Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Rescued Interviews: Zorro

Meows from Mudpie!

Back in 2015 Angel Truffles started interviewing the cats featured in Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes, an anthology of rescue cat stories compiled by Janiss Garza, who writes the Sparkle Cat blog. She was unable to see it to completion but I was more than honored to continue the series once I settled into my forever home and took full reins of our blog. Now Rescued Volume 2 is on store shelves and it's my goal to interview as many of the kitties as possible once again! (If you missed our review, it can be found here.)

Each author featured in the book has nominated a cat rescue and was assigned a month to promote the book, with a third of the profits from that month going to their rescue. September's spotlight is Zorro, a cat who finds himself horribly betrayed and abandoned by his family, leaving him nearly feral in his fear and distrust of humans.

Welcome Zorro! Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. Could you start by introducing yourself to us and telling us what made your story such a good fit for the Rescued anthology?

I'm a very handsome boy cat, probably about 5 years old or so, and we ::think:: I am a Ragdoll. I don't have the "papers" to prove it, but I really look like a Ragdoll, and I act like one, too! I love (actually crave) attention, am very talkative, love to follow my humans all over the house, and I love to flop and dance. My story is a great fit for the Rescued anthology since I was rescued by my human. At the time of my rescue, we were all in northern Minnesota, which has brutal winters! I'd been abandoned by some other humans in the dead of winter and I was not prepared to be outside or to survive. Fortunately, the place where I was abandoned was very close to my human's house. I took up residence in the garage. My story is about how I was rescued (trapped and tamed and incorporated in to my human's household with five other cats) and how my easy going Ragdoll nature eventually expressed itself again!

The title of your story in Rescued is "The Ragdoll's Dance". For those who aren't familiar with Ragdoll cats, can you introduce us to your beautiful breed and how you "dance"?

Like I said, we can't be sure I am a Ragdoll, but I have so many characteristics of this beautiful breed! I have the blue eyes, big paws, and stocky build. I have an easygoing and very sociable personality, and I love love love to use my body to express my joy and happiness. I'll stick my butt in the air if you scratch it; I'll flop on my side if you pet me. I LOVE being brushed! It is one of my favorite things. I have a jump like you wouldn't believe. I'm very talkative. I sprawl in the craziest positions. I just love to express myself through my body!

I have heard that some Ragdolls go limp when you pick them up (thus the description "floppy cat") but I get a little nervous about being held. I'm also nervous about having my paws handled but I think that's because my paws are always so busy and always pulsing with the power of my dance! I'm a very expressive kitty.

"Outside, pre-rescue. He would watch us through the window. He wanted to come in, but wasn't ready." --Catherine Holm, Zorro's human

Your story begins as you're flung from a car into the snow by some heartless humans. That must've been such a terribly frightening time for you. What do you remember about it?

I was completely frightened! I had never been outside before and all of a sudden I was hitting the ground and breathing the fumes as the car sped away! It was so cold! Instincts took over and I quickly took cover in the nearest garage (as it turned out, a garage that was part of my future human's home). Still, this happened in the country where things are pretty far apart. There weren't a whole lot of shelters around and I was fortunate to find that garage so quickly. I toughened up quickly but the garage provided good shelter. Believe it or not, I would go outside if there was no wind, and sit on the snow in the sun, even in sub zero temps! My bulk and my thick fur helped with this. The humans provided a shelter for me in the garage, food, water, and a litter box, and I was smart enough to not go outside when it was too cold or windy. But I was wary of the humans for the entire winter, and eventually had to be (humanely) trapped.

How did you manage to move beyond human betrayal and learn to dance again?

