Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One Year With Olive

By the human

One year ago today my life changed. While visiting my folks back in the States, I stopped in at the local animal shelter "just to look". Opus had been sad and crying out in the night for months after the passing of his brother. I decided that IF I could find the right cat, I might just take one back for him.

meeting Olive for the first time

I spotted "Patches" on the internet long before I packed my bags and boarded the plane to America. The shelter had sent me a list of declawed cats who were currently living at the shelter. Patches was on that list. With Opus on my lap, I looked at the photo of Patches from our home in Italy and couldn't help but wonder if she was "the one".

getting pretty in hopes they might pick me!

At seven years old, Patches had been the product of divorce. She and the dog she had spent her entire life with were taken to the animal shelter by a bitter husband who had (presumably) been left by his wife. His excuse for not keeping the family dog and the tiny calico cat? He coldly stated that they were his wife's animals and he couldn't take care of them.

getting to know each other

The first cat I spotted when I walked into the shelter last February was a tiny calico cat. She gazed at me from the other side of the glass window, her olive colored eyes melting my heart from the moment she looked at me.

looking cute in the window

Two days later, with a new pet carrier, a new pink collar, a fuzzy pink blanket, and paper work complete, I walked out of the animal shelter and "Patches" began her new life. The first question my husband asked was if we could change her name. I called her by name many times those first few days together. When it became clear that she did not know her name, we changed it.

A new name for a new life.

love at first sight!

After spending the reminder of my vacation with me in the States, Olive and I boarded a plane and headed home to Italy. Opus was thrilled to have a cat in our home again, but a nervous Olive was a little more hesitant. After six weeks in the pound, five weeks at my parent's house, three plane rides and a new country, Olive was beyond nervous. For the first week she growled and hissed at the mere sight of Opus. It broke my heart as I could see that Opus wanted nothing more than to play with his new sister.

going home

Slowly by slowly, in quiet ways I noticed that things were starting to change. In time, Olive learned that she could trust her new home and the people (and cat) in it.

home at last ....

It was a year ago today when I first laid eyes on Olive. She looked so sad and lost in the animals shelter. She was a nervous little thing as she was surrounded by strangers, both humans and animals.

It warms my heart to see her curled up with us on the sofa, puring away with a heart full of love. She has been a wonderful addition to our family and we feel so blessed to have her in our lives.



Angel Gracie=^o.o^= said...

Has it been a year already? So sad that Patches was left at the shelter but soooooooooo fortunate for us that we found Olive and she is now living with Opus in Italy. I know she has filled a hole in his heart left by his brother, no replacing him but helping him to not to be so sad all the time. I am happy that they are becoming close and have each other to lean on.

Beth said...

Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing the story of how you adopted Olive. I wonder if importing an animal to another country is a difficult process. Also wondered if maybe sometime you'll share your story about how you as an American ended up moving to Italy.
Thanks again - Beth

Jans Funny Farm said...

What a great story. Never tire of reading it. It was a terrible time when Roscoe died and such a happy time when Olive and Opus became friends.

Amy & the house of cats said...

Oh what a story - it brought tears to my eyes to think of her at the shelter scared and alone and then to think how she found a wonderful new home - it is so good!

Asta said...

Oh Olive
What a happy ending to such a sad time...You found the puwwfect fuwwevew home and the bestest Bwuvvew in the wowld. Opus is a twoo lovebug and I'm so vewy happy seeing the two of you in hawmony snuggling!!1
Congwatulations deez Olive
smoochie kisses

Angel MoMo and Charlotte said...

It really doesn't seem so long ago that we were considering names for the new kitty collectively. One year goes so quickly. It is heart warming to hear the whole story, even more so to see that Opus and Olive have become such good friends and companions.

It's such a good ending for all concerned and we wish all furries could have loving homes like Olive.

The Cat Realm said...

opus - we are so out of it - we didn't even know that you had allowed your human to take over your blog!!!
i hope you'll be back as the author of it soon......
the story of ollie is just wonderful, we are so happy that she found this great new home and that you found a companion again. no one will ever be able to replace roscoe - but it is still so nice to have another companion - and while she'll never replace roscoe she is as sweet and wonderful as he was in her own way.
karl and the cat realm

The Island Cats said...

We're so happy that Olive and you found each other!! What a great story!

Love Meow said...

awww What a beautiful post. I am so touched by your story. thank you for sharing it with us. I am so happy for you and Olive. My kitties are sending a lot of purrs and meows to you :).

Gemini and Ichiro said...

Olive is a very lucky cat! Imagine all she had to go through to find you!

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

We hadta get the tissues owt when we read this because it made us cry. We are SO glad that yoo picked Olive and gave her the lovely forever home she deserves.
We know no cat could ever place beloved Roscoe, but Olive is a beautiful noo addition to yoor fambly in her own right, and we just know she helps Opus fel better.

Happy Gotcha Day Olive. xxxxx

Cory said...

What a wonderful wonderful gotcha story! We are just a little bit leaky here. We will be back to celebrate with you tomorrow.

The Crew said...

What a heartwarming story. Everything worked out for the best for dear Olive & Opus and the entire family.

Efi (la gata naturalista) said...

Good luck had been Olive.Good for you.

World of Animals, Inc said...

Have Gotcha Day Olive!!! We hope that you had a wonderful time celebrating your first year at your forever home. Thanks for sharing the wonderful story. Have a fantastic rest of your week.
World of Animals