Kristin Greenwald Photography {kgP} » Modern Lifestyle Portaiture :: Birmingham, Michigan + Macomb, Michigan

{meet coco chanel && please help}

I need your help. Most of my friends know that I’m a cat lady, but I’m not quite ready to be a crazy cat lady. I have two fantastic cats, Frisco && Swink. They truly warm my heart and bring me so much happiness. Now meet Coco.

I live in a two-story condo and Coco belonged to a couple who lived below me. My condo was built in the 1950s and the walls are very thin. I began to realize about a month ago that I no longer heard the tenants who rented the unit below, and haven’t heard them for a couple of months now. However, whenever I would walk by their lower unit I would see this adorable cat with this orange and black face looking out the window. I would leave for work daily and so I never knew whether or not they would come to take care of the animal. So, I wrote a note and taped it to their door letting the owners know I was concerned for the cat’s well being. I began feeding the cat under the door and luckily it had enough of a gap that I could side a tray underneath to ensure the cat had water, as well.

A couple of days later, the owner and I walked into our common area at the same time and he told me that his girlfriend had become ill and they had to move into her mother’s house so she could help take care of her. He told me her name is Coco, assured me that she had food && water and that she was meowing just because she was lonely. I initially felt relief that the cat was being fed well, but I still couldn’t come to terms with the fact that this cat was alone. All. The. Time.

I just imagine my own cats who vie for my love and attention, and it would just bring me to tears to think of this little babe living in solitary confinement. Then things got worse. The smell of the litter box began wafting into the common area and I knew that the owner couldn’t be coming home more than once a week to check on the cat, if that. I really struggled with what to do. It had been at least three months. I did not want to impose and stick my nose where it didn’t belong, however, I knew that this was not fair to this little animal who depended on their owner and was being let down.

I began ‘checking’ on the cat daily, buying a cat toy made of strings on stick so I could play with the cat under the door. I would stick my fingers underneath and she would meow and rub her head and body along my fingers and that is how I knew that this cat did crave attention. That she needed help.

So, I called the management company, apprised them of what was going on, and asked them to contact the owner of the unit so he could speak with his tenants. I also left a note on the door letting them know that I called the management company purely out of concern for the cat and I would be happy to do whatever I could to help them take care of this animal while they are away. The management company called me back and advised that the tenants stated they would be sending their cat to live with relatives. Great. Problem solved, right? Not so much.

I then received a call from the tenant yesterday letting me know that he received my note and that they were taking the cat to a shelter. That I could have Coco if I wanted her.

I went with my first instinct: I said absolutely. But inside I was terrified. I already have two cats. I live in a one bed/one bath, 600 sq ft condo and this cat has lived in solitary for three months now. How in the world was I going to manage this?  But I went downstairs and got her. I bought a new litter box and set it up in my bedroom. It was either that or the bathroom, as those are the only two rooms with doors in my unit, and I needed to keep my cats separated.

As expected, she was terrified. She hid in the closet for the first few hours. Then came out to use her litter box (good girl!) and started to warm up to me.  At first she came out and allowed me to pet her and began purring and rubbing up against me. But then she would see my hand and then hiss and nip at my hand. What? What happened? Where is the sweet cat that would let me pet her under the door?

This is what breaks my heart. That she does not know which emotion she feels. You can tell that her temperament is sweet && loving, but after living in that environment for months, she does not trust anyone.

She is approximately 5 years old, has her front paws declawed and is spayed. I’ve had her for less than 24 hours and I can already tell a difference in her demeanor. I do not reach out my hands to pet her, but she is very friendly to both Erick && I. Rubs up against both of us, purring constantly. But every once in a while she sees an extremity (hand or foot) and she will hiss and nip.

She needs time and space to adjust and space is something I cannot give her. As I mentioned, I have two other cats and it was never my intent to adopt a third cat. I wanted to save her. I wanted to show her that people are not horrible and what it feels like to be loved.

This is where I need your help. She needs a home with someone who is patient and who will take the time to allow her to trust again. As I mentioned, I have not introduced her to my cats, so I do not know how she will fare with other animals.

If anyone is interested in opening up their home or heart to this sweet cat, please contact me. The fact is, I cannot keep her. If I do not have a home for her in the next day or so, I am going to have to take her to a shelter. If anyone knows of any places or organizations who rescue abused and/or neglected animals, please email me or leave a comment below.

Look at this beautiful coloring. It was fate that her name morphed into Coco Chanel. xo

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