Karma Comes Home


One afternoon over a week ago, Magical-Dawg bolted upright from his doze to stare out the patio door windows. I’d seen a flash of motion, too, but figured it was a field rat (they’re huge!), and never would have bothered to investigate without his interest.

Not a rat. A cat. Specifically, a lynx-point Siamese type kitten.

The temps that day were mild, but forecast to turn bitter cold. This youngster wanted inside in the worst way, even when nose-to-nose (through the glass) with Magical-Dawg.

photo 3Cue Music:   “I’m Just A Stray, Running On My Own…”


The blue eyed stray had a blue collar, so I figured the youngster came from a neighboring home. The shivering kitty wasn’t full grown–a bit bigger than Seren (but she’s only 5 pounds)–and looked like coyote bait to me. Anyway, I planned to bring the stray inside at least for the night, and find the owners who surely must be frantic missing the little thing.

Magic barked when I opened the door, and sent the cat racing away. Well dang, that solved the issue! But just in case, I called for the pretty thing.

“Here kitty kitty kitty….”

No response, until I meowed. The kitten not only answered my meow, but came running and let me pick him up. The handsome boy-kitten had no ID on the collar and still had his jingle-bells (ahem). He immediately began face-rubbing my chin.

Do you think he could read the “sucker” label on my forehead?

photo 4“Looking For A Home, A Place to Stay…”

I had several concerns. First, I couldn’t allow Seren-kitty to come in contact with this unknown feline, without risk of her getting sick. My first responsibility has to be to my own pets. Second, Magical-Dawg respected Seren-The-Boss but might not feel the same about this kitty interloper, so I had to protect the stray. Third, I had nothing to feed the kitten because Seren eats a therapeutic kidney diet not at all appropriate to a young guy.

Thanks to the BlogPaws trip last spring, though, I still had lots of food samples from some terrific sponsors including several packets of “prowl” dehydrated whole chicken kitty food from The Honest Kitchen. The “newbie” couldn’t get enough of the food, and snarfed it all down almost before I could get the bowl on the patio floor. When I shared this story later with Kate Fenner from the company–I’d just met her at the San Diego book signing–she offered to send some trial boxes of food. (Ain’t cat and dog people the BEST?!)


While “newbie” ate, I ran back inside to move Magic out of nose-sniffing range, and then transferred the visitor into the laundry room along with the bowl of food. Then I ran upstairs to find the extra (too small) clean litter box that I used to store a variety of extra pet paraphernalia, raced back downstairs with the pan, litter, a bowl for water, and a scratch object, and got the little guy ensconced. Once offered the water, he drank the bowl dry–and then drank another half a bowl as well when it was refilled. That told me he’d been outside for more than a day, since cats typically drink sparingly.

Along the way, Someone took a glance…”

I posted some of photos to Facebook, but nobody recognized him. I called my husband to warn him about the temporary house guest and not to open the laundry room door. Once he got a look at the newbie, he felt someone surely would want such a gorgeous cat back–but wondered could we maybe find a similar looking cat for ourselves?

Sucker, once again?

Meanwhile, Magical-Dawg camped out beside the door while the newbie kitten played paw patty-cake driving him nuts. Seren slept.

photo 1“…Offered me a chance, a place to stay…”


The next morning I took “newbie” to my vet’s office and had him scanned for a microchip. Nothing. On the way home, I stopped at the neighbors to ask if they were missing a super-friendly boy kitten. Huh uh. I called the city shelter and ask if a cat fitting his description had been reported missing. Nope. Every day I checked the newspaper. Zip.

The third day with us, Magical-Dawg got to meet “newbie” through his doggy gate, and struck up a nearly instantaneous friendship. I think the dog would like any critter that let him sniff butt–but the kitten seems to have been around dogs and likes Magic equally well. Who in holy heck wouldn’t be looking for this missing gem?

“Now can’t you see? You belong to me.

We moved “newbie” to the master bedroom bathroom because the doggy doors in the kitchen next to the laundry wouldn’t hold him and put him too close to Seren’s dining room domain. As the days progressed I struggled not speak his name aloud, the one he’d whispered to my heart the first night we slept together.Yes, he sleeps with us (and Magic). We’re a dang fine kitty B&B!

Magic-Karma“It was meant to be! Anything I’ll do.”


Finally this past Wednesday I told myself that Friday would be THE day. And if he’d not been claimed by Friday, I’d make the vet appointment because he must have been dumped, and I can’t risk having an intact boy kitty become “too” mature, all over our walls.

And as much as I’d like to slap the dump-ee up-side the head–this cat came SOOO CLOSE to dying, guys! But, I think I’d also like to thank ’em. Yes, I’m smitten.

Seren probably wouldn’t, though. She’s “met” him from a distance and offered her typical crotchety old-lady snub. It took her months and months to learn to tolerate Magic but she’s mellowed since then. And you see, seventeen years ago, Seren was the dumped kitten, “…running on her own, looking for a way home, a place to stay…”

MagicKarma2When Seren was dumped and found sleeping on a friend’s back porch it was lucky that we found each other–and so she was named Serendipity. Therefore it feels very appropriate to welcome the lucky boy cat version into our lives. By the time y’all read this, “newbie” will be at the vets getting examined, neutered, vaccinated…and microchipped.

Today, Karma comes home.

And if he could sing, I think both Karma and Serendipity (and all of the “strays” out there) would sing the final lines of the song lyric together:

“All I can give, I’ll live the life you live.
Anything forgive. Just to be with you.”

