The Day that Changed Three Lives

tortoiseshell kitten

March 31 is an important day for Allegra, Ruby and me. On March 31, 2010, I met Allegra for the first time. The same day a year later, I met Ruby for the first time. I’m not even sure what to call this day. Meeting Day? First Look Day? At any rate, it was a day that changed three lives.

I found Allegra on the Facebook page of a lcoal animal hospital. I contacted the adoption coordinator, who told me that Allegra had just arrived at the clinic after living in a foster home, and that they didn’t really know much about her yet. I made arrangement to meet her. That March 31, I spent about an hour in an exam room with her. The photo above was taken that day. She was your typical ADHD kitten – discovering and exploring everything, whether it was a stethoscope hanging from a hook on the wall or a syringe cap on the floor.

She didn’t pay all that much attention to me, but I started to fall in love with her anyway. I didn’t want to make a hasty decision. I had only just begun to even think about bringing another cat into Amber’s and my life after losing Buckley. So I went home, slept on it, and thought about it. I couldn’t get her out of my mind. I went back to see her again the next morning. And that’s when I just knew. Less than a week later, she came home with me.

Ruby

A year later, also on March 31, I met Ruby. She was fostered through the SPCA of Northern Virginia, and lived with a lovely young couple and two big male cats. The photo above was one of the photos posted on the foster parents’ website. How could I not have fallen for this sweet little girl! She was found in someone’s backyard literally “asking” to be rescued. The home owner heard a kitten crying. When she opened her patio door, Ruby ran right up to her without any hesitation.

When I met Ruby that day, her foster parents had just gotten home from work, so she was all wound up and eager to play. I spent about half an hour with her, and even though she was mostly focused on playing, she still occasionally jumped up on my lap. I knew right then and there that she was “the one.” She came home with me two weeks later.

I can’t imagine my life without Allegra and Ruby. After losing Buckley Thanksgiving weekend of 2008, and then Amber in May of 2010, I never thought I would love another cat as much as I loved them. Now I find myself completely, besottedly in love with my two girls.

52 Comments on The Day that Changed Three Lives

  1. Cindy Lou
    April 1, 2019 at 2:16 pm (1 year ago)

    Even though cats are fairly quiet animals (compared to my dogs), my house felt so empty with each death even if I still had other cats. I guess they take a little bit of you with them and you notice when “their specific sound”, something you don’t even notice you notice, is no longer there.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 2, 2019 at 5:39 am (1 year ago)

      They do leave a big void in so many ways when they pass.

      Reply
  2. Janine
    April 1, 2019 at 7:49 am (1 year ago)

    This is perfect. It’s amazing how both girls were found on the same day, but different year. It is definitely a day to celebrate.

    Reply
  3. Three Tiny Tabbies
    March 31, 2016 at 2:23 pm (4 years ago)

    It’s their Gotcha Day! Happy Gotcha Days, kitties! 🙂

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2016 at 2:33 pm (4 years ago)

      Well, not really – that would be the day they came home, wouldn’t it, which wasn’t until a week or two later. But thank you for the congrats!

      Reply
  4. Will Hodges
    March 31, 2014 at 3:48 pm (6 years ago)

    Beautiful story . . . and a wonderful day, Ingrid. Made me tear up a bit, remembering last May 4th when Anya walked into our yard (lost, abandoned, and dirty) and into our hearts. Hugs to the three of you!

    Reply
  5. toni / rctees
    March 31, 2014 at 12:00 pm (6 years ago)

    The perfect love story!! Thanks so much for sharing Ingrid!

    Reply
  6. Random Felines
    March 31, 2014 at 10:41 am (6 years ago)

    How about their “I heart you day”? What great stories about finding them and letting them into your heart 🙂

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2014 at 10:51 am (6 years ago)

      That’s a great name for it!

      Reply
  7. bopeeps
    March 31, 2012 at 7:28 pm (8 years ago)

    That made me so teary eyed..shame on you 🙂 I so enjoy your site and seeing pictures of your cats. They are wonderful little buddies.

    Congrats on your site award.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 1, 2012 at 9:15 am (8 years ago)

      Thank you, Bopeeps. Sorry I made you cry!

      Reply
  8. Anna
    March 31, 2012 at 4:20 pm (8 years ago)

    What a happy day for you, Ingrid!!!!
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories! Yes, cats can indeed change our lives and open our hearts again when we think it will never happen again… What blessings they are!
    Love to you three lovely ladies!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 1, 2012 at 9:15 am (8 years ago)

      Thank you, Anna!

