Oct 23, 2013

Sometimes When You Love Something, You Have to Let It Go (A Happy Story!)

Chances are that I'm on a plane right now as you're reading this, with my favorite parking lot kitty in a little red soft-sided carrier, comfortably nestled on a towel with familiar smells and a few toys to keep her company under the seat in front of me.

Chances are I'm breaking the airline rules and petting her while we're in the air, sticking my fingers through the top of the carrier and scratching her pretty head and telling her I love her. If I think I can get away with it, chances are that little red carrier is in my lap.

And the best one: Chances are Sweet Pea is going to have an amazing, loving, wonderfully safe life... because I'm on that plane flying her from South Florida to Pittsburgh, to meet her new forever mommy.

Sweet Pea's glamour shot in the parking lot. 
For those of you who have been reading the Cute for a while, you know how I have been feeding a bunch of parking lot kitties for years at my old office building. I love them like my very own, and Sweet Pea is my favorite kitty from the crew right now. What started out as 14 cats is now down to 3 (not counting Sweet Pea, because she's not out there anymore!), thanks to TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) and finding some of them homes.

Most of them have been too skittish to make really great inside cats, but a few of them have been very special, and Sweet Pea is one of them.

Sweet Pea's name is perfect for her. She is an absolute doll. She is a big chunker of a girl with tiny dainty feet and a tail that sticks straight up in the air, as happy as can be. She prances some when she walks, and loves to be petted (especially between her eyes and on the top of her head) and rub on you. She does the little hop, too, when she rubs. Sometimes she even hops when she's trying to get her head to your hand for a pet.

She's one of the friendliest kitties from the parking lot. I've always said if something happens to her, I'd take her in.

Well, a couple months ago, when I went to go feed the parking lot kitties, I noticed Sweet Pea's tail was straight down and puffy at the base. The next day Kelly saw she had a chunk missing from it gave her antiobitics in her food for the next couple weeks to make it didn't get infected while it healed. She was good as new after that.

Then a couple weeks later, I didn't see her one Saturday when I went to feed them. Sometimes one of them doesn't show for a day, so we don't worry too much. But then on Sunday, I called and called and no Pea. So I immediately went into "look for Pea" mode and started checking bushes, worried something had happened.

After looking for a while, I saw her peeking out at me from some of her usual bushes. I could tell something was wrong from just seeing her face.

And then she started hobbling over to me, not putting any weight on one of her back feet and clearly in pain.

That "something" that I said I'd bring her in if it happened? It looked like it happened. There was absolutely no way she could stay in a parking lot not being able to move around, but I also wasn't really in a position to bring her in my home and I had nothing like a carrier to put her in.

So I called Kelly and she came right over with a big carrier. We scooped Pea up and, since it as a Sunday, she stayed overnight with Kelly and then she took her to the vet in the morning.

Sweet Pea at Kelly's. 
The vet thought maybe a bite or something and gave her 10 days of medicine. We found her a wonderful foster home with Cutehead Leslie W. (neither Kelly or I could keep her long-term at our places) and she was off the streets and safe for now -- and we knew then and there that we needed to find her a forever home. Something was picking on her out there, and she is such a sweet girl that she's make a perfect inside kitty!

I posted on Facebook, looking for a home for my favorite parking lot kitty, but no one really came forward... and then something just clicked in my head. There is a longtime Cute reader named Carol who I for some reason thought would be the perfect match for Pea. Only a couple problems: Carol lives in Pittsburgh, and she said has said she wasn't really sure if she'd have another cat (for a couple reason, none of them being that she didn't want a cat).

This picture of Sweet Pea cracks me up. 
Carol has been a huge supporter and cheerleader of my parking lot kitties from the beginning, and the quiet home she could provide Pea, along with the benefit of not having to work and always being home for her, so she could work with her and gain her trust and make her comfortable, seemed like the perfect fit. She sends me card almost every month with coupons to use to help feed the parking lot kitties and the sweetest notes in them. Two sweet personalities, Carol and Pea... it had to be meant to be!

So I gathered my courage to make my first-ever adoption cold-call (she had no idea it was coming!) and messaged Carol with what I was thinking. And then waited.

Lunchtime for Sweet Pea and some of her buddies at the parking lot.
And a couple days later she responded, saying that she was honored that I asked her and trusted her with Pea -- and that yes, she'd love to be her mommy.

HURRAY! I couldn't have dreamed up a better match.

