Animal Stories from

August 2009
At twilight as strong gusts of bitter cold winds blowing in from the harbor were bringing the temperatures to below freezing, we hurriedly made our way to a wooded area in a local park, a place known as home to a colony of homeless cats. For several months now a group of us had came daily, armed with food, water, shelters and traps to help these creatures who had been abandoned, neglected and forgotten. (Photo - 01)


In the biting cold we quickly set our traps and thankfully our efforts were soon rewarded as a beautiful young black cat, enticed by the smell of sardines, sprung a trap door. With the fury of a Tasmanian devil this small cat howled and hissed, slamming and clawing, trying to escape a bewildering confinement. It was heart breaking to watch this fight for the freedom to return to the only life she knew. As a homeless cat, without human help, she would face a grim struggle to survive. Cats in the wild often face death by starvation, disease, inclement weather, predatory animals and all too often suffer a violent or slow painful death all alone.

The delicate beauty and elegant shape of her face left no doubt that we had a female in our midst. We gently transferred the little mite to a cage and placed this precious cargo in my car. On the ride home I whispered to her words of love, comfort, and hope. I regaled her with thrilling tales of how her life was about to change so much for the better. I don’t know if my attempts at assurances had any effect; she was deathly still and silent, which I took as a sign that although she was terrified, she just might be taking under advisement all that I was telling her.

When we arrived home, I placed a thick cardboard box and blanket in her cage to make her more comfortable, and left her alone to adjust to her new surroundings. Her interest was immediately riveted upon my five cats, who cautiously, but with uncontrollable curiosity, came to meet and greet their new house guest. As I turned out the lights, I wondered if the cats would be telling each other tales of their lives so far. I went to bed full of happiness and relief, thanking God for helping us to save another one of His magnificent creatures and praying that He would help us find her a good home. She was spayed, given a clean bill of health, and was estimated to be six months old. Although I and my cats spent most of our waking hours with her, for the most part she remained wild and unapproachable.

I had made plans that year to visit my sister in Virginia for Christmas. Fortunately, my dear friend Maureen offered to take care of my wild child while I was away. Maureen is a lovely woman, whose heart is full of love and devotion for animals. The best Christmas present I received that year was a call from Maureen. She had fallen in love with this fiery feline, had named her Luna and wanted to keep her.

From the moment of her arrival, Maureen’s black male cat, Gypsy, was thoroughly enchanted with Luna. He sat Sphinx-like beside her cage, calmly gazing at her, totally captivated. Playfully stretching his velvet paws, he would reach inside the cage for her. The two felines communicated in their own mysterious language of quivering whiskers, lashing tails, flicking ears, purrs and meows. Within a few short days, Luna became very calm and content in Gypsy’s presence.


After witnessing this remarkable exchange, Maureen felt it was time to set Luna free. As the cage door opened, these two black beauties sauntered up to one another and in that mystical moment, a life long friendship had begun. At the time Luna entered his life, Gypsy’s sight was failing, and he had begun to have difficulty maneuvering around the apartment. Luna came to Gypsy’s rescue, and with loving devotion and great patience, she shared her sight with him. Like a miniature herd dog, she would put her body next to his to steer his direction. At other times, she would use distinctive chirps and trills to get his attention and guide him. As they cruised through their apartment, her amazing instincts always let her know when to lead or follow, to keep him out of harm’s way.  (Photo - 02)



Life for these two was a never ending entertaining and fascinating adventure. They hid in open drawers, went on safari through the jungle of houseplants; and a day was not complete without a vigorous wrestling and pouncing match. Tons of toys and anything that sparked their curiosity was fair game for lively excitement and fun. Settling into sunny comfy spaces, (most often Maureen’s bed), they would spend hours together just hanging out, grooming and getting in a fair share of their sixteen hours of sleep. The sound of the can opener would trigger a mad scrambling race for their dinner bowls, where soon after inhaling their dinner, exhausted from the day’s exciting events, they would drift off to a peaceful sleep, bodies together, forming the yin yang symbol. Absolutely inseparable, they found great joy and happiness in each others company. (Photo - 03)


Their blissful seven years together came to an end when tragedy struck. Gypsy had incurable cancer. As his health began to fail, Luna intensified her vigilance, pampering him with great love and encouragement. On days when he had little interest in food, she would lead him to his bowl and with great patience and a feather light touch she nudged him, encouraging him to eat. Sensing his weakness, when he still wanted to play, she was careful to be very gentle with him. As Gypsy’s life ebbed, he grew more tired and listless. With her body embracing his, Luna conjured up a high pitched purr, whose strong vibrations seemed to give him more energy and her closeness had a soothing and comforting effect on him. All throughout Gypsy’s illness, Luna never let him out of her sight. As her beloved Gypsy quietly slipped away she watched with eyes that held a great sadness.

Now all alone, Luna was inconsolable and terribly depressed. A few weeks after Gypsy’s passing, Maureen took Luna her for her yearly examination. In the past her health had been excellent, but now, she too, was diagnosed with a deadly cancer. Her cancer was quite advanced, the veterinarian and all of us were amazed that she had shown no signs of illness. We came to believe that the power of Luna’s love, devotion and life mission to help Gypsy had enabled her to rise above her own suffering and sickness.

Maureen made sure Luna received the best of care, but in less than two months this wonderful little spirit journeyed to be with her beloved Gypsy. We were absolutely heartbroken and devastated by the loss of Gypsy and Luna, yet found great comfort knowing that they are now together again and will enjoy their wonder-filled escapades throughout all eternity.

Luna’s life held tremendous value and worth. It was truly a blessing to be in the presence of this valiant little soul, whose loving and generous heart knew no bounds. Luna came in from the wild and taught us in her own very special way about love, devotion, kindness, compassion, patience, joy, loyalty and friendship. Sometimes the hand of God is a paw print.

Luna’s story is a tribute to the estimated over 60 million homeless cats in America and to their dedicated care givers and rescuers, who with great love and compassion, work tirelessly around the clock to care for, protect and defend these cat’s right to life and their habitats.

Although millions of these cats live in our midst, due to their illusive nature, little is known of their lives except by those who have intimate contact with them. The journey into these cats’ kingdom is filled with a broad spectrum of dramatic events, ranging from the heartache of suffering, loss and tragedy to the celebration of innumerable moments of love, joy, hope, healing and triumph against all odds. Kinship with these remarkable characters transforms lives, teaches valuable lessons, offers many treasured gifts and awakens a profound sense of the sacred and divine presence within all of creation.

We are gathering stories from those who have the distinct pleasure of knowing, helping and adopting homeless cats to be included in our book, “In The Name of Love, Tales from Rescuer’s of America’s Homeless Cats.” Their powerful, touching and fascinating stories we hope will challenge current beliefs and attitudes, offer great enjoyment, inspiration and new insights and hopefully open hearts to a greater love and understanding of these delightful creatures. It is our passionate dream that the cat tales will serve to foster a deeper appreciation of the tremendous worth of these majestic animals and lead people to offer help in saving their lives. We also intend for this book to provide more national attention to the terrible plight of these cats.

We thank you for your consideration to help Luna’s story go public and very much look forward to hearing from you. Attached is a full length and edited version of Luna’s Legacy and Luna and Gypsy’s photographs.

If you could let your readers know that we are gathering stories for our book and give them our contact information we would be ever so grateful.

With Warm Regards,

Deborah Coughlan
Maureen O’Reilly-Agular
290 Quarry Street Apt. 403
Quincy, MA 02169
[email protected] 

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