The sun rose, birds awakened, and the morning dew spread its fresh aroma over the
spring green grass. Rufus opened his eyes slowly, wanted so very much to fall back asleep regardless of his uncomfortable bed.
The family of Wren’s who lived in the Ash tree had allowed Rufus to sleep in the tree granted he didn’t try to eat any of the birds, ‘it would only be for tonight’ he pleaded, shaking from the cold heavy rainfall they had not so long ago. ‘Okay Mister
Rufus, but no funny business you got that? Sleep ‘ere til the sun rises’ Rufus nodded his head agreeing and flopped down on the thickest branch he could balance on. It was not like the bed he once remembered, warm soft and fuzzy but it would do, he needed as much energy as possible as tomorrow would be his biggest hunt for food.
Once his eyes adjusted to the light, he was greeted by two baby birds, staring oddly. He
always got funny looks, he didn’t know why – He assumed that he looked just like the other cats, a little thin maybe but he thought he still looked as handsome as the rest. Though Rufus often avoided his reflection, he didn’t like the reminder of what he had become – A stray.
‘Ya better get going now cat, I got a food run to be getting on with.‘ The father shooed
away his little ones to their mother and nudged Rufus with his tiny wing. Rufus didn’t want to go, he didn’t want to face the world again and search for food with the other cats, but to survive these streets he didn’t have time to slack and relax, he must always be on high alert. But his feet were growing more tired and sore, his body was losing strength – When will it end? He thought.
Rufus acknowledged the bird and climbed down the tree, not looking back. He wandered across the slightly damp grass which felt refreshing and cool on his dry sore paw pads and scurried towards the road. It was still early, which meant fewer cars were around and he could gracefully plod along but he took no chances. He ran across the road and cautiously stepped on the footpath, sniffing his way along to direct him. Food was near, he could smell it.
Rufus quickened his step and found himself at the back of a takeaway, a place he
recognised. ‘I must be going around in circles every day.’ He spoke to himself, confused that he was here once again after he had spent the previous day travelling around, looking for better shelter and more food. Shaking off his thoughts, he walked around the back, it was dark and dirty but a place his fellow strays would often sleep so they could be the first on location when food appeared.
As he slowed his walk towards the large rubbish bins, he had already spotted a few of his friends. A big fat grey elderly cat named Arthur was already directing the others on where to search.
He spotted Rufus ‘Hello Rufus, back again are we? You look famished today.’ Arthur
nuzzled Rufus under his chin, something Arthur liked to do with his friends, he loved everyone he met on the streets even the feral who were not so welcoming.
The street cats saw him as a grandfather figure, no matter what Arthur always looked out for everyone. He wasn’t kicked out of his home, or born on the streets, Arthur had grown old and quite forgetful, he was your regular outdoor cat he would come out and explore – Until one day he forgot his way home.
Ever since he has lived on the streets and every day he feeds himself scraps and spends his time sitting in the park trying to remember his way back home, hoping whoever walks by will maybe even remember him or know where he might live.
‘Yes, I am very hungry today I didn’t eat much yesterday the rain had made it all soggy’
Rufus said, hoping to get a little bit of sympathy.
‘Well I have just the thing for you Rufus, come eat with us. I will help you find a place to
sleep, I would let you stay with me, but I can’t seem to remember where it was.’ Arthur turned, flicking his bushy tail and headed towards the others.
Rufus followed on and jumped into the
huge metal bins rummaging around until he found his breakfast. ‘Fish! I have fish!’ Rufus excitedly shouted, scoffing it down as quickly as possible. He rummaged some more and found himself to be in luck, more fish. He was happy, there was plenty of it to fill him up for the rest of the day.
As the others scurried away after eating, Arthur escorted Rufus to the park which was
just over the brick wall of the takeaway. The park was small with grass tall and overgrown with a yellow tinge to it, littered with plastic and all kinds of stuff that shouldn’t be in a park. He lay himself down by a bush and Arthur lay next to him. They were out of sight of possible disturbances as they both wanted to nap off their rather large breakfast.
‘Do you think you will ever go home Arthur’ Rufus asks, his eyes half closed. Arthur
mumbled, trying to stay awake to answer.
‘Yes, soon Rufus. I’ll be home soon, before the cold season.’ And within minutes, they
both fell asleep.
A few hours must have passed, and Rufus had woken at the sound of children shouting –
He opened his eyes quickly on alert and saw a group of them coming towards him and Arthur.He shot up nudging him with his head to wake him up.
