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Indie the rescue cat: We saved her, then she healed our broken hearts after the loss of Hemingway.

Indie likes our bed. A lot.

There’s something I haven’t told you.

Our beloved Hemingway passed away last fall.

We found his body in our backyard late one night after returning home from Tarleton’s homecoming game.

We aren’t sure what happened, but we believe he was killed by a coyote.

I couldn’t bring myself to write about it because I was so devastated.

Hemi had become a big part of our lives and losing him was harder than I could have imagined.

As you might recall, Hemi (named after Hemingway because of his six toes) showed up on our doorstep a few years ago, when he was just a kitten.

Weeks after his passing, The Husband suggested we adopt another kitten to fill the void, but I just couldn’t bear the thought of replacing him.

But every Monday, when Serena Wright emailed me the Erath County Humane Society’s featured pets, I always took a close look at the cats up for adoption.

In March, a picture of Indie landed in my inbox. Her pretty face caught my attention and when I read that she was terrified at the shelter, I dropped what I was doing and called Serena.

Our first encounter was rough. Indie nearly clawed my eyes out when I tried to hold her.

For the next two weeks she hid in a small bathroom, refusing to come out and rebuffing our attempts to get to know her.

She was fearful and timid, the complete opposite of Hemi.

Indie and I struggled to bond and I secretly worried that adopting her had been a mistake.

But time, they say, is the great healer.

Indie needed time, patience and a whole lot of quiet to feel comfortable in her new home.

She slowly started peeking around the corner of the bathroom and inching her way to the living room in the evenings.

But any loud noise – like the click of the air conditioner or clink from the ice maker - would send her scurrying back to her hiding place.

Then, a breakthrough.

One afternoon, as I sat typing on the couch, Indie jumped into my lap and fell into a deep sleep.

I couldn’t stop smiling.

It’s been two months since Indie became a Vanden Berge.

She is still shy, hides when people come to the house and is startled by loud noises.

She loves Fancy Feast seafood and sleeps firmly by my side every night. If she had it her way, I would sit on the couch and hold her all day.

Indie isn’t allowed to go outside; it’s a risk we just aren’t willing to take. She is happy when she feels safe.

Adopting that sweet girl was one of the best decisions we have made; there is something very special about giving an animal a safe haven.

We saved her, and in return, she healed our broken hearts.

If you are thinking of adding a new fur baby to your family, head to the Erath County Humane Society and rescue an animal that needs a home.

You will be rewarded with more love than you can imagine.


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