You’ve got a friend in me

12 Nov

Little Finn

It’s not easy.

Moving to a new place of any kind can be a daunting task. Across country away from family and friends? Definitely not easy.

I have always been one for dreaming about the adventure, of meeting new people and experiencing new things. Anticipating the newness has always been preferable to the actual event.

Before hitting the road to New York City in the U-Haul, I had my hand pressed against the windowpane as I watched my parents wave back at me. I knew then and there, this was going to be harder than I had previously thought.

After arriving at the apartment building with all of our earthly possessions, we knew with the unloading process that our work was cut out for us. I stepped out of the truck and immediately, this small little black cat greeted us with a cute meow. He was skinny, definitely a stray, but was curious about what we were up to. While we were drenched in sweat, furiously unpacking the trailer in the August heat, he sat on a perch, occasionally angling his head this way and that. I hesitantly gave him a scratch on the head, afraid of fleas or a surprise bite or scratch. He brushed against me to show mutual affection.

The day after, he sat on our steps waiting for our emergence. He again rubbed up against my skin and smelled my hand. He looked so malnourished. I gave him bits of tuna and salmon from our canned goods.

A week went by and we found out a bit about his back story. Finn was a two-year-old black cat that had previously worn a collar around the neighborhood. Up until March, he was someone’s pet — that collar was unceremoniously taken off and he was left on his own. I have no respect for people who do that, absolutely none. Finn had to learn to fend for himself, which he took to begging off people and catching birds. Luckily, our neighborhood cared for him, as several people started feeding him from their pantries.

Being an animal lover, I went to the pet store and bought him some treats, a bag of dry food, and a bowl. Finn instantly became acclimated to my morning feedings outside of the apartment building. Dry food changed to wet food as I fell more in love with my feline friend.

A month had gone by. While I looked for jobs, Finn continued to sit on our top step or sleep in the flower garden nearby. He would peer into our windows from time to time, just to see if we were inside. When I needed a break from the computer, I came out and petted the loving creature. While his claws were ferocious looking, I would let him settle into my lap for a nap while I used my phone or read a book. He was always exhausted from only getting short bits of sleep outdoors.

The weather started getting colder and we became more worried about Finn’s well being. He had no place to go. He would sit and cry and cry outside the building, it was so hard to hear. One night, I couldn’t take it anymore. I made a makeshift litter box and bed for him in the living room and let Finn in. As hard as it sounds from a cat, he showed me more gratitude than most humans would. While I was afraid of fleas and mites, I was more afraid of my friend getting sick.

After that night, I tried to contact every animal organization and shelter in the area. No response. We wrote an e-mail to our apartment manager and were told, no, we could not keep a cat.

Through Finn, we started meeting our neighbors and really liking them. We started learning of all the good deeds our neighbors had been doing for the little guy. They were all worried about Finn. During Hurricane Sandy, one neighbor kept him in their garage with all that a cat could possibly need. Other people brought him in for a night or two from the cold. Finally, one neighbor had a friend that wanted Finn as a pet in his Manhattan apartment. Unfortunately, a nor’easter came through our area and we had another week of worrying about our neighborhood cat.

He secretly came and stayed in our apartment building, sleeping in our apartment at night. Finn went to the vet where we all learned that he was disease-, mite- and flea-free. He became used to being a house cat, while occasionally slipping out to hunt birds (he was quite good at that.) On the last night of his stay with us, he brought a dead bird to our doorstep. I truly believe the bloody mess was his way of giving us a gift. He was absolutely beaming standing next to his prey.

Finn left on Saturday morning, and while I know he is in a good home and luckier than most strays, I’m still pretty sad. He was my first new friend in this lonely city. Finn was there for me when I was the most homesick. And while I am sad to see him go, I am forever thankful for this little angel that stepped into my life during a time of great transition. I desperately needed a friend and Finn desperately needed me. I am getting used to this strange place, meeting new people, and New York City isn’t as daunting as it first was. Finn is now getting used to being a big city kitty, and I’m getting settled in as well. I will not forget his friendship and as sappy as it might sound, that little guy will forever be in my heart. Thanks, Finn.

