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Bob's Pumpkin Patch: A Fond Farewell & Surprising Return

While Bobette recovers from surgery, her boys have had some interesting adventures. Sadly, I had to separate them from her because she was very agitated with them in the same room. Since she arrived in Connecticut a few months ago, she hasn't been all that thrilled with them being around so it's better they're in their own space.

As you may recall, Teddy Boo was adopted at the very end of last year. He went to a newlywed couple who had a giant, 2 year old Great Dane named, Roxy, who “forgot her training” when she saw little Teddy running around (meaning, Teddy was in danger of to becoming a snack). They felt, and I strongly agreed, that Teddy should be returned to us to be re-homed. You can read more about Teddy's return HERE.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Mikey on the eve of his departure.

Teddy's return ended up being perfect timing for Jakey. You see, Jakey was all alone, miserable and not eating after the suprising and sudden adoption of his brother, Mikey!


Last year I got an application for Mikey from a woman in Massachusetts. It was an amazing application, followed by an amazing Vet reference. I didn't worry too much that it was an out-of-state adoption partly due to the “wonderfulness” of the application, but also because we've had a very good track record with Tweetie and Chester, who also live with equally awesome families in neighboring towns. Maybe there's something in the water in MA that grows great cat parents?

Sadly, a few days later she changed her mind. She and her husband had just gone through a very bad adoption where the rescue group had lied about the cat's age, saying it was a kitten when it was a few years old. The cat's health was also in question. The couple ended up spending a great deal of money to provide care for the cat from the day she arrived. In the end, the cat, now healthy, was returned to the rescue, because she was not what they had very clearly asked for-and even if that had been the only reason, she was not a good fit for their family. They didn't care about the money they spent. They wanted the cat to have the care she needed. If the rescue had been honest, they would have chosen another cat right off the bat. Now the husband was pushing back saying he was too distressed over what happened-of course-he had a bond with the cat, then had to give her up. He did not want to trust another rescue group. I didn't blame them at all and felt responsible for proving to them that all rescues were not like that and assured them that I run a very transparent operation. Lying never works. It always comes back to bite you in the ass. I was very disappointed that the adoption fell through. This would have been a great home.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jakey asks; “Would you please adopt me?”

I got other applications on the Pumpkin patch boys, but none were a good fit. I kept hoping we'd get something in that just seemed right to me, had good Vet references and weren't going to be gone all day. These boys wouldn't do well if left alone for 8 or 10 hours a day. It was a lot to ask, but I decided to wait it out and hope for the best. It's always a risk to wait because the kittens grow so quickly and were already growing out of their super-cute-kittenhood-size.

Just after Bobette had her surgery, I got an email. I recognized the name, but couldn't quite recall who it was. Her note was short. “We're ready to adopt. By any chance, is Mikey still available? Please say YES!” It was Tereza. The woman who had written me over a month before-my dream adopter!

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Mr. Handsome-Jakey posing for the camera.

I said yes, he was here, but with Teddy gone that I really wanted Jakey to go with Mikey if possible. Tereza and her husband already have two other ginger cats and only wanted a third. I almost let the adoption fall through, but I realized that Mikey would not be alone, he'd have other kitty buddies and he's have a great home where he'd have everything he needed. As I considered letting Mikey go on his own, Tereza started to email me photos of her home and her cats-reassuring me Mikey needed to be with her family-that she felt it was “meant to be.” Perhaps this is something that might sound odd to most people, but I had a tickle in my gut that agreed with her assessment. Maybe it WAS meant to be?

I'd have to work out how to manage Jakey being alone. After thinking about it for a few hours, I wrote back and said YES, they could adopt Mikey.

It took a few days to get Mikey back to Dr. Mixon for yet another health certificate (his third), but by that evening, Tereza and her husband, Larry had driven down to meet Mikey. It was clear from Tereza's emails that she couldn't wait to get here.

