My mom was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 40 so with the years, I learned to accept the fact that she might not be here with us for long, it was in mid 2011 when I travelled back to Beirut to see her, few days after her 50th Birthday I returned back to Dubai, not for too long though as I got a call to return to Beirut, she lost her fight with the disease. I prefer not to talk about the details but losing a loving mother like mine was extremely painful.
I returned back to my home in Dubai after the funeral and two weeks later, a friend told me about a sick white cat staying outside in a petrol station on the way to Festival City. As I had my 2 cats Cookie & Princess, I couldn't stop thinking about the poor white cat I was told about so decided to go there at night to rescue him. When I reached, there was absolutely no white cat but while looking in the bushes behind the petrol station, I found a little black cat with a very scared meowww.. I went back to my car thinking what to do, white cats are easier to rehome but what are the chances of rehoming a black cat.. My mother had a black cat called Mocha who was with her through her illness so I thought that is enough of a reason to get this black cat into safety. I’ve put some stinky food in the carrier and in seconds the little scared kitty came inside. He cried all the way home but I was re-assuring him that from this night his life has changed.
I suspected the black cat had different illnesses so I kept him separate in the guests’ bathroom and left a litterbox and some food for him. In the morning with the light, it was clear that he was covered in fungus, an extreme case of ringworm. The vet confirmed that, they shaved him at the clinic and gave me meds for 2 months with explanation about precautions so it doesn’t spread to me or to my other cats. I named him Petro.. a name inspired from where he was found!
This happened exactly 2 weeks after losing my mother, I was busy at work but I felt the hole every evening when I left the office.. most evenings I cried as soon as I got into my car but when I reach home, I feed the cats then wear the pyjama that I dedicated to wear when I sit with Petro. He was a very scared cat so I wanted him to trust me, I used to sit on the floor with the smelly Sheba Tuna and wait for him to come to eat next to me.. Slowly with time he learned to trust me and despite that he was ill, weak and scared, I wanted him to feel safe so I started picking him and putting him on my lap and talk and talk and talk.. I spent with him hours every night for weeks and weeks.. Many times I held him and cried, I don't know if I was crying because I wanted him to get better or it was just a mix of emotions.
With time, Petro became a purring machine and while I thought back then that I am helping him, we were in fact helping each other, I helped him to get some strength and become healthier and he helped me by focusing my attention to him so my brain was not completely focused on the fact that I lost my mom..
After 3 months when Petro was healthy and ready to go a new house, as I expected I couldn’t find him a good one most likely because he is a black cat and why rehome him anyway when he is unbelievably friendly and getting along with the other cats at home.
We have now 8 cats, until this time, whenever I feel unwell & in need of a nap alone, I bring Petro to sleep next to me in bed, he particularly likes to sleep very close to my pillow and head.. and he purrs and purrs and purrs very loud.. His purring makes me feel completely relaxed in a strange way that none of my other cats can make me feel the same.. I believe it is the bond that I built with him when we were both recovering from pain whether physical, mental or a broken heart, it is a pain.
Now when I look at Petro and see him a big boy enjoying life, I can only be grateful to him, I don’t know how I would have dealt with the pain then if I didn’t get him into my life that night.
Thank you Petro my black cat rescuer for being there when I needed you the most.
Manager & Partner