‘Arthur wake up, we have to go now.’ Arthur mumbled and slowly opened his eyes and
yawned, he was in no rush to move. As Rufus continued to nudge him, he heard a child speak.’Look at that ugly black cat, it’s got a bit of its ear off. Let’s kick it.’
Startled and in a panic, Rufus jumped on Arthur to wake him.
‘Arthur get up now we have to run away.’ Arthur shot up both looking at the children.
One had a large stick, and another had a handful of bricks, the others just watched, whispering to each other.
‘What do we do? I think they want to hurt us’ Rufus’s heart raced. As he waited for an
answer, one of the children raised his hand and threw a small rock, hitting him in the face.
‘Run left. NOW!’ Arthur shouted
They both darted left, running and not looking back, hearing the shouting of children and the pounds of bricks hitting the floor missing them every time. They hurdled over the brick wall, leading them back to bins of the takeaway. For a few more moments, Rufus heard the kids trying to climb the wall, but they eventually gave up. As he calmed himself down, he looked for Arthur, but he was nowhere to be seen. He searched the bins and around the building, but Arthur wasn’t there. Maybe he ran a different way he thought. Rufus continued to look for him but stopped as the black clouds in the sky draped a darkness over the streets. It was going to rain, and Rufus needed somewhere to hide. He didn’t want to be wet again like yesterday.
The rain poured down quicker than he had hoped, which left Rufus no time to find a
place to keep dry other than a large bush near an old building boarded up. He wondered if he could find a way in. ‘I will look once the rain stops’ He muttered, shivering from the rain that managed to soak him.
What seemed like a long time later, Rufus emerged from the bush and decided to
investigate the building a little bit more. But as he was about to, he heard voices the other way.
He turned around and saw a group of people standing in the road by a car, he cautiously
approached and noticed something in the road. Another car stopped, and a lady got out, holding a warm snuggly blanket. The others moved out of the way, and Rufus saw that his friend was lying flat on the road – Lifeless.
Arthur had been killed, a very good friend who was caring old soul and wanted nothing
more to go home was now dead.
‘Meow’ Rufus cried out, gaining the people’s attention. As they all turned to face him, a
lady reached her hand out for him to sniff. Rufus took one look at it and darted off running, towards the old building. He wasn’t ready for people.
Upset and feeling alone, he managed to get inside of the building, treading carefully over
sharp bits of glass. He found an old white sheet that was dirty but looked comfy enough for him to sleep on. What am I going to do now? He cried, shivering. ‘I have no food no water no home and I am ugly, nobody will want to save me.’ Rufus curled himself up into a ball, feeling tired and drained from the life he lived. Was this it, will he ever be loved?
Rufus had spent all night fast asleep, his stomach was growling, and his body still felt
tired. In his mind, he wanted to give up and lay here, perhaps he would get to see Arthur again this way. But a noise snapped him out of it, a noise he hadn’t heard in a long time. It was the sound of a bag being rustled. He couldn’t quite remember what it was, but he knew it meant something good. He got up, stretched and ran towards the small gap he climbed through at the back of the building. This time he heard a different noise, it was a person. ‘I hope it’s not those horrible children.’ He thought. Rufus continued, and his eyes blinked at the sunlight that was beaming, it was a woman. She was holding a box.
‘Hello darling, aren’t you handsome, come here sweetie’ The lady lowered herself to the
same level as Rufus and she put out her hand, Rufus approached cautiously with his tail down and sniffed. He could smell chicken or something tasty. She shook the bag again, this time Rufus’s ears pricked up and he was fully alert, and one by one small squares of little treats dropped to the floor. Rufus couldn’t resist and scoffed them down, ‘mmmm, so good’ He thought.
Once he had finished eating the treats, he looked at the woman carefully, she didn’t seem that scary and he approached her again butting her hand as she offered it him. As he relished in the tickles and scratches behind his ears, he was suddenly swooped up into a snuggly blanket and carried into a blue and white plastic box. Scared and unsure what was going on, he clawed at the bar stopping him from getting out and called out to be freed. What is this? Why am I locked away? He asked himself. A few moments later, the car engine started, and Rufus felt himself moving, feeling a little bit sick, he relaxed into the blanket praying he was not going anywhere bad.
Rufus was taken into a room with bright lights and a man touched him all over, picking
him up and placing him on a cold plate. Sharp things dug inside of him, and he remained calm. The lady who picked him up tickled his head as the man prodded, checking everything was okay. ‘He’s not chipped, he seems fine, a few scars around his face but we will send off these blood tests and check for any kind of diseases.’ The man’s deep voice vibrated in Rufus’s ears. A sigh of relief, the lady swooped him up and he was placed once again in the box he was travelling in. Rufus snuggled into the blanket once again, grasping onto hope that he wasn’t going back on to the streets.
