Clarence is my 4-year-old, all black cat with one white armpit. He has a penchant for windowsills when his favorite perch, a supine human chest, isn’t available. For attention, Clarence stretches onto his hind legs and raises a lone operatic paw toward the ceiling. In his spare time, he serenades unoccupied rooms with his chirps and meows. Before starting this issue, I didn’t know Clarence. If it weren’t for this issue, I still wouldn’t.
For our homes, gardens and pets issue, I knew I wanted to feature a locally based pet rescue. When I found myself on The Rescue Crew’s website, I did what I’d been doing on other pet rescue sites lately and clicked “adopt.” At the time, I was still browsing. I knew I wanted a cat in a vague, future sense but, after a few missed connections, I was content to keep lurking on Pet Finder and the like.
Months later, when I was writing To the Rescue, I visited the adoption page again. Clarence was still there, pictured in a white feather boa. When I met rescue founder Chris Maddox in person, in the insulated pole barn that serves as the crew’s foster cat emporium, I learned Clarence had been with The Rescue Crew for around half a year. Black cats are difficult to get adopted, Maddox told me. Aside from long-lingering superstition, he said the fact of the matter is it’s hard to make their photographs stand out.
The Rescue Crew specializes in hard to adopt pets that are most at-risk for euthanasia. This includes black cats as well as older pets, pets with health problems and dogs that fall under the bully breed umbrella. I’m not sure how long another rescue would’ve been able to house Clarence before he was put down. What I am sure of is how glad I am he’s with me now.
As our Minnesota snowscape gives way to slush and gray, in this April/ May issue, we’re turning our attention toward the new life that awaits us this spring. From greenery poking through thawing garden beds to pets overrunning our homes and our hearts, for me the stories in this issue represent hope and new beginnings.