Feb 162021

Today would have been Zoey’s 13th Gotcha Day.

She was a stray that showed up one day at my husband’s business…a garden center.  No one knew where she came from. Perhaps she got lost from her home…maybe she was dumped there. But she was scared and alone. I remember my husband mentioning to me that there was a young cat hanging around the store. I didn’t think much about it at the time thinking the cat would probably move on.

But she didn’t leave. She was seen dumpster diving searching for something to eat, so the employees would throw her their leftovers. One of her favorites was Boston Market chicken. She was there for several months…and when winter came, they built her a shelter where she could get out of the cold and snow. But then it got bitterly cold. I remember there were sub-zero temps that February. And again my husband mentioned to me that the cat was still hanging around. At that point, I told him we had to try trapping her and get her inside someplace warm.

Zoey in her hidey hole
One of the first photos I took of Zoey

I called several rescue groups in our area asking if they could help trap her and perhaps provide her with a foster home. But no one had room. One group, PAWS of Michigan, offered me a live trap to use.

It was a sunny but cold and very snowy Saturday morning when I set out the trap hoping to lure her in. I was warned that it might take several days to trap her. It only took 10 minutes. Zoey…though she was nameless at the time…stepped into that trap to get the food inside, and with the bang of the door shutting, her life…and mine…were changed forever.

Initially we kept her in a large dog crate at the garden center until we could figure out what we were going to do with her. She was not happy being in that cage and lunged at anyone who came near. We knew getting her fixed was the first step. So I called around to some local veterinary clinics and found one willing to take a somewhat wild cat. The vet estimated her age around 9 or 10 months. After getting her fixed, we decided to bring her home.

Honestly, I wasn’t keen on taking in another cat. I already had Wally and Ernie who got along well and I didn’t want to rock the boat. But with no foster home available, the only other place for her was a shelter. Given her fearfulness and aggressive behavior, she would have never survived there. We kept her in the basement at first (it was finished and very nice), and then later moved her to a bedroom to start the introduction process.

Cat sitting in window
She loved sitting in the window

Introducing Zoey to Wally and Ernie did not go well. She was afraid of them and lashed out. I tried everything…I read many articles and books about introducing cats to one another, consulted two different animal behaviorists. But nothing worked. I don’t know…maybe I tried too hard. I really wanted it to work out. But I’ve learned that some cats just don’t get along. Zoey and Wally were two of those cats.

Zoey in her hammick
Lounging in her “hammick”

Eventually we fell into a comfortable routine. Zoey stayed in her room most of the time. I think she liked having her own space. She had a comfortable bed to sleep on, a big window to watch the goings-on in the neighborhood, and lots of toys. She felt safe and secure there.

Zoey remained a shy and fearful cat. She hid from people…even me and my husband sometimes. She would still occasionally hiss at me. I’m sure it was just her way of letting us know she was in charge but, I admit, it was frustrating. She didn’t make it easy to love her. And while she wasn’t the friendliest cat, she certainly was a beauty. Oh those green eyes of hers!

torbie cat up close
My green eyed girl

She may not have loved me at first, but I think the two of us did come to an understanding. She knew I was the one taking care of her. “The lady with the yellow hair” as she referred to me. And over the past few years, when she developed health issues which required more care, I saw her mellowing. And our bond grew.

Zoey in her hidey hole
One of the last photos I took of Zoey…in her favorite hidey hole

I knew that with Zoey’s health issues, her time with me was unpredictable, but losing her was so unexpected. I miss her sassiness…but I also miss how sweet she could be…greeting me at the door each morning when I brought her breakfast, head butting me nonstop as I brushed her, sitting together as we looked out the window watching the birds and squirrels. It’s funny how a cat I really didn’t want at first could worm her way into my heart and make me love her so much. I miss you, Baby Girl.


  42 Responses to “My Green Eyed Girl”

  1. Happy Gotcha Day at The Bridge, Angel Zoey. You gave her a good and loving home with everything she wanted.

  2. What a great story about sweet Zoey.
    Given her nervousness at first, she was lucky to have found your family.
    You gave her space, care and love and the ability to thrive and I think she loved you for that.
    She was a very pretty girl and we can understand how much you miss her <3
    Purrs, Julie and the mum

  3. Zoey was much like our Angel Precious. Zoey was so lucky to have found the love she really wanted and to have it there when she needed it the most. Hugs from all of us.

