As she was looking at the cat, the woman became confused, yet curious. The cat’s behavior was very strange, and she had never really seen a cat act that way. She knew there had to be an explanation as to why the cat was behaving that way. But as she began to think of other theories, the truth was soon exposed. And what the truth would reveal about the black rescue cat was something that she never imagined could be possible.
It was actually her son Max’s idea to adopt a shelter cat. He was nearly done with high school, and he had made the decision to join the U.S. Navy. Considering he would have to leave his single mother behind, it wasn’t an easy decision to make. They had spent so much time with it being just the two of them, but things were about to be different. That’s why Max came up with the idea to adopt a cat.
When Max first brought up the idea of getting a cat, Erin Nimrichter was a bit hesitant. She had never considered it before, but now she was giving it some thought. Max believed that the cat would be able to keep her company when he left for boot camp and deployments. Erin did have a boyfriend, but they weren’t ready to live with each other yet. So she decided to go with Max to the animal shelter to find a cat.
Erin and Max decided to go to the Cleveland Animal Protective League. The Humane Society has been around since 1913 and have been committed to providing shelter for abused, neglected, and homeless animals. Erin and Max went to the shelter in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland that houses animals that haven’t been put into foster homes. That’s where they found Yuuki the cat.
Yuuki was a female cat that had black shiny fur. She was found wandering the streets and she was brought to the APL to await adoption. The first thing that Erin and Max noticed was that she looked lonely sitting in her crate alone. Max and Erin knew that this was the right cat for them. As soon as they signed the paperwork, they brought Yuuki home. And it didn’t take long for her to truly become part of the family.
The original idea had been for Yuuki to be a companion to Erin, but Yuuki seemed to quickly fall in love with Max. Any chance she got, Yuuki would be snuggled up in Max’s arms, and she always followed him around the house. And Max adored her, as well. “Max has always felt connections to any animals he was around,” explained Erin. The two had a bond that was extremely cute to watch. Unfortunately, heartbreak was right around the corner.
Yuuki had only been with Erin and Max for six months when it was time for Max to leave for boot camp. As he was packing his belongings, and preparing for his journey, he didn’t realize how much his leaving would truly affect his beloved Yuuki. Yuuki would most certainly feel his absence just like Erin, but they never imagined that she would begin to act differently because she missed Max so much.
When Max left for boot camp, Erin had put a picture of his graduation day on the top of her dresser. It only took Yuuki a few weeks to realize that Max wasn’t going to walk through the door. And that’s when Erin began to notice that Yuuki was behaving quite strangely. Every once in a while, Erin would walk into her room to see Yuuki sitting on her dresser, staring at Max’s picture. Erin couldn’t believe it.
“She just sits there, stares and meows and then lays down next to the picture to nap,” explained Erin. Even though she had never seen the cat on her dresser before, Erin couldn’t believe that a cat could actually recognize someone in a picture. She began to think of other explanations, like Yuuki just enjoyed the view from the dresser, or it was just a nice spot to take a snooze. So Erin decided to do some experiments.
Erin began to move the picture around to different places in the house, but Yukki never failed to find the new location. Her suspicions were confirmed: “I know for sure she misses him,” said Erin. She felt sorry for Yukki, since she knew that Max wouldn’t be home for a long time. But Erin eventually found a way to bring them back together, even if it was for a short amount of time.
It had been just a few months since Max left for boot camp, and Erin was planning to visit him on base. She made a few calls, asked for some favors, and she was given permission to bring little Yuuki with her. Max was excited, too, because he missed Yuuki, as well. But he was also quite nervous.
“My son worries that she won’t remember him,” said Erin. I had been quite a few months since they had seen each other, almost as long as he had Yuuki before he left. She could easily forget since she was so young, but Erin knew better. “It gives me comfort knowing she does,” she said. “And it’s nice to have proof to show him.” Erin and Max are more than excited for the day where they can all be together again. But until then, Erin is keeping Yuuki occupied.
Yuuki still likes to look at Max’s picture, but she also likes to stare out the window of Erin’s home to watch the outside. So Erin came up with a plan. She bought Yuuki an “adventure backpack” — which is a cat carrier with a domed window in it and it can be worn as a backpack. “Yesterday was her 1st walk to the market and today she went on her 1st bike ride,” Erin explained. But that wasn’t all of the fun they were having.
July 13th was on a Friday, making it Friday the 13th, which is a very special day for those that love superstitions and scary movies. Erin knew she wanted to spend that day with Yuuki. “Honoring Friday the 13th with this spooky gal. Black cats are so creepy with their golden eyes looking all suspicious,” wrote Erin on Facebook. Even though they both miss Max, they can at least get through it together.
Once Max finishes boot camp, he’ll remain with the Navy for six more years, which means that Yuuki and Erin will spend quite a bit of time together. Luckily, the two are bonded by their love for Max and are able to keep each other company while they miss him.