64 Responses to “You’ve got a friend in me”

  1. emc November 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    I don’t even like cats and this made me happy/sad.

  2. segmation November 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    Shouldn’t you be changing your name now to girl in the Apple now that you are in New York! Love your blog!

  3. shawnajereemiller November 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    This made me tear up a bit. It’s nice to hear of a whole neighborhood taking care of an animal. I’m glad he has a good home :)

  4. itsaniblife November 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    Black cats just melt my heart. I don’t know why they have such a bad rap; they’re the absolute sweetest!

    I’m glad he’s getting a good home, but I’m sorry you’re losing your first city friend :(

  5. skipper November 13, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

    Don’t be surprised if you see Finn again. Animals have a scary keen sense of where to be and who needs them the most.

  6. lexiesnana November 13, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Beautiful story.Animals have a sense when people need them.Loved this.

  7. PrairieMuffins November 13, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

    I think one of the first things you should save up for is a pet deposit, and get yourself a kitten. :)
    The story of your blog is a familiar one to me.I moved a bit over a year ago from Kansas to Portland, Oregon. My first room mate brought along her cat (all the way from Kansas) who happened to be pregnant with kittens (a both shocking and wonderful surprise after the move). I saw her give birth and kept one. Actually this happened twice. My boyfriend moved out here 6 months later, and my old room mate’s cat was ready to have a second litter from which we kept another one. So now we have two kitties! And although we’re gathering new friends slowly, there is nothing quite so comforting as the presence of our pets. The soft purr of a happy cat is makes me feel like I’m never actually alone.

    Good luck on your new life in NY. Hurricane Sandy is a hard way to start off. Stay warm and always writing, and congrats on the FP!

    • Carrie Olson November 13, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

      Thank you! I completely agree, that soft purr is so comforting — and you are correct, saving up for a pet deposit is what I need to do (and soon!)

  8. birdinaword November 13, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    What a sweet story… My cat is missing and I am so sad!

  9. Plays, The Mundane, and Everything Else November 13, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    Good for you for taking care of a cat in need! If only there were more people like you in this world. I totally understand how hard it is getting used to New York, and new friends (even those of the feline-persuasuion) are always lovely to have. Keep on keeping’ on, and I think you’ll find the city will start giving back to you in unexpected ways.

  10. thiskobblecreeklife November 13, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Great story. Animals really are extraordinary. Alphonse de Lamartine said, “When man is in trouble, God sends him a dog”. Maybe sometimes He sends a cat instead.

  11. Kim November 13, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    How sweet! This really made my day. Thank you!

  12. mary @ B&Gjournals November 13, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    its so amazing how little creatures can open our hearts and break down barriers, so glad you had a chance to experience that with finn. i got a happier ending and got to keep my sweet pup, and nothing in the world makes me feel more loved, appreciated, or understood everyday than that sweet little animal.

  13. Katie November 13, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    So precious. Animals seem to know when you need them.

  14. Mountain Gypsy November 13, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    “Come in she said I’ll give you, shelter from the storm” Bob Dylan
    I often wonder who rescues whom? NYC can be daunting and cold, what a wonderful warm welcome to the Big City. Keep in contact with Finn’s new people, I’m sure they won’t mind.

  15. defidato November 13, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    Reblogged this on defidato's Blog.

  16. defidato November 13, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    Three months ago I got a Turkish cat sort of cat named “Van”, which is lake in Turkey,where is origin of her. As I read,this is the only kind; sort of cat which likes water or to bath.

  17. tricesweet November 13, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    This made my heart so happy! I’m at school and away from home and I could use a snuggle right now. Finn is one lucky kitty.

  18. My Camera, My Friend November 13, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

    Awe, sweet baby. So nice of you to look after him untill he could find a new home.

