A Stroll Down Domino’s Memory Lane

The other day on sunny afternoon I walked past the kitty’s room and did a double take. Nothing amiss. Domino napping in his favorite wicker chair. The same ones I’d place on the porch (his former home) every summer. It suddenly occurred to me how far he’d come in under a year.

domino-catnap-indoors-cat wisdom 101

domino- spring-cat wisdom 101 This was taken yesterday amongst the violets, confident and serene.

I have no photos of his arrival on the porch in 2006 but found this one from 2008, before he lost part of his left ear. I’d forgotten how light his coat was.

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domino-2008-cat wisdom 101

This is as kittenish as Domino ever was. I can’t imagine the horrors of his early kittenhood when he showed up, a huge head on a body of bones. I intuitively knew there was a woman with a broom who shooed him away as a gawky teen. Even now, when I move about too quickly in the house or raise my voice in anger (never at the cats), he bolts.

Cats unlike dogs don’t come licking and wagging their trusting tails when they’ve been kicked in the teeth. Our first order of business was to put meat on his bones and provide a place to lay them. Before long, Domino adjusted to the life of enjoying the perks of indoor kitty life while refusing to come indoors.

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The reality of living outdoors on even the most comfortable porch was the weather. Domino had an electric heating pad under a blanket and shearling coat nest, but still there were many miserable days and nights.

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We’d try everything to trap him and get him neutered but he eluded every trick. The sheer stamina and will to live on his own terms brought nothing but respect and awe. It took one too many battles to finally catch him and our Mobile vet Dr. G. did the nip and tuck. It helped but he still wasn’t ready to come in!

Domino endured many bloody battles. Note his missing ear tip. Had he not received antibiotics on numerous occasions he’d have met the fate of most ferals: a brutal short life of misery.

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He almost came in three years ago but the call of the wild was louder.

domino-indoors-cat wisdom 101Showing his belly demonstrated slowly growing trust.

domino-belly-cat wisdom 101domino-odin-friends-cat wisdom 101

Gradually Domino became friends with Merlin. Coco never warmed up to him. But then, Coco died, Odin and Gris Gris arrived and new friendships flourished. I credit Odin with having the greatest influence for coming indoors. Domino used to wander in the the garden meowing a mournful meow to no one. Finally with Odin he found the pal and playmate he’d hungered for all those lonely years.

domino-merlin-friends-cat wisdom 101

An extreme abcess in Domino’s leg was the tipping point last summer. He kept looking inside the window, checking out the potential of indoor life. Somehow he knew he was getting too old to battle another winter and came in last fall.

domino-window-cat wisdom 101

I posted a photo of three of the boys but hubby snapped all four yesterday on my sweater in the guest room bed. Domino finally has the complete cat and human family he went without for seven long years. Happy at last.

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15 thoughts on “A Stroll Down Domino’s Memory Lane

  1. So wonderful… you have brought me to tears and I am so happy for the peace Domino has finally made with himself, on his time, and his terms. What a beautiful boy he is – please give a hug some kind words on my behalf…

  2. Hope this is put in book form someday — call it “Tale of MODG” (Merlin, Odin, Domino and Gris-Gris). Can’t remember Merlin’s sister’s name but you could work her in the title as a tail end somehow – Four Gents and a Dame (MODG+?)!

  3. There comes a time when what is meant to be will be and we’re so very glad that Dom’s time to belong and blossom arrived. We are just so very glad to see one more happy ending for a cat! Mucho luvs and purrs SkeeteR and Izzy >^–^< content eyes for Dom

  4. I got such a warm happy feeling reading your story of Domino becoming part of the family. Your faithfulness in wooing him over the years is a picture of your heart.
    Thank you for sharing your story and Dominoes.

  5. Oh Dom, so good to see your road to being part of the family. We are so glad you are so happy. We know what it is like to be a feral cat. Have a great day.

  6. Oh Layla….what a lovely walk down memory lane relative to Domino’s feral to family transformation. The cat family is complete and everyone has their place. He’s such a gorgeous boy too as are his brothers. It’s heartwarming to think how far he’s come thanks to the love and care he’s received from you. Bless you.

    Pam (and Sam)

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