(Lyrics from the title song of STRAYS, THE MUSICAL! copr. Amy Shojai/Frank Steele)

I hope some of y’all will come out to see me tomorrow from 1-3:30 at the Sherman Town Center Petco for my Valentines & Pets free talk–I’ve even more “pet love” to celebrate! I’ll explain how I’ve been intro-ing the furry wonders, and of course will be happy to paw-tograph a book for you or your special pet. You might find the “stray” love of your life to adopt there, too. Maybe the next book will have a new feline character…named Karma!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

40 thoughts on “Karma Comes Home

  1. Who the heck puts a collar on a cat and then just dumps him? It just boggles my mind. I mean, bad enough people dump them in the first place (most of the ones here get dumped near the dairy barns, guess they figure nobody will notice extra cats) but you actually went out and got the cat a collar, then… nothing?

    • Karyl, I couldn’t fathom the reasoning, too. And I feared that perhaps he was positive for FIV or FeLV…maybe whoever had him couldn’t manage dealing with that. But I’m just back from the vet and he’s NEGATIVE for those diseases so the neuter etc is a GO. *s*

  2. Amy, I agree with you, that the dumper should be slapped upside the head. Anyone who just dumps a pet is the worst type of person. He does look cute, and it looks like you have a new kitty, to write about… Karma indeed! Lucky Karma, to get you as a Mommy!

  3. Whenever one of our critters is getting elderly, we have added a youngster to the family. It has been great watching the older pet ‘teach’ the younger one manners and appropriate behaviors. Things like the best potty spot and whose dish is whose. The older pet has also seemed to have more energy and interest. I hope Seren takes charge of the young one.
    It has also helped me when it was time to say good bye to the older animal. Having someone to snuggle while the tears flow helps an awful lot.

    • It was great fun watching Seren “school” the Magical-Dawg and putting him in his place, Jeanie. I’m sure Seren will repeat the process with this boy. In fact, she’s been quite a bit more pro-active with Karma than she was with Magic–she hid from the dog. She’s facing down the kitty “interloper.”

      You’re right about the farewells…*gulp* but don’t wanna think about that.

      • We had a grey tuxedo and a cat that looked like Karma. Both were acquired as very young kittens when we lived the city. They were indoor/outdoor kitties from the very beginning. When they were 10 we moved to the country, where they continued to be indoor/outdoor cats. They passed about six months apart at the ripe age of 18. I know indoor only kitties can live much longer, the girls were healthy up until a few weeks before we said good bye. I miss having kitties, but I fear the dogs we have now would not tolerate them.

        • Awww….you must have done something very right to have them both stay healthy and happy for 18 years! maybe someday your dogs will be more mellow and open to the notion. *s*

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  5. He’s a beautiful cat! Congratulations on the new addition (and good luck with Seren). 🙂

    My friend got her dog because someone dumped her at her office–she had a collar and her leash was tied to a fire hydrant. Insane! She was healthy and no one ever claimed her, so my friend kept her. She is the sweetest dog, too.

  6. I was doing the happy dance awaiting today’s blog and hearing all about the newbie – especially his name, which I might say is PURRFECT! He is literally one of the most beautiful cats I’ve ever seen. It’s amazing how well him and Magic get along. Looks like they have a mutual admiration society going on. The pics are priceless. So glad he’s healthy other than the coccidia. Thank God he found his forever home. I’m not sure he would have made it this week out in the elements and the wild animals. Congratulations to you Amy and M for your new addition to your family and welcome home Karma!

    • Thank you so much for the lovely comments! With the snow and cold we’ve had this past week, surely he would have become victim of the weather, critters or both. So yes, I think Magic was the hero in this to see that little guy and alert me to him. Whoops….I hear him doing “something” so I’d better check. Karma seems to like to attach the toilet paper roll, LOL! he’s “killed” it several times.

  7. Fifteen months ago our dogs were acting strange. The reason they were acting strange is there was a stray kitty on their porch!

    Stray kitty has lived with us ever since. He was 100% healthy, though super skinny. He’s also superbly socialized. We did our best to find his people, but never did.

    So he’s a permanent resident, and thinks he’s The Lord of all he Surveys.

    Glad you found Karma. It’s special when the cat chooses you, and your house.


    • Hi Pat, his name came to me the first night he was here, but I couldn’t dare say it until for sure he’d be part of the family. I’m a wee bit superstitious that way. *s*

  8. Didn’t you know some of us have a special symbol on our doors that only homeless kitties can see? It tells them a cat lover with space in their home and heart are ready to welcome them. Karma is aptly named and a very lucky kitty. And he will remember what you did to save him every day.

    • Yes, Suzanne, a friend of mine told me that 20 years ago–she had momma kitties bring babies to her door, rush away and hide in the bushes and only leave when they saw the kitten had been welcomed. She said it was similar to the sign hobos used when riding the rails to identify safe refuge.

      I’m honored.

  9. I had tears in my eyes reading your story Amy. Tears that someone would dump such a special little guy and tears that he knew you were the one for him. I am so glad this had a happy ending for him and I have no doubt he will will over Seren. She may put up a fuss, she does have an image to maintain, but he will worm his way into her heart just like he did with you and Magic. Congrats on your newest family addition. You should write him into your next book!

    • Awww…thank you Sue. This post struck a chord with a lot of folks, it’s one of my most viewed posts ever. And yes, love your comment about Seren’s image, LOL! That’s so true! And I am thinking about how to include the little guy in the next book. *s*

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