Column: Pet Rescue, Mimi and me

Jason-Column2When I started with this company as the Mamaroneck beat reporter in September 2012, I don’t think there was any predicting it would lead directly to the adoption of a three-legged cat, but it has.

There are a few features that appear in your newspaper every week. One of them is a quarter page dedicated to Larchmont Pet Rescue, which features a dog or cat in need of a forever home. As the deputy editor of your newspaper, one of my many duties is to prepare the Pet Rescue feature each week. In doing so, I’ve often wondered how many, if any, of the animals we feature have gone on to be adopted because someone saw them in our paper.

I now know of at least one.

Two weeks ago, the Pet Rescue animal was a cat called Mimi. Looking back, I knew I wanted to adopt her immediately.

Mimi is gray. I’ve always wanted a gray cat.

Mimi is female. My wife and I wanted another female cat for reasons to do with a specific health issue associated with male cats I will spare you.

Mimi was described as the sort of cat who will meet you at the door. If you’re a cat person, you know that’s pretty rare. We have a cat like that now, a second would be that much more adorable.

Our other cats, that’s the other thing. We have a 17-year-old male called Teddy and a 5-year-old female called Dolley. Dolley loves Teddy. Teddy couldn’t really be bothered with Dolley, or much else, at his age.

What if Mimi, who I learned is two years old, could be a companion, and a distraction, for Dolley, allowing Teddy to enjoy his retirement until, you know, it’s time?

Yes, Mimi seemed like she might be just the third cat for us. And look at this; it says here she has three legs.

Hold on, though; I glossed over that last bit the first time I read about Mimi. Three legs. Huh.

I think I considered the issue for fewer than five seconds before I went back to showing Mimi’s darling face to anyone in the office who could stand me. The listing said Mimi runs, plays and climbs steps—which we don’t even have in our apartment—just fine, so why even factor the loss of her leg into the equation when everything else about her seems so perfect for us?

If anything, she’d be a little inspirational reminder to me every day, I thought.

Yes, three legs; let’s do this.

Still though, I know myself. If it looked like Mimi labors to walk or has trouble hopping up on the couch to spend time with us, it would bother me. Also, what exactly does a three-legged cat look like when it walks?

There’s a YouTube for that.

Turns out, when a cat is missing one of its front legs, as Mimi is, there’s not a lot of difference in its gait. Like I said above, it’s a good lesson to us, if anything. Mimi is missing her right front leg, but she just gets on with it.

I think, in general, we should all just get on with it. Don’t you?

So, by now, you know where this is headed. We adopted Mimi yesterday, Dec. 29, and she’s in our bedroom getting acclimated as I write this to you in my home office. The listing from Larchmont Pet Rescue was correct; Mimi is a calm, friendly, lovey cat who I think is going to be perfect for our little family. I’m looking forward to getting to know her and watch her get on with it for years to come.

So, there are two points I want to make in closing, but first, let’s hear it for Larchmont Pet Rescue. The people I dealt with in the organization were professional, thorough and utterly dedicated to the animals in their charge. I was impressed with them, as well as with Mimi’s fosterer, who took the time to open her home and her heart to a cat who had some physical issues that, like Mimi herself, could have easily fallen through the cracks.

And that brings me to one of my last two points. I’ve now learned the rest of Mimi’s story. She was in a store somewhere, expected to act as a mouser, but her right front paw was always a problem for her. The storeowner gave her to the Westchester Human Society in Harrison and, when that branch closed, Larchmont Pet Rescue took Mimi on. It was only then that her fosterer, a vet tech in Armonk, and veterinarians worked to resolve the issue with her foot. In October, they agreed amputation of Mimi’s leg was the best course of action. Having seen the x-rays, I’d have to agree. Mimi’s right front paw was pretty mangled. Was she born that way? Was she injured as a kitten? Mimi will never be able to tell us, but, the way I see it, she now has two new leases on life and my wife and I are happy to be part of it.

And now my last point, which was also my first. My decision to take the job as Mamaroneck beat reporter, and really every professional decision I’ve made since, has led Mimi to our home and there was no predicting that at all. You’ve read what anyone knows about her story and, if you’ve kept up with this column you know a bit of mine. That’s a lot of things that needed to break just so for Mimi and I to end up in each other’s lives. I think it’s going to benefit both of us.

And that’s the thing, folks; you never know what’s going to come from the decisions we make and the risks we take. Not everything in life works out, of course, but sometimes the paths we choose lead to little opportunities for joy, like Mimi. That’s what can happen when you get on with it.

Like she does.


Reach Jason at jason@hometwn.com and 

follow him Twitter @jasonchirevas