An older woman in a nursing home is surprised by the appearance of a cat in her room. She cares for the cat until they find its owner, who happens to be someone from her past.
The whining sounds woke Ruth up from her afternoon nap. She had been sleeping in her room in a nursing home in Florida.
The wind coming from the window startled her a bit. She forgot to close it, and it looked like rain was coming soon. Then she noticed the cat perched on the windowsill.
“Oh, look what dropped by!” she said sweetly and got up to approach the cat that kept meowing at her, as it walked back and forth on the windowsill.
Ruth approached the cat and petted it. The cat that appeared to be a stray – due to the absence of a collar – ate up the attention.
The older woman picked the cute feline up, hugged it to her chest, and sat down on the armchair in the corner to continue giving the cat some love.
“It’s me! Ruth!” she told him when Nurse Rogers escorted him to the room.
Soon, someone came in. “Mrs. Francis, what is that? You know you’re not allowed pets here,” Nurse Rogers said pretending to scold her.
“I didn’t bring her here. She climbed through my window and woke me up with a meow. But isn’t she cute?” Ruth gushed, kissing the cat, which didn’t seem to mind being the center of attention.
“Of course, it’s cute,” the nurse agreed and caressed the cat too. “Hmmm, it doesn’t have a collar. Could it be a stray? That’s so irresponsible.”
“Yeah, or maybe, the collar fell off her neck. Or she escaped. You know… cats are not like dogs. They like their independence,” Ruth added to the conversation.
“Yeah, but we’ll still have to call someone about her. She can’t stay here.” Nurse Rogers shook her head.
“Can’t you ask for an exception? She’s the first creature to visit me ever in here,” Ruth begged, her voice dripping with sadness.
Nurse Rogers pursed her lips and looked at the older woman with pity. “Ok, well. How about we keep her a secret for now? I’ll see what I can bring to feed her. She needs water too. But if anyone finds out, I had no idea about any of this, are we clear?”
“Crystal! Thank you, darling,” Ruth replied, her sadness turning to joy quickly.
For the next few days, Ruth felt so much better. The cat cuddled with her at night and wanted to be petted constantly. With the help of Nurse Rogers, she hid it from others, but other nurses and staff soon discovered their secret. Still, no one said anything.
They all knew about Ruth’s loneliness. It was not uncommon for a nursing home resident to be without visitors or family close by, but it was always heartbreaking. Ruth seemed to be in brighter spirits thanks to the cat, which was great for her health.
So, the cat was kept a secret, and soon, they started calling her Nurse C to keep up appearances. It was their secret little code.
Less than two weeks after Nurse C entered Ruth’s room, Nurse Rogers found her collar. “I think this collar has to be hers. We should call. There might be a family out there trying to find their cat desperately,” she told Ruth.
The older woman looked longingly at her pet, not wanting to part with her. But the nurse was right, so she let her call the owners. Luckily, the cat’s family were, in fact, desperate to find her and didn’t live far.
“They’ll be here in a few minutes. I’ll leave you to say goodbye to Nurse C alone,” Nurse Rogers said and exited Ruth’s room, closing the door gently.
Ruth simply picked up the cat, sat down in her chair, and petted her, thanking the feline for being her companion the past few days. It had been beautiful having her around. Having something to care for, someone to love and caress. The older woman had never had pets in her life before, and now she knew why people adored them.
Alas, the cat’s owner came, and to her shock, it was Mickey.
“Mickey! It’s me! Ruth!” she told him when Nurse Rogers escorted him to the room.
At first, the man tilted his head in confusion and squinted at the older woman. “Mrs. Francis?” he said after a minute, smiling slowly.
“Yes! It’s me!” the older woman said joyfully, and they hugged. Ruth had babysat Mickey for a long time until he became a teenager and didn’t need her anymore.
The cat went straight to Mickey, rubbing her body all over him, which confirmed that he was its owner. Mickey explained that she had escaped during a thunderstorm, and his family had been worried sick trying to find her.
“I’m glad she came here then. She was probably looking for a safe place,” Ruth commented and went to pet the cat one last time. “Hey, girl. Thank you for keeping me company. I love you.”
“My parents never told me you moved to a nursing home,” Mickey said as he was about to leave, his eyes traveling through her tiny room. He stood with the cat in his hands, and it was like he didn’t want to go yet.
“Well, they came to say goodbye to me when I moved. Your parents were always very kind to me,” Ruth offered, not knowing what else to say.
“Listen, how about this? Can you visit us sometime? Is that allowed? I can pick you up, so you can meet my children, and we can have dinner or something,” Mickey suggested. “Think of it as thank you for caring for Luna. That’s her name.”
“Oh, well, of course. I would love that!” Ruth accepted calmly, but inside, she was looking forward to going out. She didn’t have family nearby, and they never visited or called.
“Ok, cool. Can you come with me tonight?” Mickey asked, and Ruth couldn’t wait to tell Nurse Rogers.
The visit to Mickey’s house was fantastic. His kids were so thankful she had found Luna, and they loved having her around. Their dinner became a weekly occurrence.
Soon, Mickey’s parents started visiting her at the nursing home. Ruth didn’t know this, but Mickey had begged them after seeing how lonely Ruth truly had been.
And for the rest of her days, the older woman always had something to look forward to every week, and she started buying special treats for a unique little furry nurse who lived with Mickey. In many ways, the cat had given her a family, and Ruth couldn’t have been more grateful.
What can we learn from this story?
- For a family, a pet is more than just an animal that roams around the house. Pet owners know how important these animals can become for a household. That’s why Mickey was searching for their missing cat. Ruth discovered this after being with Luna for only a few days.
- Some things happen for a reason. Although the cat ran away from home in fear, it was like it was meant to appear on Ruth’s windowsill.