And so today, Sweet Pea and I are hopping on a plane to Pittsburgh. We leave bright and early in the morning, and get there in the early afternoon. I have a few hours before I catch the next flight home, so I'm grateful for time to take her to Carol's house and help settle her in and make sure she feels comfortable... and say goodbye.

I took yesterday off work and got Pea from Leslie's house to spend the day with her before we took off today. I think it just hit me that I was never going to see her again, and I just wanted to love on her some more and make sure she knows I didn't abandon her. It was one of the best days ever, and I'm so glad I did it.

Sweet Pea and I hanging out on the couch yesterday. Can you believe she was in a parking lot?!
I'm going to miss that chunky girl and deep down I know I wish I could keep her (and I think everyone else knows that too!), but I also know that I am not home enough for her. (Plus, I'm already cat over my pet limit in my condo! Shhhhh!) But I do know that she is going to be loved plenty and she is going to a great place, and that makes me happier than anything.

Sweet Pea is a rare gem of a kitty. Super special. I couldn't have written a better fairy tale ending for her than the one she is getting today.

My new favorite picture of me and Pea. Love. So much love. And trust. 
Have a wonderful life, Sweet Pea! I can't wait to hear how you settle in and get pictures and updates. And I am so happy that I don't have to worry about you in the parking lot anymore. Lucky girl!

FLY WITH ME AND PEA! I'll be posting updates about our trip on Facebook and Twitter! Follow along!

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  1. Your post made me cry a little. I'm so happy for Sweet Pea.

  2. Great job!!!! All of your care and planning has made a happy ending, Thank you to all involved!!! Go Sweet Pea! Congrats on reducing the number of outside kitties! have a safe and fun trip!!

  3. Thanks to all of you. I donate food, blankets, etc...to a great couple who provide shelter to approx. 15 feral cats here in Grand Junction, CO. They, too, have a few favorites. I'm so happy for Sweet Pea, and you are awesome, each of you. Jan

  4. I wish I would have known, you could have dropped on off in Maryland for us. Someone dumped the sweetest kitty, kiki, in our park and she is out there because I have a studio and 8 cats. There is a lady in Maryland in love with her.....maybe we can find a ride (after finding someone in Maryland to check out the home!)

  5. I have followed Sweet Pea's story and I am so happy that it has a happy ending. You've been a wonderful friend to her.

  6. Yes,i've been following Sweet Pea and i'm so happy that she is going to her forever home,but its still bittersweet. Now,if only i could get my face to stop leaking!

  7. That is such a sweet story! I'm so happy for Sweet Pea and her new mommy :) Thank you for everything you do!

  8. I am so glad you followed your hearts intuition and got her out of there! I know she will be an amazing companion for Carol. You will always be her first mama, an that is an honored position. Bless you, Sweet Pea and Carol!

  9. Congrats on Sweet Pea's great fortune. I know losing her is bittersweet, but really ideal. I pray ALL kitties get such a fate!

  10. So happy that Sweet Pea will be in her forever home with a loving Momma!!! You do such great work......I admire you so much. Safe flight!!!!

  11. What an uplifting story! Thank you Dorian and Carol M! Sweet Pea Rules!

  12. you are a saint. like st. francis and st martin. the best of the blessings i have i give to you. tehn and eek send their blessings as well. sweet pea will change lives. she already touched so many. love and a big plate of food and love will be hers now. you've touched my life and i am better for it.
    blessings and love to you from tehn, eek, and me. always walk in beauty ( navajo prayer ) and leave no trail.

  13. Beautiful! Thank you for what you do for the parking lot kitties and all of the cats out there! It takes a village! Safe travels!

  14. Finding homes for the parking lot kitties is really more valuable than taking them yourself. You can't take them all in, but you might be able to place them all so your gift is greater. One day if your circumstances change you might take another cat, but you still can't take them all.

  15. Hooray!! What a wonderful story!! I wish I had happy endings for our parking lot kitties. They are very feral, but I keep bringing them water and food.

    Thank you, Dorian, for saving Sweet Pea! Please be sure to give us updates on how she is doing.

  16. I have a huge lump in my throat. Such a beautiful story with a very happy ending. Bless you for loving her so much as to give her a wonderful new home. I am sure you will miss her. She is a real beauty. But she is going to have to trade in that bikini for a parka in Pittsburgh ;). ChristyB

  17. Janet/TheCatOnMyHeadOctober 23, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    What a great story and such a wonderful happy ending for Pea. She's a beauty and is definitely meant to be pampered and adored as an inside kitty. Concats on finding her the purrfect home. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

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