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The Cat with No Name

by Tim Tobin
(Voorhees, NJ, USA)

The cat with no name showed up on our patio during a blizzard in an especially cold January. We were sure he was drawn to us by the presence of our three cats at the patio door. Our initial reaction was that he would go home soon.

He didn’t. The small grey cat hung around the patio crying. Soon, my wife MaryAnn was feeding it and giving it water. She put a box on the patio, turned it away from the wind and put a blanket and a toy in the box. MaryAnn wanted to name the cat, but I told her that meant he was ours.

During the day, the cat went its own way, but at night there he was, in his box and on his blanket. As days stretched on MaryAnn would stand on the patio, wrap the small critter in a blanket and hold it to her warmth while he purred.

The purred was interrupted by a bad cough.

At first I resisted bringing him into our home. We live in a condo that discourages pets of all kinds and expressly forbids dogs. Our three little friends already stretch the rules. But, as the month stretched on and the cold didn’t break, Mr. Softy finally gave in. I told MaryAnn, though, to take the cat to the vet before bring him in. We didn’t want any issues with the existing trio.

The news was tragic.

The cough was caused by a tumor in the cat’s throat that was almost definitely cancerous. So, we put the little cat to sleep. MaryAnn held him and cried while the drug took effect. On the way out, one of the techs asked my wife if she wanted to leave a name.

“No,” she said. “He’s just the cat with no name.”

He cost us $500 and was never in our house, but at least he knew he was loved even if it was only for a few days.


The story of the “cat with no name” has been fictionalized and published initially in the October 16, 2012 issue of Clever, an online magazine, and then in the December 2014 issue of Write to Meow, an annual anthology of cat stories published by Grey Wolf Publishing.

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Apr 04, 2016
by: Anonymous

A week after my father passed, we adopted a sweet and beautiful girl cat from a local shelter. She was with us a very short time and her hind legs stopped working. Xrays revealed a large mass in her abdominal area and I was advised she was suffering. I had to make "the decision", too. Her name was Corrie and she will forever be in my heart.

Feb 09, 2016
Heartrending Tale
by: Cat McMahon

Dear Tim,

What a heartrending story. Tears were running down my cheeks as I read it. Moreover, your story brought back memories of a cat we inherited when we moved to the wilderness, another no name kitty that was sick and suffering, and had to be put down. "No Name" was very blessed to have wandered into the lives of two very special people, you and MaryAnn, who were able to help him through his darkest hours. Thank you for being there for him, and thank you for sharing his story.

Comforting purrs,

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