  19. starlight November 14, 2012 at 12:15 am #

    wonderful story.. i have 2 kitties and they make me happy.. btw, did he ever visited you again?

  20. equisway November 14, 2012 at 12:23 am #

    Reblogged this on equisway and commented:
    Nice story…

  21. Jane November 14, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    Such a lovely story. I just about cried!

  22. lagoa87 November 14, 2012 at 1:20 am #

    I just recently moved out of New York and trying to get situated in Washington state, so I understand the feeling. I had to leave my dog back home with mom. Give it a chance, New York is great and there’s always a ton of stuff to do!

  23. jenfbs November 14, 2012 at 2:47 am #

    What a sweet story and what a very lucky kitty to have met you, girl of the corn.

  24. rumpydog November 14, 2012 at 3:38 am #

    Thank you for caring enough about Finn to help him find a forever home of his own. xxx

  25. Simple Heart Girl November 14, 2012 at 4:04 am #

    You and everyone else that helped Finn are good people. Really. We need more people like you around.

  26. lucindalines November 14, 2012 at 4:37 am #

    Great story. There is nothing quite so wonderful as the love of a cat.

  27. bunnyisms November 14, 2012 at 4:50 am #

    This was so sweet. That was really good of you to take care of Finn. It’s hard to move to a new place, one needs a friend, and it was really good you met Finn.

  28. dilipnaidu November 14, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    Lovely story and touching too!

  29. charlottecrisp November 14, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    I loved this so much. I’m a cat person too and would never be without their love and warmth. I hope Finn is happy in his new home and that you are too! :)

  30. kerrycooks November 14, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    How wonderful. Thank you for looking after Finn

  31. blackshepherd November 14, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    I love kitties and have had several but have none at the moment…been thinking about it…this is a heartwarming story….just right for a chlly morning in Maine…good luck in NYC…best wishes to Finn…maybe he’ll go on to become the first folk singing kitty cat or something…then you’ll be mentioned in his memoir…I haven’t had coffee yet…

  32. Eagle-Eyed Editor November 14, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Wonderful story. I’m glad Finn ended up with a good, safe, warm place to stay. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  33. heysugarsugar November 14, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    ohhhhh I cried ! what a lovely post..I love your blog . Ceri x

  34. sociallyinappropriategirl November 14, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    What a lovely story! My father adopts strays from time to time, and after a few months they sometimes move on to pasures new. The remarkable thing is that they have all come back to visit! This is a gorgeous post. I hope that Finn comes back to visit you, I’m sure that he will!

  35. a different daylight November 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Cats are the bestest – there’s nothing like a cat cuddle, and that mutual friendship from loving an animal. Such a great story – thank you so much for what you did for Finn!

  36. OyiaBrown November 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown and commented:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)

  37. merylake November 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    I love Finn now! thanks to you he is safe now!

  38. jully012 November 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    That’s quite kind of you.i hope it’s also the same with human beings1

  39. Things You Realize After You Get Married November 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    What a beautiful story! :) I love animals and I do believe that they can make a world of a difference in peoples’ lives, as you just demonstrated. We found our cat in the woods. She was a kitten then, had no collar and was following us when we were walking. She seemed lost. We took her home and after seeing that no one claimed her, kept her as our own. It’s been a couple of years and I wouldn’t trade that decision in the woods for anything (except on certain occasions like when she scratched our leather couch!) :0

    Congrats on being FP! :)

  40. Katia November 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    And they say cats are not as affectionate as dogs! Very sensitive writing. I hope you find lots of new friends (a mix of cats and humans) :-)

  41. Fusions November 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    I have completely related to your story about the homeless cat Finn, I recently wrote a similar blog post to yours about a local cat in my area called Bob. I was so relieved to read that he finally has a loving home. It’s great to see no matter where you are in the world that kind and caring acts like this still happen.