  4. I always was struck by how much Zoey and my angel Annie looked alike. Zoey was lucky to have found an understanding, loving home, on in which she was accepted just as she was. Sending you lots of hugs and Light as you remember your precious girl. ♥


  5. I miss her. Very much. A beautiful tiny girl. I am so glad to see more about her here today as I said..I miss seeing her on her day, Friday’s.

  6. Happy Gotchaversary in heaven, Angel Zoey!
    You were in my mind, when we brought Sweetie in last year. I was prepared to have a wildcat on our hands.
    Although you aren’t, so much, you still aren’t getting along with Da Boyz, so you have your own apartment, and it seems to suit everyone.
    Hugs and purrs to your humans on this remembrance day.

  7. Dear Lady with the Yellow Hair…Zoey’s beautiful green eyes were mesmerizing…no matter how many times I saw her those eyes always made me say WOW. Purrfect compliment to her gorgeous furs too. What a beautiful post in Zoey’s honor.
    Happy 13th gotcha day over the rainbow. I have a hunch you and Wally have made friends now.

    Za Diva of da house
    Oh so beloved and lucky
    Eyes of green
    Yellow haired lady’s soulmate

    Hugs to all as you remember her Sassiness today.

  8. What a sweet tribute. Happy Gotcha Day to Angel Zoey. I’m glad she had a loving home.

  9. What a wonderful tribute to a kitty that needed you and much as you needed her. She taught you much.

    Have a fabulous day. Big healing hug. ♥

  10. What a sweet and thoughtful tribute to your Baby Girl. She always looked so calm and contented in her photos with those big, welcoming green eyes, that it is hard to believe she never really was a cuddly cat. May she Rest In Peace until you meet again. XOCK, angel Lily Olivia, angel Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo, Cooper Murphy, Sawyer & Kizmet and our mom, Janet

  11. That is such a beautiful tribute to Zoey. I never knew her story before. I am glad you chose to give her a forever home filled with love. XO

  12. Lovely Zoey and you’re wonderful caring people to give her,her forever home.x

  13. Zoey’s story is wonderful. I have to tell you, she was so much like Nellie Belle! About the same age when found, semi-wild, horrible temperament that eventually mellowed. Especially the sassiness, the greeting at the door, the cat I didn’t want..who became such am important part of my life. You are caring, sensitive, loyal, kind, funny, and more than anything true to your heart. This came through in all your posts.I know she lives on in your heart. I send you virtual hugs and strength and THANK YOU for sharing Zoey with us! Barb

  14. I don’t think I ever realized Zoey’s full story. What a story it was too. They come into our hearts and never leave. We miss them so when they’re gone from us physically. Happy Gotcha Day at the Rainbow Bridge Zoey, so many of your friends are there with you now. You may prefer a quiet spot but I think there is plenty of space for your solitude. She definitely was a beautiful girl and I’m so glad you saved her and loved her so well.

  15. Happy Gotcha Day at the Bridge. We don’t think we ever knew her story either.

  16. Wonderful tribute to Zoey. Hugs and purrs from us.

  17. OMG….what a beautiful tribute to Zoey…..in so many ways she & BellaDharma are ALIKE! Those green eyes; the sassiness; the fear & semi-feral hissing. And the quirky wonderful personalities.
    I can see how Zoey won you over. BellaDharma despite her smackypaw; nippy biting & some hissing has won me over too. I LOVE her so much & am so protective of her.
    But this day is about Zoey: Happy 13th Gotcha Day darling Zoey! We will never forget you Baby Girl…..
    {{{hugs}} Sherri-Ellen an **purrss** BellaDharma
    P.S.: I too call BellaDharma ‘Baby Girl’ 😉

  18. Been there done that too (I have one now that – even after 8 years still has PTSD and will cuddle and then lash out). But there is no doubt that there is mutual love, and never doubt for one minute that you did what was best for both of you. It certainly saved her life, and enriched yours.

  19. Happy Gotcher Day sweet angel. I miss seeing your lovely face on the blog.

    You remain a lovely girl in our hearts.

