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Saving Wendy


Wendy adapting to her new home.

We were on our way back home after a two-day business meeting in another state.  We still had about 200 miles to go when we decided to stop at a Wendy’s off I-75 and break for dinner.  I was tired and hungry and sat facing away from the windows when one of my coworkers pointed past my shoulder and said “Look!”  I turned and my heart sank.  A thin cat was slinking along the ledge of a window, rubbing against the concrete dividers, and begging for food.  I sighed and looked away, telling myself that she was likely a stray, probably feral, and I should ignore her because I was 200 miles from home and I already have three cats.

And I keep telling my husband that we cannot have any more cats.  Even in the best possible environment, they grow old, they get sick, they die.  We’ve had to put down four cats in the 20+ years we’ve lived here.  Luisa is almost twenty years old, and I dread the day when she’ll start to fail and we’ll have to make “the decision” yet again.  Junior and Maxine are not so old, but I can’t imagine life without them.

So I turned away, but this cat continued to walk along all three windowed sides of the fast food place, catching my attention.  Finally, I bought a hamburger and my coworker gave me a tray to put it on.  I went outside and couldn’t find her.  I circled the place twice and was ready to give up.  The three of us consulted and I put the tray of cooked meat down around some bushes.  We moved toward our van when a car started and the thin, now obviously young, cat came shooting out from under it.  She followed me to the tray, rubbing against my legs as we went.

I was able to pick her up.  She let me pet her.  She wasn’t feral, not at all.  She was a young cat, perhaps younger than one year old, and all I could think was that she was lost.  I don’t remember what I said next, but whatever it was, it prompted my coworkers to suddenly start brainstorming about how we could get her to my home.

One coworker brought the van around to where the cat was eating; the other went into Wendy’s and got a bunch of paper napkins to line the recycle bin that we had used to transport documents.  There was a department store in the next lot, so we drove there and they insisted on looking for a pet taxi.  Aside from our luggage, we didn’t have a closed container to put her in, and it was too dangerous to let her roam loose in the van.

While my coworkers were in the store, I called my husband, just to warn him.  I’m bringing home a cat.  My coworkers are enablers.  They want me to call her Wendy.

They came back with a pan of cat litter, a large fleece blanket, a bag of kitty treats, a bottle of water, and a double-bowl dish.  As soon as the van started again, she made for the floor.  I tried to get her to settle in the recycle bin but she would have none of it.  Finally, I loosely wrapped the blanket around her and pulled her to my lap.  She laid there, purring, sleeping and stretching for three-and-a-half hours.

So we have a new cat.  Her name is Wendy (although my husband likes to call her Wendyz).  She had been spayed (yea!) but she had not been chipped.  Well, she wasn’t then, but she is now.  To her original caretakers:  I am sorry you lost your cat.  I don’t know of any way to find you since she was found at a fast-food restaurant off a major interstate and she didn’t have a chip.  Your loss is our gain.  She is beautiful and she is sweet and she is safe and we will do everything to give her a long, happy life.

I know The Association’s song is “Windy” but it still kept popping into my head on that long drive home.

Categories: Cats

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

24 replies

  1. I knew when you said she rubbed your leg, you were a goner. You have a kind heart and Wendy has a great home. Oh, I love that song by The Association! Have a fantastic weekend!


  2. What a beautiful story. I would love to be able to do things like that, I love cats, mine is sixteen and I am like you, dreading the day when a decision has to be made. How did your other cats take to her? I don’t think mine would like it at all if I brought another cat home. 🙂


    1. Thanks, Jade. I think she’s settling in. Of course, there has already been a couple of scuffles between Wendy and the others. Hopefully they will sort it out. I can and will keep her isolated from the rest when we are not home or too busy to supervise. But, yes, I believe each of our other three cats would all like to be the *only* kitty 😉


    1. Thank you so much 🙂 When it happens like this — a chance decision to stop at a Wendy’s and the support of two friends — it does feel like karma 🙂


  3. I’m so happy to see that you rescued Wendy. How sad that she was lost but everything happens for a reason. love!! ~ Gina


        1. We have the feeling that she would run outside if given the chance, but we won’t give her the chance 😉 There’s been a fair amount of hissing and posturing, but no blood drawn. I think they are working out the hierarchy. When we’re not home or at night (because we want to sleep), we keep Wendy in a room of her own and Luisa (the old lady) in a room of her own. The other two have the rest of the house. I feel sorry for Luisa because she’s used to spending the night in my room and now she can’t because that’s where we keep Wendy. Sigh. I’m sure eventually everything will sort out. The good news is today Wendy felt curious and confident enough to explore the house and be frisky 🙂 Fun times 😉


          1. My best friend has 3 cats and tried to add a 4th. Sadly it didn’t work. She tried everything for 8 months. When she added #3 to the mix it was fairly easily but now those 3 didn’t like #4. 😦 I hope it works out for you and all the kitties!


    1. Oh, thank you, Mohamed! That is so kind of you to say that 🙂 As I write this, Wendy is nearby, curled up on a little blanket, bathing. We’re very happy to have her with us.


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