It was a long process! My human got me used to her voice. She would talk to me, all winter, in the garage, whenever she came out. I would show myself to her and her husband, but hid for anyone else. If you've ever seen a feral cat simply vanish into his surroundings, that is what I did. When spring came and the humans were getting ready for a cross country move, they captured me because they didn't want to leave me to just fend for myself. I had a long long car ride to a new place! When we arrived at the new place, the human isolated me in a room right away (I'd already been neutered and vaccinated when I was originally captured). She worked with me gradually over a few months and I eventually stopped hiding behind a wall and started coming out and getting comfortable with being touched. It was a touch and go process and new for us both.

What is life like for you today?

I love my life! I have a great house with a few stories and stairs to run up and down, and ceiling beams to run on, too. Sometimes we catch mice (they show up in the fall -- we are still in the country). There are lots of windows, comfortable cat beds, and I generally get along with the other five cats (except for Chester -- sometimes he and I get into it). I love love love to spring upon the laps of my humans and get the petting I crave. I dance at any opportunity possible.

What shelter have you chosen to receive your proceeds from the book this month and why?

Felines & Friends Foundation of Vermont ( is the organization I have chosen to receive proceeds from the book this month. Why? Because they do terrific work in northern Vermont and surrounding areas, and they help and save free roaming cats. This is a very rural area and there are plenty of barn cats, for example. It's also an area where not everyone has the means to spay and neuter their animals, or get needed vet care. Felines & Friends works with farmers, townspeople, and cats, to address overpopulation issues of these free roaming cats. They trap, neuter/spay, and return feral cats to their original locations. And they re-home adoptable free-roaming cats. They work tirelessly to save cats and to educate area folks about these issues. Felines & Friends has made a HUGE dent in helping humans and feral cats in this area of the country! I was a feral cat once and I know first hand that Felines and Friends is preventing a lot of needless suffering; and making a big dent in feral cat overpopulation.

What do you hope people learn from your story and what would you like your lasting legacy to be?

I always hope that people will be kind to cats to the best of their ability. A warm shelter, a bit of food, seeking help if needed for your cats or the cats you are caring for, these are all good things. Mostly, I want people and cats to know that deep within us all is our true essence. If life can be made a little nicer for all of us, our true essence can shine through! I am able to be an easygoing, dancing cat now and I no longer have to worry about surviving in the cold, or where my next meal will come from. I am happy to be joyful and to dance!


Summer at said...

What an awesome interview, you two! Thanks so much, Mudpie, for doing this series.

The Menagerie Mom said...

What a handsome boy you are, Zorro! We are so sorry you had to endure inhumanity like you did, but we're also so glad that you found your new forever family and forever home. You are now exactly where you need to be, and that is so wonderful. Thank you, Mudpie, for interviewing kitties like Zorro!

Mickey's Musings said...

What a great interview with the handsome Zorro.
Quite an ordeal too :o
We are glad you found such a pawsome family.
Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ

Anonymous said...

Sure glad Zorro found his fur-ever home!

Lola The Rescued Cat said...

Fantastic interview, Mudpie. We enjoyed learning more about Zorro. This is a fab book.

Unknown said...

Zorro says, thank you so much!

da tabbies o trout towne said...

Zorro; very nice to meet you; we are very sorry about what happened; but we are BUZZED happy you now have a place to call home; a brother to be friends with if you want ☺☺ and awesome people; you are one handsome dood !! here's to many years o happiness ahead ♥♥

pilch92 said...

Zoro is handsome, I am so glad he was rescued. Thank you for the purrs for Phoebe, they are appreciated and needed. XO

Cathy Keisha said...

He as so lucky even though he started out unlucky.

Morrie Major said...

What a handsome guy Zoro is! And thanks for posting that amazing story - what a great result!!
Lots of licks, your new friend Morrie :)

meowmeowmans said...

That is so cool. What a great interview with Zorro, who has had quite an amazing life!

Thank you and Mommy for your kind comments and purrs about our sweet angel Zoe's passing. Thank you for your friendship, which is so special to us.

Eastside Cats said...

Oh Zorro! I remember when you were outside in the snow, and when you finally came inside. Wonderful to see you again, handsome!