      Reply
  9. Katnip Lounge
    March 31, 2012 at 2:27 pm (8 years ago)

    Call it a Special Day, and leave it at that.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 3:03 pm (8 years ago)

      It is special indeed, Trish.

      Reply
  10. Ryker's Boyz 'n' Allie
    March 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm (8 years ago)

    We just recently read an article from the Washington Post about how losing an animal can be every bit as painful as losing a human. Those of us who have 4 legged children can totally relate.

    Amber and Buckley were special, irreplaceable treasures of your heart – and will always occupy a place there. Losing Ryker caused the same reaction in me – I never thought I’d love another cat the way I loved him. And in a way I don’t, as each love is unique.

    I cherish my boys, Faraday & Maxwell. They now occupy a different but vitally important place in my heart. I love that you used the word besotted, it so perfectly describes how I feel too!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 3:02 pm (8 years ago)

      Thank you for your beautiful words, Lisa. I’m glad I’m not the only one who is besotted with her cats!

      Reply
  11. maru
    March 31, 2012 at 2:17 pm (8 years ago)

    Love opens room for new experiences, and each cat that has been in my life -and I have lived with cats since I remember- has been a different and rich experience. Memories to treassure, joy to grow within, unavoidable pain, but that the way life works, me thinks.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 3:02 pm (8 years ago)

      Beautifully said, Maru.

      Reply
  12. Cynthia Southern
    March 31, 2012 at 2:06 pm (8 years ago)

    I loved reading about how Allegra and Ruby came into your life. I still think cats adopt us. We don’t adopt them. Princess and Queenie adopted my husband and myself also. Allegra and Ruby sound like the best blessings in your life. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 3:02 pm (8 years ago)

      I agree, Cynthia – these cats find us when the time is right.

      Reply
  13. Julia Williams
    March 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm (8 years ago)

    I like “Blessings Day” too — that surely fits. Of course, they’re nothing wrong with the longer version, “The day that changed three lives.”

    Sweet story!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 3:01 pm (8 years ago)

      Thanks, Julia. Blessings Day is definitely accurate!

      Reply
  14. sue
    March 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm (8 years ago)

    Hi Ingrid, that is a beautiful moving story, and the 31 March your lucky number and for them too. I remember when I got Benji there were so many kitties all the same Egyptian Maus from different mums and he came over – it was winter and I had my big duvet coat on and he jumped into my pocket – that was that I paid for hil that day and got him one month later. No regrets!!!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 3:04 pm (8 years ago)

      Sure sounds like Benji picked you, Sue!

      Reply
  15. Esme
    March 31, 2012 at 11:18 am (8 years ago)

    Ingrid, what a sweet story-how you could not fall in love with that photo of Ruby-how fortunate for all of you that you have each other-pop on over to see what we are up to. This morning-the munchkin decided she wanted eggs for breakfast. Yes she special orders. They are sleeping next to me as I type.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 1:50 pm (8 years ago)

      We are all very lucky to have found each other, Esme. Loved your post!

      Reply
  16. DeniseL
    March 31, 2012 at 11:12 am (8 years ago)

    Happy anniversary to you, Allegra and Ruby!

    May you all celebrate many, many, many more March Tortifirsts together!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 1:49 pm (8 years ago)

      Thanks, Denise!

      Reply
  17. Layla Morgan Wilde (Cat Wisdom101)
    March 31, 2012 at 10:25 am (8 years ago)

    Happy March Tortifirst! Allegra and Ruby are two special cats who knitted a cozy over a broken heart. I’m assuming there are special treats on the menu 😉

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 10:33 am (8 years ago)

      Thanks, Layla – I love that, “knitted a cozy over a broken heart!” And most definitely yes to special treats.

      Reply
  18. Deb Barnes
    March 31, 2012 at 9:27 am (8 years ago)

    How wonderful to have a day with such special significance! Ruby and Allegra are such sweet treasures and I think everyday is a blessing day with them!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 10:33 am (8 years ago)

      You’re absolutely right, Deb – every day with Allegra and Ruby is special. Today is just extra special. 🙂

      Reply
  19. Bernadette
    March 31, 2012 at 8:31 am (8 years ago)

    I love a good love story!

    Ingrid, the heart that knows how to love will always love again, even against its own will. I discovered that after each of my own losses, honestly surprised to feel that growing warmth replacing the emptiness.

