Ming, our 'garden center' cat

We had stopped at a garden center in Massachusetts, just to purchase some burlap to protect the rhododendrons we had recently planted at our camp in Vermont.

The local rescue organization had a display of a dozen or so cats from their shelter in hopes of finding some good homes that day. I felt sure it would just be a quick look at the sweet cats and kittens, since we had eight cats at home already.

There was one cat especially that caught my eye. She was beautiful, lying quietly and calmly in her cage. She was a Siamese, and brought back my long ago memories of admiring and wanting a Siamese cat when I was a child.

We listened to the story of the rescue folks responding to reports that a homeless Siamese cat had been spotted at the local high school over the past couple of weeks.

It was late fall, and temperatures were getting pretty low at night. Although the cat was obviously hungry, she resisted rescue attempts for a while. Ultimately, hunger won out, and she was rescued.

So I asked to hold her, and the bond and love affair was immediate!

The people at the Westfield Homeless Cat Project couldn't have been more helpful - one of them even agreed to meet us at 11 p.m. the next night, so that we could take the cat with us on our way home to Connecticut.

We were concerned about whether this cat would join our large cat family peacefully. It was agreed that we could try it, and if there was a problem "we'll take her back in a heartbeat".

So our journey with Ming began.

You could tell she was nervous, but rode home stoically, nestling in my lap. For the first couple of days, we let her settle in alone in our bedroom.

Then we introduced one cat, then another ... within a week, everyone was getting along. Ming has become the glue in the fabric of the family.

She has both nine lives and a sixth sense about how to make everyone happy - herself, her humans, and all her cat brothers and sisters!

Reply from Caroline:

Thanks so much for your story about Ming. A garden center's quite an unusual place to find a rescue cat!

I'm so pleased that Ming was able to settle in well with your other cats. Things don't always happen so smoothly, and you were right to give her some space to herself to begin with, and let her settle in gradually.

She's clearly a remarkable cat, and I hope she has a long and happy life with you all!

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