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From Brendan Schweigart

Wendy J. Harris, 13ish, Wellsville

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Wendy was gray striped, half-wild, tiger cat

Good Friday, April 7 2023 was Wendy’s last day prowling planet Earth after a long illness and a great life.

Exactly when and where she was born is unknown but she found her forever family by pure chance, brought together by an earthquake on August 23, 2011. The story goes like this:

It was a nice summer day and I decided to walk to work, which is about a seven mile walk. While walking down a rural road the phone rang, it was a pesky NYS staffer calling about some unpleasant business. I stopped in the road and had the unpleasant conversation. Suddenly a cat runs out of the woods, meowing rapidly, and practically runs up my leg. The cat would not leave my side and as the phone call progressed I heard fire alarms coming through the phone and the staffer said: “I have to end this call now, we are being evacuated from the building and I’m not sure what is going on.” I looked at the cat, a very pretty medium haired girl who seemed to be pregnant and about a year old. She wasn’t going to leave my side and I couldn’t quite walk downtown with a stray cat in tow so I took her home.

Her soon to be brothers were not exactly thrilled but tolerant and it seemed we would be having a litter of kittens soon. That wasn’t meant to be; After about two weeks, the cat disappeared. Living in the countryside of Allegany county, half-feral cats often appear for a few days then vanish back into the forest fairly often. She wasn’t gone long.

About a week later the cat reappeared in the house, announcing herself with many of her dainty but loud “mews.” She wasn’t pregnant anymore and showed signs of a recent birth event, but no kittens in sight. At the time, the legend emerged that, “She gave them to the raccoons to raise properly because she was too young to be a mother.” The cat stayed and was named “Juno,” after the movie about a teenager who gets pregnant and gives her child up for adoption.

That name didn’t stick but Wendy never left the family again, and her brothers welcomed her into their little pride. She got on equally well with her canine sisters, goats, chickens, and ducks. It wasn’t rare to find Wendy sitting in a sunny spot with a flock of chickens.

Wendy was a gregarious cat who loved to bite people when it was time to stop petting her. She adored the little humans of her house, taking long walks with her people, and would only drink from a running faucet. Her life was full of tree climbing, mousing, and many great adventures in farm fields and forests.

She is survived by her humans, her brother Melville, and her sister Mama. She was predeceased by a brother Mr. BuddyCakes, her canine sisters Briar and Dixie, and many fowl friends.

Wendy was celebrated with a private burial on sacred grounds and will be missed very much.

If you care to donate, I’m sure Wendy would ask that you choose the SPCA Serving Allegany County or the Hornell Humane Society.

*Anyone can submit a rememberance of a lost loved one, two or four legs. We do not charge for animal obituaries.

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