Jada's journey

By Barbara F. Dyer | Oct 31, 2019
Courtesy of: Barbara Dyer Pictured is Jada in Barbara's lap.

This is not my usual “Looking Back” story that talks about Camden's history, but instead is part of what I call my new and current history.

Jada is a nine-year old senior cat who I have as a new member of my household. The many visitors to the animal shelter always passed her by for a cute kitten, while she remained in her cage hoping someone would give her a home. She was so lovable, but she has arthritis, can't hear or smell, and walks with a limp. So do many seniors, but now, I am her foster mother. She has her good qualities: she doesn't scratch the furniture, or jump up where you wish cats would not. She has “been there and done that.” She is content to eat, sleep, and be held and patted. She purrs loudly, as you pat her.

Shadow was a previous member of my family and I was fortunate enough to have him for 15 years. His favorite game was rushing to the door, when it opened, to get out, although he was an indoor cat. Then I would have to try to catch him. I don't believe he would have gone far, as he had life so good, but one never knows. I was really happy when Jada did not go for any door. That made life easy for me.

Then one sunny morning, I opened the front door a crack to put the mail in the mailbox; there was a black flash going down the walkway, and me after her in my bare feet. For a cat with arthritis so bad that she limps along, slowly, around the house, she was speeding as if she was a race car. I dashed back in the house to put on shoes and called my relative next door. The poor cat would not be able to defend herself and I was heartbroken. At that point she was not going to be caught and went out of sight through the woods and bushes. Guess she just wanted to see the outdoor world, as her cousins (not furry ones) get to go to Disney World sometimes. Jada, the black beauty, with the “limpid green eyes,” was gone and she had never been out before. I was devastated, as there are many cat predators around here: foxes, dogs, a wild stray cat, raccoons, coyotes, and fishers, which are members of the weasel family and pose a threat to cats. I spent two hours calling a deaf cat before, in my desperation, I called the police department and fire department, although I knew that catching cats was not their job. They were extremely nice.


I opened both front and storm doors while I went about getting cat food that I would then put out, hoping she would come back to it, although she could not smell. After this long and involved process, she came flying though those doors. Quickly I shut them and picked her up. She was growling, hissing and bit me. She was traumatized. I let her go and she went under the sofa for an hour. When she came out, she was her sweet little self again and wanted to be held and patted, so she could purr. What a blessing to have her back safe and sound. Now I have to watch the doors, because I am not sure if she would try it again.

She is fascinated by the large front window with a view and acted like she never had seen such a place. With five bird feeders, there is plenty of action. Always cardinals, blue jays, sparrows, gold finches, etc. Then come the crows and mourning doves looking for food on the ground. The chipmunk comes out of his hole in the lawn searching for food to store for winter by way of his tunnel. Several grey squirrels do acrobats trying to get seeds from the feeders. One feeder is actually “squirrel proof” but they try, as Jada tries to figure out what all those creatures are. Their activities are slightly more interesting than the television.

My “senior cat” insists on me holding her for hours, and it is way more pleasure than cleaning, cooking or writing on the computer. She is very contented with her freedom in my home, and the feeling is mutual.

Because she can not hear, she does not mind what I call her. Some times, out of habit, I call her Shadow, Nada or Jada. I am thinking of renaming her Nefe (short for Nefertiti, queen of Egypt) because it seems to suit this little cat who takes my waiting on her for granted.

If you want joy, there are about 200 more cats at Pope Humane Society (and quite a number of dogs, also), just waiting for a loving home. Pope Humane Society is a no-kill shelter located in Thomaston. It is a beautiful place, but a “forever home” is even better for these special animals.

Friends forever.


Barbara F. Dyer has lived all her life, so far, in Camden and is the official town historian.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Ananur Forma | Oct 31, 2019 19:45

Jada is beautiful... and I'm glad for her that she has  found a loving home with you. I too, only pick elders.

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