Oliver’s Tales: introducing Ilene’s newest writing project

Hello! My name is Oliver! I like the sound of my name. It gives me an identity as a unique individual, even if it was the most popular name for cats in 2020, the year I was born. I don’t know where I was born or where I lived for the first nine weeks of my life. I think I had a littermate, but even he or she is but a distant memory. I came into this world with my eyes open when I was brought to the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV). Those are my first memories. Before that is a blur of being cared for but without a feeling of permanence. My eyes were facing forward, watching, waiting, hoping to be adopted into a forever home.

After my surgery and vaccinations and arbitrary naming at the Humane Society, I did not have long to wait. My cage was placed right next to the information counter, as the first cage visitors see when entering the area of pets up for adoption. Being first, was not such an advantage, however, as it was too easy for visitors to walk right by to reach the middle of all those other cages and pet rooms and then the dog area at the back. I would need to do something about that. An older couple arrived just as the Humane Society opened, having decided to consider adopting, but wanting to stay as far away from other people as possible. I understood that we were in the midst of a pandemic, and everyone was skittish about meeting with others. They thought they would adopt an older cat, perhaps one with special needs, but had neglected to consider their own personal gut feelings about bonding with a cat destined to be theirs. I raised up my head to watch them walk by my cage, completely unaware that I was their soulmate tucked inside.

Just then a little girl and her mother showed up. The little girl asked to meet me, and one of the kindly volunteers wrapped me up in a towel, removed me from my cage, and placed me in her arms. She was sweet and careful with me, but we didn’t bond. No chemistry there, and eventually she gave me back to the volunteer who put me back in my cage. She and her mother moved on to look at other kittens.

That was my chance! I meowed just a tiny meow, as I was still pretty tiny myself. The older couple, who were at the counter filling out papers and trying to decide on adoption of a troubled long-haired ginger one-year-old with “litter issues.” I could see they were hesitant and concerned about something related to the house they lived in, but I could not understand. What I did notice, however, is that they were fixated on having a ginger tabby but were hesitant about the long hair. I looked at my paws and my chest below my chin and saw that I was lightly gingered, more tawny, and definitely short-haired.

Whoa! Those are my people! Stop the presses! Look at me, look at me! I’m here, and I choose you to adopt me!

After sitting patiently on a bench near the entrance, within eyesight of my cage, they watched the little girl return me to the volunteer who put me back in my cage. Peeking through the bars, I could just see them at the information counter where all the adoption business is carried out. My future people walked back to the counter, cancelled the other fluffy cat, and asked to meet me. Me!!! Yes!

Agonizingly slowly, the volunteer first went to find the little girl to ask her if it was okay if I could be introduced to other people, and thankfully she agreed. She said she only wanted me to have a good home with people who loved me. Smart girl and very generous.

Woohoo! I am now pacing back and forth in my cage. Will they like me? Will they accept me? Will they take me home with them? So, again, I went through the ritual of the towel and the hug – ugh! I do not like hugs, though I tolerate them when necessary! – and the decision to adopt by the right people was consummated. The rest is history, my history, shared with you, my friends and fans, in the following pages of this book.


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