Tereza works for an International Non-Profit Organization. Their mission is to “engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education in order to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.” Between driving a few hours to my home after a long day at work, she still had to make a call to China at 8pm to talk to them about how they're handling their baby panda program! WHAT?! Oh yes, and she'd probably be traveling to China to, you know…MEET THE BABY PANDAS! (Please stuff me in your suitcase!). Suddenly, I wished I'd combed my hair or put on makeup or even shoes.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The Pumpkin Patch Boyz. Teddy (left), Mikey (Center) and Jakey (right).

Tereza's had the sort of life you read about in books. Since I don't know what's okay to talk to you about and what's not, let's just say that she's been to 193 countries-are there that many? And she's seen the worst in humanity, but somehow still smiles and has a love for helping others—especially animals. Yeah, I have a crush on her! Who wouldn't?

Then out of left field, comes Larry. Larry is Tereza's husband. Larry called me from the car to let me know they were about 30 minutes away. I remembered that the street sign was stolen (again) and when I warned him about it, he replied; “Well, there's no way we did it.”

I was so focused on preparing for their arrival, I didn't even realize he was joking with me. I'd find out a few minutes later that Larry was not at all what I expected.

The couple arrived carrying a HUGE soft sided cat carrier. Inside it was a plush cat bed and a toy. I think if I cut my legs off I would have fit inside there pretty easily and been more than comfortable, if you don't count the gorey part about my legs not being included.

They we're both dressed very nicely. It made me want to hide under a sheet. One of them smelled very good. I'm guessing it was Tereza. She also had a very blingy-sparkly wedding/engagement band set that was dripping with diamonds, but of course I didn't notice.

I showed them around and they met a few of my cats, but I realized they were in a hurry so I brought them upstairs to the foster room. Before they arrived I moved Bobette out. Sam was holding her in our bedroom. Jakey was in the bathroom by himself so they'd only see Mikey when they entered the foster room. We walked into the room and Mikey meowed and I picked him up. I put him into Tereza's arms and he started to purr. I said “here's your cat” and that was pretty much it. Larry said the room smelled like monkey butt, which made me sad that he knows what a monkey's butt smells like. Tereza chastised him, understanding that a closed up, small room with a litter pan in it-even if I scoop it out a few times a day, may not smell the best. Larry had a twinkle in his eye-even if he was telling the truth, he clearly was enjoying himself.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Tereza, Mikey & Larry. And this is what I look for in every adopter's face when they look at their kitten-that GLOW that says; “YES, You're the one for me!”

Normally I don't push ANY cat on an adopter, but this time I didn't even worry about it. We left the monkey-butt room and went downstairs to fill out the paperwork. Jakey started to cry and Tereza started to feel badly. Part of me wished they'd have a change of heart, but this was one thing I would never do-if they want one cat, they get one cat. Once in awhile adopters change their mind, but this time was not one of those times. I reminded Tereza that although it might be difficult on Jakey, that I would get him a great home, too and not to feel badly.

Meanwhile, Larry is telling me he used to write jokes for J.J. Walker, the guy on Good Times, remember that show? But wait…Larry has a PHd in something fancy and important and he worked for Pfizer-where my parents met and fell in love and because of that company, I'm here before you today. Later I found out that Tereza's Mother and my Mother have the exact same birthday. I told her not to tell me anything else because I'm wondering if we are related somewhere, somehow. I really clicked with these awesome people and was very sad they had to leave not long after they arrived.

I packed up Mikey, giving him a kiss before he left and bid the couple a fond farewell. Tereza and Larry will be renaming him, Churchill, or Churchy, since Tereza is veddy British, tut, tut!

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jakey (left) reunited with his brother, Teddy (right)

That night I got an email from Teddy's family stating they wanted to return him. It would mean that Jakey would only have to spend 24 hours alone, then he'd be reunited with his other brother. This was all going to work out just fine. Maybe Tereza was right? It was meant to be all along.

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