My rescue animal, Summer, is a beautiful and crazy smart tabby, who is also a serendipitous part of my book journey. Both Summer and I find it very funny that her breed is known as the mackerel tabby. That particular pattern is composed of vertical stripes similar to a tiger. So we’re wondering where the fish factors in😀
I rescued Summer a couple of years ago. The working title of my book at that time was Summer’s End. My tabby, Hobbes, became ill and I had to have him put down. I’m tearing up just thinking about it. My friend and neighbor drove me to the vet. On the way back home I said I believed the best way to honor him was to rescue another cat.
My daughter said I could go onto the Petsmart website and choose the cat I wanted to see. So that evening I went onto the site. But it only made me cry. The next day I got angry with myself and was determined to try again. I went back on the internet and thought I had brought up the Petsmart website. It was actually an animal shelter.
I was scrolling through the pictures of the kittens when one stopped me dead in my tracks. Her name was Summer! I immediately called the shelter to arrange to see her. The shelter attendant said I might want to choose another cat. She said Summer was eleven weeks old and that she’d been there for six weeks, unheard of for a kitten. She said she would not bond with anyone. She would bare her claws and jump away if anyone tried to hold her. I told the attendant I would take my chances, if she wouldn’t bond with me, that would be that.
The moment they put her up to my shoulder, she nuzzled my neck and gave the loudest purr I’ve ever heard. She’d found her forever home.
What makes this story even more remarkable is that Hobbes was also a remarkably smart cat. He was a fetcher (not that unusual, I know) but he also knew the word brush. I’d ask where his brush was and he’d jump up to where I kept it and nudge it with his head. He loved playing with a long string I kept in my nightstand drawer. I’d ask him where his string was and he would scratch at that drawer.
I swear I think Summer is Hobbes reincarnated! Summer does those exact same things. I have absolutely no experience training animals. Summer also rolls over on command. She loves going out onto my walled patio and when I ask if she wants to go outside she comes running! She does many other tricks and I have videos of them. My friends keep saying I should put her on Tik Tok. If only I had the time.
Story and images by Gloria Galloway, author of Amber’s Way…..NOTE: Gloria states the image captures Summer’s “I’m plotting something” pose!