The first time I went to the barn shelter by myself, there was nary a cat in sight- they all hid, shy and still unsure of who I was or why I was there. All except one that is: a big, friendly black panther of a cat came strolling towards me, an instant welcome wagon, assuring me that I belonged. His name was Pharaoh, and I knew that we would be fast friends. Craving affection and attention, I showered him with all the petting he could handle, which was clearly an infinite and endless amount. It was hard to get away from this guy: I felt immediately attached to him, his kindness and friendliness, and I wanted to stay there and pet him forever rather than tend to the litter or the dishes.

It quickly became clear that Pharaoh was the king of the barn, the tenderhearted boss of the shelter. Each time I returned, he would saunter right up to me, ready for the love and attention he knew he deserved. Often, he would often follow me around as I completed the chores, as though monitoring how I was doing. Sometimes he would meow a friendly call, and I would stop to pet him some more.

When I was done, I would ultimately return to him, as he lazed in the sun, or curled up away from the rain, and beckoned with his friendly face. At dinner time, Pharaoh happily sampled each bowl as though it was his own private smorgasbord. Each week I felt bad for leaving him, and looked forward to seeing him again soon. Pharaoh, more than any other cat there, made the barn into a special home. When I pet his friends or handed out treats, Pharaoh ran right up to get more than his fair share, which I was always happy to give.

Pharaoh passed away this morning from cancer. I know that he has found a special place in many volunteers’ hearts, and his memory will be with us for much longer. He is truly a king among cats, a shining example of the love that animals have to give. I am grateful to VOKRA for saving this boy, and giving him a happy life and home.

-Ellen, VOKRA Volunteer

Posted by Grino on November 30, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

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