RILEY SPEAKS

This is one of my first memories of being eight-weeks old.

It was a hot summer day in May 2010. My person picked up each of us and placed us in a small, dark space. Somehow we went from one place to another that smelled unfamiliar. I felt a “plop” and heard footsteps that sounded like my person walking away. Even though I could feel the heat from the sun beating down on me, it was crowded where I sat huddled with my brother and sister. Suddenly we realized we were alone and became scared.

The movement we created from inside our dark space and the sound of our cries stirred the curiosity of a Good Samaritan. I could hear her talking to someone.


“Who is this person? She doesn’t look like the one who left us here.” I heard the Good Samaritan say, “Thank you,” as Julie gently picked up the box and set it down next to her. She looked at us and told us we would be okay now. Her hands turned a wheel that made us slide into each other. When the shifting and swaying stopped, we were lifted and carried into a new place where all sorts of new persons showered us with affection. We could see other creatures like us in rooms surrounded with bars. Even though there was a lot of noise from them, somehow we felt safe.

That same day, we were pampered with a warm and soothing bath, ate a full bowl of kibbles, and were held and petted a lot. Later in the afternoon, a man stopped by to visit. My brother and sister were a bit more reserved while I jumped and yelped hoping he would notice me. He picked us up one at a time and gently petted us, then put us down. He said there were others who also needed him. “Who could need him more than me?” I thought. He stopped by a few more times to see how we were doing and I continued to compete for his attention.

That evening, the same man came back with a lady. She stooped down and let out a big, “Awww.” She picked us up one at a time, but for some reason, she could not resist me. What a surprise. She held me for a long time. I heard her say that she was there to adopt a cat, whatever that meant. Then, she placed me back in my space and walked away with the man. She sounded upset when I heard her say she hated to leave us. The man said my brother and sister were already adopted. I didn’t understand.

Others began to leave also, including all the persons I had met during the day. Where did they go? Suddenly it was quiet and only a dim light could be seen in the distance. I barked for awhile, and communicated with some of my other friends down the way. But eventually I grew tired and decided it was a futile attempt to bring all the persons back. So I retreated to my comfortable cushion and fell asleep.

The next morning I was picked up by one of the persons and carried to a building where a nice man in a white coat was waiting. He looked in my eyes and ears and put a cold round thing on my chest. I thought this was rather peculiar but the worst part was when he pinched me with a long stick. I did not put up a fuss, however, for fear he would send me back to be alone with my brother and sister. But all my good manners were in vain as I was returned to them. Later that morning, the man and lady from the day before reappeared. Without hesitation, she stooped down and swooped me up into her arms. She said, “I hated to leave you last night, but it was important that you be seen by the vet first thing this morning before I could take you home with me.” I didn’t understand a word of what that meant. But who cared. She held me in her arms just like she did last night, and she took me with her to a new place. I was so happy and content. I licked her face all day and slept in her arms a lot. Thank heaven for my new place. I heard it’s called home.

“Is this the animal control officer?” she asked. Then she told “Julie” that she found a box that was moving and something inside was making noise. In no time, Julie came to our rescue.When the flaps were lifted from the box that held us, we looked up in wonder,

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