In Memory of Tabby

“I grew up with animals from the time I was born, so I really think my parents instilled that love in me from the beginning. We lived on a dirt road in rural West Virginia, and we often had animals dumped on our road, or even in our driveway. My family always took them in. When I was three years old, a relative had a cat who had kittens and desperately needed to find homes for them. My parents let me pick one kitten out of the litter to be my very own. My mom wanted me to choose one of the Siamese kittens that she thought was so gorgeous. But instead, I had my heart set on a little gray tabby cat, and in my infinite 3-year-old wisdom, I named her Tabby. She became my absolute best friend in the world. I could pick her up and carry her anywhere. She nestled in my lap, purred, and loved me just as much as I loved her. When I was growing up, I experienced some abuse that I won't go into, but I'll say that I was ashamed, embarrassed, and didn't feel like I could speak to anyone about it – anyone except Tabby. Tabby would listen to all of my secrets and never tell a soul. She comforted me every single time I needed to cry. My precious Tabby lived to be 22 and a half years old. I've spent years volunteering to help care for feral cats, advocating for wildlife conservation, and I'm so proud that I can work for an absolutely amazing shelter so that I can help others to find their best friends too. I know how much mine helped me.” – Julie Rickmond

Tabby - Julie - Julie Rickmond