Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Real Story of Woody and Willy (Tangled Up With A Cowboy)


I wanted to share with you the real-life story of the two little cats pictured above who are also featured in TANGLED UP WITH A COWBOY where Livvy finds two kittens abandoned on the side of the road. The tale of how one kitten saved the life of his brother is based on the true adventure of two kittens we adopted many years ago.

Years ago a coworker was driving home from work on a lonely country lane when she spotted something in the middle of the road. She stopped the car when she realized that the “something” was a little black and white ball of fur just sitting there as if daring someone to stop. She didn’t want to risk the kitten getting hit so she got out of the car to see what was going on. With that, the little ball of fluff scampered into the drainage ditch on the side of the road and scurried up into a bunch of bushes.

What could Marlene do but follow. Obviously, given the remoteness of the area, this little kitten had been abandoned and autumn was already in the air. She gingerly stepped into the ditch, hoping her high heels would manage, and then climbed up the small embankment. Brushing away the bushes, she found the little kitten sitting beside a sibling with similar markings crouched amongst branches and leaves. It was clear from the blood matting the fur of the sibling (who we would name Woody) that he was hurt and the cat in the middle of the road (who we would name Willy) had purposely led her there so she could find his injured sibling. Marlene did what anyone with a big heart would have done; she first scooped up the uninjured cat who, without protest, allowed her to place him in her car. Then, after getting an old jacket from the trunk, she went back for the injured cat, quite certain that he wasn’t in any condition to flee.

Indeed he was waiting for her, meowing by this time, likely for his brother. Wrapping him in the old jacket, she got him back to the car where Willy was meowing in response. Upon the two cats seeing each other, the meowing stopped and Marlene put them together in the back seat. Both, she said, behaved well on the drive to the veterinarian she used for her own dog and several cats. The veterinarian’s verdict was that the injured cat was likely attacked by a wild animal and needed stitches but the healthy cat just needed shots and could go home with her. And so that was the situation when Marlene asked me if I wanted to adopt these kittens.

I hesitated because we had just lost our cat, Puddin’. Marlene explained that she really couldn’t keep them. She already had four pets and her husband did not want any more. Would I just take a peek at their picture, Marlene asked?

You can guess the rest.  I took one look at their picture and Woody and Willy had a home. It wasn’t hard to convince my husband either after I showed him their photo. 

And that is how Woody and Willy came into our lives. Willy was always the hero, but we both had a soft spot for Woody who thrived, despite rather deep wounds in his early life. But if his brother hadn’t flagged down a passing car, we shudder to think what would have happened to either of them abandoned on that isolated strip of road.

Willy was the stronger, heftier sibling and just like in TANGLED UP WITH A COWBOY, we had to keep him from eating Woody’s food. Willy was also the bolder one and loved trailing after guests like a dog, sitting on anyone’s lap who would let him. Woody, on the other hand, was shy and more reserved. He’d let his brother have his way if we didn’t intervene. It usually took him a while before he would come out when company came calling.  Not surprising after what he had been through in the early part of his life.

Woody and Willy passed on several years ago. But they brought us much joy in the time we had with them and we will never forget how Willy saved his brother so they could live happily ever after with us.


I hope you enjoy TANGLED UP WITH A COWBOY and the story of Woody and Willy that it contains. For those who have pets, how did you find your fur baby, or rather how did your fur baby find you?



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