The Stray Who Came to Stay by Janni Nell

TheBrideTheGroomandMe_thumbnailIn my latest release, there’s a brief, but important, appearance by a cat. I’ve never had much to do with cats in real life. Not that I have anything against them, it’s just that I’m allergic. However, the cat in my book is based on a real cat. And this is her story.


She appeared in our yard unannounced. Nobody knew where she’d come from, but I figured that eventually she’d return to her home, wherever that might be. She was a very pretty cat, ginger and white, with the sweetest temperament. Although she appeared young, there was some problem with her pelvis. She was terrified of men.

Since I’m allergic to cats, I didn’t have much to do with her at first. But my son’s girlfriend gave her a bowl of milk, and from there it was a slippery slope. Before too long I was feeding the cat, who used to follow me around the yard. I sensed she was a very affectionate animal, who would’ve welcomed physical contact from a woman. I longed to draw her onto my lap and pet her, but I never did.

One day, I noticed she was putting on weight around the belly. I suspected pregnancy and, because there appeared to be a problem with her pelvis, I thought she might have trouble delivering and consulted a vet. Naturally the vet asked for the cat’s name. I’d never thought of giving her a name. She was a stray. I’d never expected her to stay in our yard for two whole years. When I couldn’t think of a name, she was listed on their records with our surname but no name of her own. But I decided then that we’d stick by her and get her the treatment she needed during her pregnancy.

Unfortunately she wasn’t pregnant. The ‘weight gain’ was due to a stomach tumour. The vet recommended putting her down. I didn’t know what would be best, but my husband, who had owned cats before, felt that, as long as she wasn’t in pain, we should give her a few more weeks of life.
When we brought her back from the vet, and released her into our yard again, she seemed to smile with every muscle in her body.

We cared for her during the next three weeks. Then, when she seemed to be looking for a place to die, I called the vet, who made a house call to end the little cat’s life. Our little cat, whom I still hadn’t named.

I was with her when the vet prepared to put her to sleep. My allergy no longer mattered and I stroked her as the needle was inserted. I kept stroking her as she died. Then I watched the vet take her body out to the van.

As the vet drove off, I suddenly knew, too late, that her name was Princess.


Rest in Peace Princess.

Janni Nell is the author of the Sassy Chance romantic comedy novellas, and the Allegra Fairweather humorous paranormal mystery series. When Janni isn’t writing, you can find her line dancing, walking the dog or working in her vegetable garden.

2 thoughts on “The Stray Who Came to Stay by Janni Nell

  1. Hi Janni, I know how easy it is to become attached to animals. I have been a pet owner since childhood. I now have a dog that I feel is nearing her time. I hope she dies on her own, like in her sleep, instead of having to be put down. Good luck with your books.

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