    I’ve called “the day” something different with each of my rescues, and in your case I think March Torti-first is the best!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 9:12 am (8 years ago)

      You’re right, Bernadette – it does come as a wonderful surprise when we find that we haven’t lost the capacity to love again after loss.

      Another vote for March Tortifirst!

      Reply
  20. Debbie Becker
    March 31, 2012 at 8:00 am (8 years ago)

    Today is March Tortifirst! I wish nothing but the best for you and the girls! May you continue to enrich each others lives!

    Reply
    • Caren Gittleman
      March 31, 2012 at 8:16 am (8 years ago)

      Debbie I just had to tell you that I LOVE your comment! “March Tortifirst” FANTASTIC!

      Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 9:11 am (8 years ago)

      I love that! March Tortifirst! That’s what I”ll call it from now on!

      Reply
      • Laurie and the "Girls"
        March 31, 2012 at 11:25 am (8 years ago)

        I love it to! I am “Mom” to four kitties–One traditonal tortie, one blue tortie, one siamese/tortie mix and a Tuxedo cat who has tortitude! I have had three torties pass from old age to! I just love them!

        Reply
  21. Deborah Julian
    March 31, 2012 at 8:35 am (8 years ago)

    How wonderful that you found each other! I will never forget the days I first met my three little loves- each adopted from a shelter or rescue group. We celebrate Welcome Georgie Day in August, Welcome Billy Day in July and Welcome Sammy Day in June. Our cats have changed the way my husband and I view the world and have given me a second career as an artist.

    Hope you and your two special girls have a delightful day!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 9:13 am (8 years ago)

      Welcome Day – that’s a good name for it, Debbie!

      Reply
  22. Caren Gittleman
    March 31, 2012 at 7:34 am (8 years ago)

    I have tears in my eyes. March 31st should be called your “Blessings Day” because you were not only blessed ONCE, but TWICE.

    Looking at the photo of Ruby laying in a sea of beautiful pink, it is no surprise. You are a pink, lavender and blue lady (from what I can assess) and subconsciously I bet that pink also caught your eye!

    I wish the three of you many happy years together and yes those girls definitely DO have big plans for you!!!

    Much love to all of you!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 9:10 am (8 years ago)

      Blessings Day, I love that, Caren!

      The funny thing about that photo of Ruby on the pink couch is that the actual couch was more of a reddish rust color. For some reason, it just looked pink in this photo. But you’re absolutely right, the pink did catch my eye!

      Reply
  23. Debbie Becker
    March 31, 2012 at 7:21 am (8 years ago)

    What a heartwarming story! After I lost 3 of my 4 cats in a year and a half (14, 19 & 20 yrs old) I was totally heartbroken. If someone would have told me that within 2 yrs 4 kittens would have been in my life, I would have told them they were crazy. The new ones will never replace what I lost, but, in retrospect I think they found me because they knew I needed them more then they needed me.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 9:09 am (8 years ago)

      I’m so sorry for your losses, Debbie. I think you’re right, sometimes these cats find us because they know we need them.

      Reply
  24. Marg
    March 31, 2012 at 8:08 am (8 years ago)

    Great story and there is always room in the heart to love another one. They all have different personalities so we form all kinds of different love for each one. March 31st. Have a great day.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 9:11 am (8 years ago)

      Thanks, Marg. You’re right, we love each of them for who they are.

      Reply
  25. RumpyDog!
    March 31, 2012 at 6:30 am (8 years ago)

    I can totally relate. While there will never be a replacement for those companions that have gone on, I am glad there is still room in my heart for other companions to love and be loved by.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 9:08 am (8 years ago)

      I think those of us who are able to love again and again, even after loss, are truly blessed, Rumpy.

      Reply
  26. Lynn
    March 31, 2012 at 6:21 am (8 years ago)

    That’s so sweet! I love hearing people’s stories about how they got their kitties. That’s one of the things I enjoy about running OldMaidCatLady.com; once people hear about it, they can’t help but tell me all about their cats! Allegra’s markings remind me of those on my own little Vixen, except that Vixen has even more yellow on her chest and an orange stripe down her nose. And she has the lynx tips, too! I love those. When I used to see Vixen around the apartments where I lived, 20+ years ago, she reminded me of an owl. Who could have imagined that she’d still be with me today! Not for much longer, but she has been the best cat ever.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 31, 2012 at 9:07 am (8 years ago)

      Enjoy every moment you have with Vixen, Lynn! Allegra still has the lynx tips, but as she grew into her ears, they became less pronounced.

      Reply

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