I was pondering choosing a reader’s cat to highlight World Cat Day, and, by pure luck, reader Leo Glenn sent me a lovely note and picture about Baxter, his rescue cat. So let Baxter stand for all the moggies of the world who are saved by human kindness and given forever homes. Here’s Baxter’s Tale as related by one of his staff:
I enjoy your posts immensely and thought, in honor of World Cat Day, I would submit this photo of my son with our cat Baxter. Baxter showed up one winter night several years ago at our back door, nearly dead, in a critical state of malnutrition, with most of the fur missing from his neck, and his skin badly inflamed. A neighbor told us later that he had discovered the cat lying motionless in a ditch at the side of the road, with a glass jar stuck on his head. Thinking the cat was dead, he removed the jar, whereupon the cat revived and ran away.
We began feeding him, although it took several months for him to trust us enough to let us catch him and take him to our vet. Sadly, the vet informed us that he had FIV and recommended putting him down to prevent him spreading it. Of course he had won our hearts by then, so we nursed him back to health and gradually gained his trust enough for us to bring him inside. I’ve cherished the companionship of many animals over the years (including wild animals–I had a pet crow and a pet deer), but Baxter truly stands out as one of the most remarkable I have ever known. Once he made the commitment to trust us, his trust was utter and complete. My six-year-old daughter can carry him around the house like a rag doll, and he just purrs. We call him the Big, Squishy Bag of Cat because all of his bones seem to disappear when you pick him up. When our 13-year-old dog was in his final hours, Baxter curled up next to him and kept him company right up to the end (they were buddies from the start). His trust only extends to us, however. He is still wary around strangers, and we have to be with him at all times when he is at the vet’s. He has enriched our lives beyond description.