  42. Krissy November 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    i was sitting in my studio working on an urban design project when i came across this, and it caught me so off guard i am STILL crying haha. very lovely, thank you for sharing :)

  43. thetalkinghangover November 14, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    cats are indeed superior beings.

  44. Indra Anderson November 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    The average lifespan of a street cat is 2 years. You did the right thing in finding Finn a forever home. Life on the streets is as hard on animals as it is on people, except animals have fewer options. I wish everyone would reach out and save just one street kitty.

    I’ve adopted 5 straight off the streets (over the years — not a hoarder!) and everyone was a blessing.

  45. legendsofyouth November 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    So great. Wonderful story and very well written. Thanks for sharing and congrats on FP!

  46. jesusfreakgirl November 14, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Your story made me cry. I love cats and what you did for Finn was wonderful. I’m glad you made friends with him. I feel like there are so many people out there who would have just ignored him, but you and your neighbors sound like wonderful people. Thank you for your caring hearts.

  47. Jessica November 14, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    What a lovely story! It definitely made me want a cat, but my apartment doesn’t allow them either. I’m glad to know Finn found a nice home, though it’s too bad you couldn’t keep him. It sounds like you both helped each other out a lot. :)

  48. stephanieplant November 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    I can relate to this. Just joined the blogging world today, and my next blog was going to be about my pets, and how they’ve helped me through a move. Great post.

  49. Soul Walker November 14, 2012 at 7:00 pm #


  50. icittadiniprimaditutto November 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    Reblogged this on i cittadini prima di tutto and commented:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)

  51. DrAnthonysBlog November 14, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    #CoolBlogPost @DrAnthony

  52. Cyn Younker November 15, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    I’m a sucker for cats (I have two of my own curled up next to me right now), so I understand why Finn means so much to you. Thank you for sharing his story and for looking after him when he needed it – that makes you good people in my books. =)

  53. anorlian November 15, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    This was wonderful to read. Animals have a geunine love that I’m not sure human’s can duplicate. I too, saved my cat. He was in the hood of a car, malnourished and about 6 weeks old. When I took him to the vet they told me he had flea’s and an eye infection. I nursed him back to health and today, Stewie has become one of my best companions. :) Good luck in NYC…hopefully you will see Finn again soon!!

  54. cherrybossom777 November 15, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    Awwww, I remember a little friend like that…

  55. Dawn Akemi November 15, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    Lovely. Our furry friends give us more than we can ever count. After 18 years, I just lost my beloved cats. They are memorialized in my most recent blog. I understand your feelings and admire your compassion in putting Finn’s needs above all else. And, as you say, we will always carry our cherished four-legged companions in our hearts. Thank you for your sweet story.

  56. ioanna aggelidaki November 15, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Made me smile, lovely! :)

  57. PiedType November 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    Bless you for helping Finn when he needed you and for finding him a permanent, loving home. I’ve always had at least one cat and often more (I’m a sucker for strays; they don’t survive long on the streets.). Tough to imagine life without a cat. They require very little care and are perfect apartment pets (assuming management allows them). For Finn, thank you!

  58. stalker199 November 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    THis is sio bitterseet !

  59. piecesofmyrandomness November 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    what a great story. Sad to hear Finn leave though. Sounded like you could have been buddies for life!

  60. rosej29 November 17, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    Hi Carrie, loved your cat story. So true, I believe there is a spiritual realm out there between humans and animals.

  61. lensaddiction November 20, 2012 at 5:30 am #

    You did a great thing, thankyou for taking the time to look after this helpless creature after he had been abandoned. Too many people would have overlooked him as an unloved stray and the life of a caring creature would have got a lot worse.

  62. maybenot995 November 21, 2012 at 4:15 am #

    This made me smile! I love cats, and you did a really good thing.

  63. music4meez December 4, 2012 at 5:01 am #

    I am convinced that cats know when we are stressed, nervous or feeling any bad emotion. Whenever I am feeling down, my cat comes to sprawl himelf across me and he usually does something silly to cheer me up.

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