“I love cats because I love my home,
And after a while they become its visible soul.”
I’ll never forget the day that I first saw Louie. I was driving through an industrial area in the city, and I happened to notice a huge pile of discarded wooden pallets on the back edge of an old boarded up factory’s parking lot. As I was looking at it trying to decide whether I could use some of this discarded wood for a home project, a furry face suddenly peeked out from a hole in the middle of the pile. And the feline who belonged to this face was staring directly at me.
I stopped my truck, got out, and approached this old pile of pallets on foot. As I got closer to it, the feline face in it quickly vanished from view. It was obvious to me that this cat was now using this old pile of pallets as a shelter from the weather, so I didn’t remove any of them. But I did have several cans of cat food in my truck. I left one of them on the ground next to these pallets, and I soon headed off on my way.
As I drove by a few days later, the furry grey face was there again, and it was once again staring directly at me. Thus began my friendship with this pallet dwelling feline that I soon named ‘Lonely Louie.’
Just about every day now, I would make a food delivery to Lonely Louie’s Pallet Palace, and he would eagerly be awaiting my arrival. After only a few days, he began recognizing the sound of my truck’s engine, and his huge grey head would happily peek out from its hiding place in anticipation of another meal.
And before very long at all, Lonely Louie began hopping out of his shelter and joyously dancing around my feet and purring very loudly every time that I delivered his next meal. I soon decided that he must have been someone’s pet at one time, and that he had been abandoned. And now, I really began feeling sorry for him, as I do for all of America’s throw-away pets.
As winter quickly approached, I brought Louie some old blankets and some straw, and he very happily watched me making his old wooden pallet house a bit warmer for him. I also fastened an old plastic tarp over his roof, to keep out the snow and the rain. And Lonely Louie’s ritual of dancing around my feet and purring joyously while dining continued on my daily visits.
One snowy winter’s day, the unthinkable happened. As I approached the factory parking lot, I immediately saw that the old pile of wooden pallets was gone. Someone had carted it away. And even worse, Lonely Louie was now nowhere to be seen. And now, I immediately regretted the fact that I had not found Louie more suitable living quarters. Although our home was filled with rescued dogs and cats, I also now wished that I had made some room for Louie.
As I stood there in that cold snowy parking lot feeling quite miserable, I eventually looked toward a distant wooded area, and unbelievably, I soon spotted Lonely Louie bounding toward me through the snow. When he reached my side, he very joyously began dancing around my feet and purring very loudly once more.
I knew that I couldn’t leave him out here now without any shelter, and I think that Louie knew it, too. I opened my truck door, and Lonely Louie crawled right in. On the drive home, I swear he had a huge smile on his furry old face.
Louie’s been living in our home for several years now, and he’s no longer lonely, or cold, or hungry. He’s also now everyone’s friend – human, feline, and canine. And we now call him ‘Fat Louie’ since he really loves to eat. He also loves a good belly rub after dinner.
And recently, he decided to befriend three little rescued Chihuahua pups. He now loves hanging out with them, and they with him, both inside our house and out in our backyard. So he’s now also affectionately known as ‘Uncle Louie’ around here.
©2012, Mr. Ed