In 2002, I rescued Alex from an animal shelter in Multnomah County, OR. I went to the shelter on a whim, and once inside walked by Alex's cage twice. Each time, he reached out to me, yet I left and went home.
At the time, I lived in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath cabin home on Mt. Hood. I loved living there, more than any other place ever. But, I was alone. Next day I went back and adopted Alex, the people that worked at the shelter said that he was their favorite, and would miss him. Alex's coat looks as if a painter threw globs of color at him in a random pattern. Ally and I sometimes joke that he is the same inside his head, as he frequently acts crazy, running randomly around the apartment, and very fast.
When I left to go to Seattle to meet my fiancée in October 2005, I left Alex at a wonderful cat hotel - Cedar Creek Cattery in Sandy, OR. When I returned to pick up Alex, I was asked by the owner if I would take Lily - she and Alex had become friends.
Initially, Lily was extremely timid, shying away from any attempt to get close or to touch her. Very gradually, by receiving gentle love from us, her trust was earned. Now she is just the opposite - seeking to be touched and to be close to us.
The photos on this page, except for the top-left one, were all taken at our home in Washington state, just before Ally had to leave us to take a position in San Jose, CA. After she left, the cats would sit, looking out the kitchen door at the back yard, waiting for her to appear. "Why isn't mama here anymore?" They did this almost every day for a long time.
As the days and weeks went by, and I became more stressed and depressed, it was the cats - especially Lily - that saved me from complete despair and from giving in to my direst thoughts! As I would sit on my couch feeling overwhelmed by sadness, she would press up against me wanting to be touched. The act of stroking her - the contact - calmed me and helped me focus on thinking other thoughts.