When my brother Jason* left for film school, the usual things stayed back home: knick-knacks, books, papers, and photos accumulated over eighteen years of life. Action figures and the occasional stuffed animal sat staring out windows, watching the year change for the first time without measuring it against Jason’s own growth. The dust fell like light snow until the weekly cleaning day when my mother would come into the room and remove it.
When she moved, Jason came back to put his possessions into boxes. Some went with her, some were lost, and some were given away. Today, some are still in storage in my mom’s new place.
At graduation, Jason decided to come back to the Atlanta area. There were some TV and film studios opening there, and Jason thought he might have a chance. His job allowed him to occasionally brush shoulders with people who worked in these places. He was always charming, always mentioned his degree in film editing. He got a few local gigs. He and his girlfriend got a new home, a room in a house that they shared with two friends. They got two more cats, in addition to the one Jason had brought to college with him.
When Jason and his girlfriend moved to a new apartment, some of their possessions were left behind, or lost, or given away. Some are in their friends’ bedrooms in the house they shared, parting gifts that perhaps evoke memories of a time when they were all together there, fighting over who was going to do the dishes, having parties on the weekends.
One day, a friend brought them another cat. The white kitten needed help; it had been raised by an old woman and had social problems. It attacked most men, for example. But Jason's always had a special touch with cats. They always feel immediately at ease with him. This cat was no exception. Jason and his girlfriend knew there was no alternative: either they adopt this cat, or it would be abandoned somewhere. So they took it in.
After a few years, Jason felt like his life wasn’t going anywhere. He’d networked but had never broken into the Atlanta film or TV scene. He’d gotten some small jobs, but nothing that could pay the bills or become long term. Recently, he got a job offer up north. The job and living situation have a lot of potential. But Jason can only bring two of his cats.
It was a heartbreaking decision. One cat has medical problems and has to come with them. The other has been with them since he was a few weeks old, and knows no other home. Our sister said she’d take the third cat. But no one could take the white one.
“He’d be best in a home with a single woman and no other pets,” people advised. Jason agreed and put up an ad online.
Yesterday, Jason found out things have sped up at the new job. Instead of moving this summer, he and his girlfriend will have to leave in a few weeks. Amid the chaos of so many last-minute decisions and plans to make, they haven’t forgotten about their white cat.
How many of us have left things behind when our lives have taken us to new places? How many of us have had to leave family, and friends, and neighbors behind, too? Jason’s family and friends and neighbors will miss him, but they have their own homes and lives. The white cat is different.
Jason’s worried that if he gives the white cat to a shelter, he won’t be adopted. He’ll finish out his life in a cage. If the shelter gets crowded, he might be shipped to another shelter that euthanizes animals. Jason’s contacted veterinary clinics, friends and acquaintances. So far, no one can help. It’s like looking for Cinderella: only a person with a certain profile can take the white cat in.
I’m writing this in the hopes that it will create some kind of magic. The white cat, whose name is Hermes, is two years old, healthy, neutered, has his front paws declawed, and all his vaccinations up-to-date. He doesn’t like men, and may attack them, but he gets along well with women. He may be able to tolerate other animals, but it’s probably best for him to be the only pet in a home. If you know a single woman who is looking for a cat to love and lives near Atlanta or anywhere between there and New York, please feel free to send me a message or let me know in the comments below. If you can, please spread the word to people you know. Please help Hermes find a new, loving family, not to simply be a cat who got left behind.
UPDATE: I am thrilled beyond words to write that Hermes has found a new home! Amazingly, it's with a fellow blogger on the site Our Salon. My brother and I are forever grateful to her and her family for taking in Hermes - and I'm so happy to say that he seems to love his new life and family, and they love him, too! To read more about what happened, feel free to click here.