Months had gone by since Rufus had been taken in by a local cat charity, and he had
made many friends during his time. Some who came and left so quickly, taken to there forever loving home. He often thought back to Arthur and if things had been different that day maybe he would have joined him living here in warmth, with food fit for a king. But Rufus was happy, he was safe, and he didn’t have to face the cruel harsh streets anymore, though his nightmares still haunted him – He would often wake up with a fright, but he settled himself back down after being reminded of his comforting surroundings. The only thing that was not fully making him happy was that all his friends were going to new homes and he wasn’t. One day a lady came to visit,
she had specifically asked to see Rufus. As soon as he heard his name, he bolted into the main room. He looked at this strange lady with messy hair, who proceeded to approached him at his level, offered her hand. Rufus licked and nuzzled into it, occasionally nipping her finger. ‘Don’t mind him biting, they are just his love bites.’ Said the lady who was the one to find Rufus. He seemed to like this lady, and she stayed with him a while, stroking his ears and tickling his chin. ‘YES YES, it’s my time to go. She really loves me.’ Rufus thought to himself.
As he got even more and more excited, it was time the lady went. She said her goodbye’s and Rufus stood wondering what was going on. Am I not going to my new home? He said to another cat, half asleep in his dome-shaped bed. The door was shut, and he ran to look out of the window- She was there, looking back in. ‘Hello, it’s me, come back’ He mewed, and the lady waved walking away.
As Rufus stared at the window, he saw his reflection. A tattered looking black cat, with
scars and a slit in one of his ears.
‘I am ugly, that’s why nobody wants me. Why would anyone want a cat like me?’ Rufus
walked away to the back of the room where he liked to sleep and lay down. He started to cry, and eventually, he cried himself to sleep. Upset, hurt and alone, Rufus knew that he would never find his forever home. Even though he was grateful for the place he lived at now and the woman bringing him here – He would never have his own family.
Little did Rufus know, that the lady that came to visit him today would be back after all,
and she would change his life forever and fill it with so much love.
The real story
As you guys know, I adopted Rufus a few months ago from a local cat rescue. This story is based on me rescuing him and what I imagined he went through living on the streets – He had been with the rescue for two months before I adopted him, and they didn’t know why nobody wanted him. They pleaded for him to have a new home and look past his scarred self and damaged self. I didn’t plan on adopting him, my mum was looking to adopt and I searching the page for her and came across Rufus. I wanted him, but I also had my other kitty, King Roman.
Upon the day of my mum adopting her cat Billy, i went to see Rufus in his section of the rescue. Two people were already in the room and they were visiting another cat who they were going to adopt. I spent some time with Rufus and he just wanted love, attention and cuddles. He bite me, but as the story said they are little love bites.
I had to go, and as i left and shut the door Rufus ran from the other room and looked up at me through the window – It broke my heart. I knew from that moment that he was meant to come into my life. I couldn’t, unfortunately, have him that day and as my mum had arranged to pick her Billy boy after the weekend was up it gave me time to prep the spare room as i would have to introduce him to Roman.
Monday came and i picked him up.
I spent a lot of time in the spare bedroom with him and he wanted constant attention, i was told at the rescue they had no idea how long he had been on the streets which showed on his paw pads, face, and ear. They also said he needed a lot of patience because he clearly hasn’t been with a loving family for a long time. He wouldn’t leave me alone. He would often make strange noises in his sleep and wake up staring around, look at me and go back to sleep. This broke my heart, even more, knowing he was having nightmares.
He is such a handsome boy and the fact that people didn’t want to adopt him because he wasn’t a new shiny kitty hurt me even more.
The next task was to get him to be friends with roman. Can you tell me how you think it went from the next pictures?
Rufus is still very needy and sometimes i think he didn’t quite get how to be with a cat properly, even though he shared with many others at the rescue. My Roman is a stubborn soul, and eventually gave in and became his friend – He helps him groom, and has even shown Rufus how to groom better. Rufus at first tried to groom back but Roman didn’t allow it, now however its a mutual thing, but Rufus is still VERY needy with Roman and me. Which i don’t mind, i am happy to give him all my love.
It makes me kind of cry to write this and it did when i wrote the story. I am so passionate about animals and the thought of any animal being on the streets, cold, hungry, not loved breaks me. I hope this shows that adopting is not only the right way but you are supporting your local animal rescues who do the upmost best they can with the funding they get and rely on us! I also hope the gives you some idea what an animal might go through, and that we should take it more seriously and support and help whenever we can.
Thank you so much for reading my story! xo