Rocky and Annabelle’s “Gotcha Day” Tale

September 9, 2011

By Julia Williams
I follow a lot of other pet bloggers, and have read so many touching stories of a beloved pet’s adoption day. I didn’t think to tell my own Gotcha Day tales, primarily because I don’t know the actual date. The three cats I have now were all what I call “accidentally adopted,” i.e. I didn’t set out to find a cat to adopt but rather, they found me. And even then, I had no intention of keeping them. Ha ha! The wily felines had other plans, and worked their magic so completely that turning them away just wasn’t an option. I now realize I don’t need an actual date to celebrate the time these beautiful souls found their way into my home and heart. This is Rocky and Annabelle’s Gotcha Day tale.

It was August of 2003. I was renting an office for my freelance writing business, and the woman in the adjoining suite asked me to water her garden during her vacation. I went to her house and as she showed me her garden, she casually mentioned she had a momma cat and two kittens living in a shed. When I asked who would be taking care of them, she said they were leaving some dry food and water for the mom, and the kittens were still nursing. I still can’t fathom the mindset of asking someone to care for plants but leaving four-week-old kittens and their mom to fend for themselves!

She also said they initially had four kittens but two recently died, and she didn’t know why. I asked her to show me where the cats were, because I intended to look after them whether she thought they needed it or not. I noticed the kittens had fleas, but didn’t realize the gravity of the situation until I came back the next day. These poor kittens were being eaten alive by fleas! I suspected the other kittens had died from flea anemia, and these two looked so weak I worried they’d suffer the same fate. I took them straight to my vet, who agreed with my assessment and said they probably would’ve died in a day or two.

Back at the property, I applied a topical flea product to the mom and gave her some of my own FELIDAE canned food and vitamins. I felt she’d be okay but the kittens were far too frail to be left alone, so they came home with me. I intended to nurse them back to health and find them good homes. (Technically I suppose I stole them, but as it turned out, the woman didn’t really care.) It was touch-and-go for a week; at times I didn’t know if these two precious little babies would make it, but they did. With luck, love, TLC and lots of prayer, they survived and soon began to thrive.

I already had two cats, and when I brought the rescue babies home I told Mickey and Tiger “Don’t be mad, they are not staying.” And I truly meant it. I didn’t want the responsibility of caring for two more cats. I already loved these kittens deeply, but once they were well and old enough, I began trying to find them a forever home. Time after time, prospective adopters bailed. It seemed so strange that every time I’d get close to finding the kittens a home, it fell through. I realized later that these two had already claimed me subconsciously – and vice versa – and they already knew they were “home.” I firmly believe every pet comes into our lives for a reason, at the exact right time. It may not always seem like it, but when you look back you can usually see how everything played out perfectly.

I named the solid black one Rocky because although he was initially very weak from the flea anemia, I knew he had the spirit of a fighter and would survive. Little Orphan Annie inspired me to name the black-and-white kitten Annabelle even though technically she wasn’t an orphan. I adored them both from that first fateful day until now, eight years later. My love for them has only grown and grown, reaching heights I never knew possible.

It took me a long time to forgive the woman whose ignorance had caused the death of Rocky and Annabelle’s siblings and nearly their own. Eventually I did forgive, because one day I read that holding onto anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die, and I realized it was true. Besides, how could I be angry with someone who had given me the most wonderful gift I’ve ever known? The love and happiness these two special earth angels bring me is a large part of the reason I get up every day… and I simply couldn’t imagine a life without them. I did not plan to adopt these rescue babies, but I know without a doubt that Rocky and Annabelle are right where they were always meant to be – with me!

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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  1. sometimes blessings come to us in the most unlikely of ways.

    What was a dire/disgusting and awful act that the woman did, turned into a gift that you could never put a dollar value on.

    Sometimes when something is “meant to be” we don’t understand it at the time but fate has a way of working out to be just as it was supposed to be.

    Rocky and Annabelle were/are truly blessed to have you come into their lives!

  2. Ingrid King says:

    What a beautiful adoption day story – Annabelle and Rocky were lucky that that lady went away when she did, and that she asked you to take care of her plants!

  3. Fin says:

    A great Gotcha day story!

  4. Veronica says:

    Sometimes the animals do find you and its great that you had an open heart and mind to adopt them. Great story.

  5. That’s a great story! I love to hear stories like this. And it’s amazing how they move into your life and then proceed to win your heart. 🙂

  6. Kim says:

    What a wonderful story! They offer you so much love, and you offered them a future. Beautiful. I’m glad you let go of the anger, there’s only so much we can do about the ignorance of others. It would be a shame for it to weigh you down. You have a higher purpose! Happy Unknown Gotcha Day:)

  7. Nadbugs says:

    I love stories like this. Thank you.

  8. Oskar says:

    Happy Gotcha day and a great story to boot!

    Nubbin wiggles,

  9. Thank you for sharing that story – I always enjoy hearing about pets come into our lives, more times than not, destined by fate!

    I love the two tails in the picture – it looks like they are intertwined in a special friendship bond!

  10. Marg says:

    That is a great story. You sound just like me. Just go take care of the kittens etc. We know those kitties are so glad you came to water those plants. Loved hearing that story. Makes me feel better about all the ones that I have here.

  11. BeadedTail says:

    That is a sad but heartwarming story! We also believe that fate intervenes when it comes to adopting animals – even if we don’t realize it at the time! We’re so glad that Rocky and Annabelle were Gotcha’d by you (or vice versa)!

  12. That is a scary story with a happy ending! Lucky Annabelle & Rocky AND lucky you!

  13. So wonderful that Annabelle and Rocky have a loving forever home. They are so fortunate you are in their lives.

    I love, love the photos. Both are gorgeous kitties. And Annabelle as a kitten…is she not the cutest kitten ever!

    Happy Gotcha Day Annabelle and Rocky!

  14. You were meant to find them and keep them!

  15. Simba says:

    Such a very special Gotcha story about Annabelle and Rocky. I am so happy they bring you such great joy.

  16. That is such a good story, Rumblemum is so grateful that you were there to save Rocky and Annabelle.

  17. I loved every word..agree with every sentiment and would have done exactly as you have done.

    And the love you have for them, as many of we pet parents have for our cats and dogs is as pure and unselfish as it gets with the exception of our love for our children of course.

    That the pets love us too is so evident when you give any effort to see it..hear it..feel my sweet girl starting to purr when she shes my head approaching knowing full well she’ll be kissed all over..poor baby. MOL. That’s hearing it..feeling it is as with my girl..when I come back from a weekend, at night she gets into bed and snuggles down straddling my left arm and holds my wrist in her hands and lays her sweet head in the palm of my hand.

  18. I love this story and wholeheartedly agree “I firmly believe every pet comes into our lives for a reason, at the exact right time. It may not always seem like it, but when you look back you can usually see how everything played out perfectly.”

  19. Brian says:

    That is such a wonderful Gotcha Day story, and Gotcha Days are the best thing ever!

  20. Lori L. says:

    That is a sad, but BEAUTIFUL story about Rocky and Annabelle. I Loved it very much!

  21. meowmeowmans says:

    Such a lovely gotcha day tale!

    We sure are glad Rocky and Annabelle were gotcha’d by you, Julia. It sounds like you are all exactly where you’re meant to be. 🙂

  22. I know how this is! Kittens and cats find me wherever I go. Bless you for saving Rocky and Annabelle, I’m sure they love you every bit as much as you love them, and more.

  23. The Monkeys says:

    We are so happy that Annabelle and Rocky were rescued by you! Great Gotcha story!