Just An Old Orange Tabby Cat...
Author: Shiloh


There were eight of them,
huddled together,
hiding from the elements in the corner of the basement
of the old abandoned house,
where they had been living,
if you could call it that,
for the last several weeks,
some of them maybe for months.

One day the wreckers came,
and without a thought chased them out,
not caring where they went,
or what became of them.
No one, it seemed, was concerned at all
about the eight lost souls from the basement.

Except one kind person
who decided to get involved,
and whether a worker,
or just someone passing by,
this person was as close to an angel
as these eight would ever know.

This angel gathered them all up
and took them to safety,
knowing only that they were alone, in danger,
and in need of help.

Eight forlorn and bedraggled cats,
once beautiful family pets,
that no one wanted any more,
left to fend for themselves in a heartless and cold city,
braving the elements,
barely living as well as they could,
...but for some the angel was too late.

The people at the shelter took them all in,
worked their magic as much as they were able,
but of the eight only three survived,
the others succumbing to problems
resulting from the way they had been existing.

The shelter found homes for two of the survivors,
but one old boy, with a fang missing,
was not that easy to place,
probably because of his age.
He was somewhere between five and seven years old,
and most folks didn't want a cat that old.

He stayed at the shelter for months,
earning the love and devotion and attention of the workers,
and although his home was a cage, at least it was out of the weather.
But if he wasn't adopted soon,
what would happen to him?
Almost as a last resort, the shelter placed him in a pet shop,
in a section for cats and kittens that were available for adoption,
and he was there for a little while,-
thankfully only a short while.

It was there that I saw him and fell in love with his face,
the graceful way he sat there staring at me,
as if saying that he had been waiting for me,
and that he was ready to go home now.
I have never been stopped dead in my tracks by a cat before,
but this day I stopped as if I had hit a wall.
He was that beautiful.

We were shopping for cat food for our other "owners,"
(as humans don't own cats,- humans are owned by cats).
As usual, I wandered over to see the cats and kittens in the adoption area.
As I walked up the aisle to where they were,
all I saw was this beautiful orange tabby,
with his eyes, his face, his bearing... and I fell in love.
Thankfully, my wife allowed me this precious bit of happiness,
and we arranged to bring him home with us the next day.

We named him Autumn, as it was in the autumn that we found him,
and even if he had been ten or twelve years old,
we would still have brought him home with us.
His fur is shiny now, the coarse feeling gone,
his eyes bright, his voice good,
and his purr like a small motorboat engine...
he has worked his way into the lives of our other cats,
and he has very easily worked his way into our hearts.

He had paid his dues, his life had been rough,
but now there were no more basements or cages,
no more uncertainty,
no more feelings of not belonging;
he now has the run of the house,
warmth, food, love... he is safe,
and we are both blessed.

------- Author's Notes -------

(...if you ever have the chance to adopt a shelter animal,
both Autumn and I recommend it very much.
It's a beautiful and loving thing,
and the unconditional love that you get
from your new family member is priceless.)


Comments on this poem/writing:

Colin ( -- Wednesday, October 21 2009, 08:51 am

I live for my cats .........

I live for my cats. They are my best friends!
Thanks for warming my heart with your beautiful story in a cold world that needs a little more love and charity......
Lynn ( -- Wednesday, October 21 2009, 07:24 pm

Hank -

Thank you for sharing this wonderful poem, and thank you so much for giving Autumn such a loving home! Thank you for all your kind words. It is because of people like you that we are able to continue the work we do. Give Autumn a hug for me!

Lynn D----
Animal Cruelty Investigator
Br---- County Humane Society
Becky ( -- Wednesday, October 21 2009, 09:54 pm

Pound animals

Though I am not a cat person... I always have pound puppies in my home. They always make the best pets. I have had very good luck and lots of love from my puppies.. I encourage anyone to adopt a less than pure bred animal. They are healthy and always very loving..

Congrats on a great poem and a great little friend.
Luke ( -- Thursday, October 22 2009, 05:09 pm

ive yet to meet

now you know how i felt the other day when i literally stopped traffic to save those 2 black kittens from drinking out of the puddle in the middle of rt 12 during rush hour, they kept darting in and out of traffic, they are lucky they survived..i cant wait to meet autumn this sunday :)
Terri ( -- Thursday, October 22 2009, 05:53 pm

Humane Society

I also take in the older cats and dogs that no one wants. There is no better love than you can receive by the discarded elderly strays. Thank you for taking Autumn.
Shirley Badawi ( -- Friday, January 21 2011, 12:04 pm

Lovely words in a cold world

That is is a dedication to those who cannot speak for themselves and for those who have the most love..thank you for loving the small creatures...there is a heaven above.
Shiloh ( -- Saturday, May 19 2012, 09:15 am


Autumn has gone on ahead, and is now waiting for us at Rainbow Bridge. He had to leave us behind, but we will see him one day.
Dreamer ( -- Sunday, May 20 2012, 06:27 am


Sorry to hear of your loss of a beloved friend..
She was lucky to have found a loving home with you while in this life...
barb ( -- Sunday, June 3 2012, 03:23 am

beautiful and touching write

I had a cat named Whisper she passed away a few months ago. I miss her she just wanted love, food and a warm place to sleep,she was 12 years old.
Name:                                           Remember Me

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