or decopage, one blending into the other, without separation. I've never seen a cat looking remotely like her; the photos do not do her any justice because my slab-camera sucks and because it's an effect that changes with the light.

Though momentarily skittish, she was obviously warming to my voice fast, and accepted my presence right away, with her tail pointed up and her little voice, soft and fluid, speaking "Urrrrowww?" to me.

"You are the one..." I softly told her. Yes. She was "It". There was absolutely no doubt or quandary. I signed the adoption papers...But then I was told I needed to produce $125 for the spaying, shots, and so forth. Oh no! I only had fifty dollars! What would I do?

Well, over the next couple of days, with the help of some very kind persons, I made it happen. I talked to every friend I have and they loaned me the rest of the money. While I waited to collect it all, I came out to the pound when they opened at noon to visit 'Carmel', who I'd already begun calling by her proper Cat Name, which was obviously 'Urrow'.

(See, a cat MUST have a name that a cat can PRONOUNCE. I have named every cat I ever had that way: by asking THEM what their names were. Imagine someone giving you a name it was impossible for you to even say!)

On 09/09/09 - a date to remember - I paid the shelter, and they put her in a cardboard box, and I brought dear little Urrow home with me. What happens usually? Most cats jump out of the carrier and immediately bolt to the nearest hiding spot and stay there for at least an hour or a day or so. What did Urrow do? She made a cursory circle around the room, sniffed the food area, walked to the litter box and did the same, then turned around, scooted right back over to me sitting on the bed, and planted herself in my lap, and began making the gentlest little purrings...for that is Urr's purr style: barely audible but it is definitely there - mostly, it's a purr whichever area of my skin she's touching herself to 'hears', not my ears. (I think just very recently, it may be getting a titch more volume to it, but that might be my synaesthetic impression, or just plain imagination.)

I was absolutely FLOORED. I had never seen such fearless perfect instant connection of a cat to his or her new home and new Momma before.

After that, I began to have my first days which I could actually honestly call 'good days' since 2006. I began to have the will to live again. I'd not realised how much of it I had lost until Urrow restored it again. See, I am not 'suicidal', but when you lack life-will, things like accidents and cancer and heart attacks usually come and kill you if you don't do yourself in on purpose. I hadn't understood how close to literal death I had been, having lived with no love in my life, I had forgotten what it was, or that I could still feel it.

Now a year and a month later, my improvement has escalated and everyone I know has noticed it. Urrow has demonstrated herself to be not only a sweet cat but an intelligent one as well, being so alert and 'on top of things'. She recognizes the word 'cat' when someone on a net video says it and seems to be learning other words. I've learned a lot of her vocabulary of ear twitches, tail positions, utterances (some even duplicable by me, at least at base-recognition level) and other even more subtle ways of Catmunication that are uniquely hers, separating them from my memories of those of past catties I've had so that I can treat Urr's needs when and how she needs them treated. This mutual learning usually takes a lot longer than a year to do. She is a smart one! Whoever had to give her up must have raised her very attentitively when little and must have been in tears to have to let go of her. I hope maybe some fluke of internet magic shows this page to "Carmel's" human(s) so s/he or they can know how alive and well she is in her new home.

A footnote: On the papers they gave me at the pound I noticed that 'Carmel' had been surrendered to the shelter on July 22: my birthday! That had been the exact day I'd had that special feeling about "a cat that was waiting for me". I got her in September, so in the midst of Kitten Season the chances are she would have only had a few more days before her adoption time would have expired--meaning she might have, too, had I not found her exactly when I did.I know it sounds terribly overcosmic to the point of corniness to think of it this way, but the bond I have with this cat can be expressed by the simple truth that WE EACH (probably, at least) SAVED EACH OTHERS' LIVES. Period

Urrow Herself may at some point add a few remarks to this Heartwarming Cat Saga but right now she's busy going to town with a catnip mouse and is Too Stoned To Comment.