Your Smiles Make Me Smile

If you really want to get the most out of my blog, it's best to start with the first post written in July to the present since some blogs refer back to earlier posts; but any order is just fine... Thanks for visiting! Now scroll on down to the good news! ~Renae~

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


He was found in the engine of a car.  That is as far back as I know his story.

Our lives became intertwined the day I went to visit Julie, a friend from high school, a cat lover, and the founder of Outcast Cat Help.  My desire was only to visit my old friend, as through thick and thin Alaskans like to stick together, even when we have ventured some 3,000 miles away from home.  I only had a short time to stop and say hello, exchange hugs and a few laughs, and admire Julie’s work with abandoned cats.  She was running her weekly adoption fair at the Danville Pet Food Express, and I was an innocent bystander. Really, I was.  I had no intention of holding a cat, much less signing adoption papers some two hours later, but Julie has a way of making people fall in love when they are least expecting it.  All she had to say was “Here, why don’t you hold this cat for a minute” and not long after I said “I do.” 

Here was the dilemma -- I didn’t need a cat, and my dogs certainly wouldn't want a cat.  I have two Beagles….but Richard, my better half, well he needed a cat, even if he didn’t know it at the time.  He did.  My advice is and has always been to never, ever, not ever surprise anyone with an animal; that is just a recipe for disaster. But Julie--did I mention she has a way of making you fall in love?  She knows well how to break through all rules, inhibitions, logic, and common sense, and she knows a good match when she sees one.  I was not forewarned.  On that particular day, at that particular time, I was weak, maybe I didn’t have enough sleep the night before, maybe I hadn’t eaten breakfast, but regardless, I walked out with Benni.  Ben Ben. Benjamin.  Or as I often exclaim to him in a high pitched voice when I want his attention “Beeeeennnnnnnn.”

I didn’t exactly pick Benni for Richard, Julie did.  She suggested that Benni would be perfect.  She knows Richard well, that he is an introvert, kind, quiet, loving and alone a lot.  So was Benni.  If Richard was reincarnated as a cat, I have no doubt, he would in fact come back as Benni’s double.  And so, though I don’t know the beginning of Benni’s story, I know the beginning of our story.

“Richard, let’s sleep in the trailer tonight” I exclaimed over the telephone.

“Why?” He asked, puzzled.

“Because it’s a nice night to sleep in the trailer and it would be fun for the three of us” (knowing that Benni would have less anxiety starting out in a small space).

"The three of us?” 

“You, me, and Benni!” 

“Who’s Benni?????” 

And that's how it all began.  As most happy pet stories go, Richard and Benni are now part of the same family.  Benni eats the best food and poops in the most expensive kitty litter.  Unlike me with my Beagles, Richard knows exactly how many calories, and I mean down to the calorie that Benni is supposed to consume each day.  He has also become expert in making cat meows, in an almost creepy kind of “babe, seriously you're freaking me out" kind of way.  In turn, when Richard isn’t with me, he has a loving companion to sleep on his head at night, and when Richard has to go out of town, Benni gets to sleep on my head at night, to the annoyance of my jealous dogs Bailey and Lilly.  For this reason, we did not mention to the dogs that Benni’s  adorable face hangs proudly on the wall, on an over-sized supermodel pet billboard at the Danville Pet Food Express, thanks to an anonymous donor, the proceeds of which were donated to Julie’s organization, Outcast Cat Help.

The good news IS Benni has a loving home, Richard is happy, I am happy, and Julie….well if you ever run into her and she starts to place a cat in your lap, you have had sufficient warning.  She will make you fall in love.  I know we have.

Sweet Dreams And Always GOOD Dreams,
(Bennie watching cat videos)


Julie Linford said...

Renae you are too kind! You may recall that until that October day when you came to "visit," we had been in an adoption slump. And not only did Benni get his awesome forever home that day, Petal did too...after you enticed the unsuspecting gentleman, who only came in to buy cat food, to hold her. Thank you, my lucky charm!

Anonymous said...

What a FABULOUS story!!! So glad to hear that Benni has found a wonderful home. Good luck to Julie in her other home-finding efforts!! :) Anna Dundr Finley

renaedarlene said...

@ Julie - Me? Entice an unsuspecting gentleman?? yukyukyuk

@ Anna - Thank you! Another fellow Alaskan that loves animals. :)

Alicia said...

Such a sweet story, that's how I got my cat Pete! (and my two cats before him)

Susie said...

Benni has a very big fan club! Not just me, but many, many people. Thank you so much, Renae, for making sure Benni has a great home. It's great to hear how loved he is, and I'm sure he is completely devoted t Richard. :-)

Anonymous said...

Do you not feel guilt making that furry cat live in a hot climate like that? He needs to hook a ride north to the spring migration in the summer,he would like Alaska. I for get whether you said,(he or she.)

renaedarlene said...

Yes dad...or Kevin...or whomever is trying to get me back home. :)