I was doing volunteer work for our local cat/dog shelter. At the time, it was still a kill shelter (this was the reason I had to stop volunteering there; that, and the fact my asthma got so bad.) They have since gone to a no-kill facility. I did my routine, cleaning cages from the front office (where the adoptable cats are) to the back (where the newly admitted ones are placed in cages and quarantined.) In one of the bottom cages, on the end, was a calico, making herself as small as possible. When I talked to her she growled. There was another feral in there who was so wild you had to wear gloves, and then be careful. I ask Annie if the cat was safe to touch. She advised me she was, no problem. I opened the door and took out this frightened girl with huge feet. She immediately began to purr!!!
Her cage was the only one, out of all of them, that didn't need cleaning. She hadn't used the litter box, eaten or drank any water since she had been admitted, the night before I got there. I got attached to all the cats, but she tore at my heart more than any other had. The next day, and every day after, I hoped she would be gone when I got there, that someone gave her a forever home. She started slipping under her bedding to completely hide. That is the way I found her one morning, several days later. She had been moved "up" to the adoptable room, but nobody would know there was a cat in the cage and, if they did, her growling would surely put them off. After all, most people want a playful kitten or a grown cat that is outwardly loving. Days went by, she still hid and growled.
Each day I took her out and held her and listened to her purr, hating to put her back. Her cage never did need much cleaning, she seemed to not want to go on living. I couldn't sleep at night and thought of her all the time. I happened to be back in the quarantine room and looked at a calendar on the wall. Mittens, whose name was Arlana, was penciled in on a date, a few days away. I didn't know what this meant, but I had a bad feeling.
Toni ( The Mom)