Finding love at vet’s office

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 24, 2013

Not long ago, I stopped at the West Rowan Farm Home and Garden store in Bear Poplar to shop. This store, known for many years as Hall Steele Feed and Seed, now has new owners (Brian and Elsie Bennett) and a new look, including a fudge candy counter.
That day while mulling over the fudge, I looked up to see a friend, Bonnie Myers, walking towards me. I met Bonnie 28 years ago, when my husband, Michael, and I moved in next door to her mom and dad, Melvin and Margaret Shook.
We exchanged hellos and then Bonnie began checking out the fudge counter, too. After making a purchase, she mentioned that she and her husband, Joe, had adopted a new family member. My mouth dropped open, and I said, “What?”
Bonnie laughed, saying she didn’t mean that kind of adoption and went on to explain.

Last year before Thanksgiving, Bonnie and her daughter, Darcy Ward, stopped by Dr. Rhod Lowe’s veterinarian office (Rowan Animal Clinic) in Salisbury to buy dog shampoo. While there, Bonnie overheard a conversation between the receptionist and a man who had just walked in with a beautiful, orange cat. In that conversation, she heard him say he was going to have to put the cat down.
When the man sat down to wait his turn, Bonnie walked over and sat beside him. Saying she had overheard his conversation, she wondered what was wrong with the cat. That’s when she learned, the cat, Mikey, although healthy, had a problem with spraying.
The man told Bonnie that he and his wife were soon moving to Colorado with five other cats and a dog in an RV and didn’t think they could manage all that distance with Mikey’s problem. Not having any luck with finding someone to adopt their beloved cat, they felt the only option was to put him down.
Not thinking twice, Bonnie said, “Sir, I’ll take your cat.”
Tearing up, the man said, “Thank you so much. You are an answer to our prayers. My wife and I have been praying for months that someone would adopt Mikey.” Even though everyone in the office was pretending not to listen, they heard the whole conversation and were tearing up, too.
After exchanging information and checking shot records, the man followed Bonnie home, thrilled his cat would be living in the country. Telling her he would have traveled a hundred miles to see Mikey’s new home, he only had to travel 15, following Bonnie up U.S. 70 almost to the Iredell County line.

What makes this story even more amazing is that Bonnie’s beloved cat (Biggun) had died a few months before. Wanting another cat but not actively looking, Bonnie had the perfect opportunity to adopt when her son, Conley, and his wife, Jennifer, rescued a mama cat and six kittens from underneath Cornerstone Baptist Church in Cleveland early last fall. Bonnie believes she didn’t take one of the rescue cats because she was supposed to have Mikey.
Cautious about letting Mikey in the house, Bonnie didn’t have to worry long because after a few weeks he stopped spraying. She thinks he stopped not only because he has freedom in the country, but being the only cat at the house, he knows he’s the alpha male.

Mikey is definitely a lap cat, or as Bonnie describes, “a lovable lug.” In other words, he loves to cuddle and oftentimes can be found snuggled up under her neck or her husband, Joe’s. This just goes to prove love can show up anywhere, even in a veterinarian’s office. For Bonnie, it showed up as a four-footed ball of fur named Mikey.
If you’re looking for love this Valentine’s Day, think about checking out a veterinarian’s office or a rescue shelter such as Faithful Friends at 220 Grace Church Road, Salisbury. You might be pleasantly surprised at the love you find.

Dicy McCullough’s books are available at local bookstores, and Barnes & Noble. Call her at 704-278-4377.