  20. Love is an amazing thing, sometimes it doesn’t need to be shown in the usual way, sometimes it is frustrating, but it’s power is amazing,. That is a lovely tribute to Zoey, I have had and still have cats like that and love them to pieces. I am so very sorry for your loss – hugs.

  21. We miss those beautiful green eyes too. Zoey was such a character and we always loved her blog posts. She was lucky in the end to find a home with such a wonderful family. It’s often the most fragile ones who capture our hearts most and unexpected losses are so hard to get over. We will remember you, Zoey.

    Tama and Genji

  22. Lots of purrs to you as you remember Zoey today. We miss her a lot too. Although she was a lot mellower than Zoey, and actually liked other cats (more than people, in fact), my human’s relationship with Boodie was pretty similar.

  23. I teared up reading this. What an incredibly hard day this must be for you. Thank you for the wonderful life you gave her, even though it wasn’t always easy.

  24. What a beautiful tribute to your beloved Zoey. I’m wiping away tears after reading your post. We miss your Zoey, too. Thank you for loving her so much, and so well. Love and purrs. XO

  25. We have no doubt she loved you even if she didn’t always show it. We also think she knew you would love her back the very first time she met you. It’s just the magic of cats. Purrs to you.

  26. Thank goodness you were willing to bring her home and keep her though she didn’t get along well with Wally and Ernie. Zoey definitely had the most beautiful eyes, sweet girl.

  27. Thank you for sharing your loving tribute to sweet beautiful Zoey. You gave her the best life and so much love. She loves you too. Sending healing purrs.

  28. She had the prettiest eyes.

  29. I’m crying at the depth of your loss, Sue. It’s crazy – I saw the title of the post and knew you were referring to Zoey – but my unconscious didn’t think of her being gone. I guess in a way, she really isn’t and never will be gone. She lives on in the hearts and minds of you – and the rest of us. I remember the first post where I fell in love with her: it included her disdain at her two crazy [silly BOY!!!] brothers. I’m glad you found each other and lived a wonderful life together – even with momentary frustrations.

  30. I love reading her back-story. She was so lucky that you all gave her a home where she was safe, secure and leading a happy life. Those green eyes were mesmerizing. She blessed you with her beauty and grateful heart and you blessed her with a home where she could learn what love was.

    Hugs, Pam

  31. Zoey was a lucky girl to have found a loving home. Beautiful tribute.

  32. Such a beautiful tribute to your green-eyed girl on her Gotcha Day. She was such a beauty. We miss her too.

  33. Oh, how we miss your/our green-eyed girl. What a beauty and so, so sad that she is not with you. Damn. These things are so painful and so poignant, but oh, the memories. And it’s good of you to write about her and her life with you. A lovey way for all of us to remember your beautiful Zoey. Thank you.

  34. Zoey; your mom wrote you an awesome tribute; I understand your background story; completely. we are honored to call you friend and we will miss you. and …I know….if you could speak “human” …you would tell your mom, “hey, lady with yellow hair; thanks for everything; I truly loved you too ”

    hugs from dai$y and the boys ♥♥♥♥♥

    • p.s. we hope your mom knows; there’s no such thing as trying to hard….and she did her best; the last sentences here are proof of that ♥♥♥♥♥

  35. Such a beautiful story- glad to learn how she came to be in your life. Reminds me of the 4 Korean cats I brought home from Korea after living there for two years- there was no where else for them to go so I brought them to Canada but a couple of them remained pretty feral and didn’t like other people much – but boy did I sure love them. Sometimes unexpected love is the best. Hope you keep feeling better and having good memories!

  36. You did a wonderful think in taking her in. Purrs.

  37. What a wonderful story – I love how you never gave up on her. ♥♥♥

  38. We sure do miss Zoey too. We send you purrs of support

  39. We miss her beautiful eyes too. Purrs and hugs

  40. I missed this one, too….I think my feeder isn’t ending me your blogs…will try to get it back in order.

    Hugs to you as you so miss your sweet emerald eyed girl.

    ((((( ♥ )))))

  41. I don’t think I ever read her story before. She was a kindred spirit. I don’t think TW really wanted me at first—she was still grieving Nicky big-time—but now she really loves me and calls me Baby Girl. I miss my furrend Zoey.

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