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Luke’s Unlikely Adventure

Spoiler alert: Luke was found, safe and sound.

There’s an app called Next Door, which is meant for neighbors to post and communicate about relevant issues in the neighborhood. Someone in our vicinity posted pictures of a cat hanging out in their yard. He had a mixed brown and black coat with white paws, white fur around his neck like a scarf, hungry, and with a loud and distinctive meow.

The post read: “Found kitty. This kitty has been hanging around for a few days. I have witnessed it approaching any and every human being. I was just out in the yard doing leaves and this little kitty is following me all over the place meowing and rubbing up against me. It clearly wants to come inside but I have a terrier dog that wants to kill it. Hoping someone recognizes it it looks healthy. I am located over next to the clock tower on Forest Drive. Please help me to find this kitty cat’s home.”

It was Luke. I knew it the second I saw him in those pictures. Oh, thank goodness, he’s okay! I knew exactly where she was talking about, and it was outside the radius I expected him to wander.

The thread went on with comments and other postings from neighbors. A kind woman who offered to pick him in the meanwhile, which she did. She called the SPCA Animal Shelter to inquire whether anyone has called about him. Even though I filled out forms online, perhaps it was sent to a different office, but they didn’t match Luke to my inquiries. Regardless, because there was no evidence that Luke was up-to-date with vaccinations, especially rabies, state law required she turn him over to the animal shelter, at least for now, which she did.

She shared online their instant connection. She had a cat for 16 years who recently passed away. She lives alone and Luke had instantly made himself at home.

When we spoke, she described finding Luke as an answered prayer. Luke reciprocated, and his meows were engaging conversations to her ears.

A question I wouldn’t have imagined asking when he first disappeared came to mind and I asked, “Would you like to adopt him?”

Sometimes animals choose their owners. I love Luke. He’s my sweet boy, and the relief to know that he was fed, healthy, warm, and safe filled me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I had feared the worst and now that I know he’s safe, a realization passed over me as I spoke to this kind woman.

She needs him more than I do.

She did not hide her joy at the prospect of adopting. Yes, she would happily take him in.

I don’t feel guilty about giving Luke away. I think this is best for him, that the love and attention this kind woman will shower him will be exactly what he wants and needs. I did ask, in the interest of not separating them, whether she would be interested in Leia as well, but she declined. She just wanted Luke.

We met at the animal shelter. I brought Luke’s medical records that showed Luke’s up-to-date vaccinations and she brought her animal carrier. I instantly liked her and she promised to keep in touch with how Luke is doing. He would be a permanent indoor cat, so no more wild neighborhood adventures for him. When he saw me, he meowed a long meeeooowwww. I nuzzled his head. It was a bittersweet goodbye, but in my heart of hearts, I know that he would be much happier in his new home than coming back to ours.

I know that Leia will feel down for a time, and the whole family will continue to shower her with love and affection. I think she is bothered by being indoors. I’ve decided, at least during the winter months, that Leia will remain an indoor cat. She doesn’t like it, but it doesn’t matter. I think she’ll adjust and I’d rather her be cranky and wanting to go out rather than out and potentially lost on a freezing night. She’ll continue to follow us around the house.

Luke’s unlikely adventure has come to a surprising and happy ending. Thank you, God, for keeping him safe and leading him to someone who needs his love.


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