When Jason Belisha’s car broke down earlier this month, it was inconvenient, but a little gray cat named “Popeye” was grateful for that engine failure.
Belisha was returning her rental car in Decatur, Georgia when she heard a desperate meow in the parking lot. Belisha told The Dodo: ‘I looked left and right and finally looked under the car next to me, where I found the poor boy wet and alone.
Belisha motioned for the cat to approach and, to his surprise, the feral cat approached without hesitation. He buried his face in Belisha’s hand, eager for attention. Though rescuing an animal didn’t quite fit into Belisha’s plans for the rest of the day, he knew he couldn’t leave the cat alone.
“It’s moments like this that make me say to myself, ‘This has to happen for a reason,'” Belisha said. “And if I were a homeless kitten, I would want someone to help me.”
Belisha picked up the stray cat and redirected it, explaining to the rental agent that he needed the car in a few hours so he could transport the cat to the shelter. Luckily, the person behind the desk is more than happy to help – and ignore the fresh wet footprints in the car’s interior.
But the local shelter’s response to the stray child was not what Belisha expected. Belisha explained: “They told me that since she is more than 3 months old, they will take her back to the street where I found her because she can survive on her own. “No thanks!”
The shelter gave Belisha a cat litter box, but Popeye didn’t want to be away from her rescuer – even for a moment. Belisha explained: “He would continue to scream unless I held him in my arms”.
After taking the car from the store and visiting the pet store, Belisha finally returned home with the kitten. Immediately, Popeye started using the litter box and befriended Belisha’s corgi, Goose. “They are instant buds,” says Belisha. “
As Popeye got used to life in a house, he was still the cute kitten who first approached Belisha to beg for help. He even asked to sleep in bed with his new adoptive father and dog brother.
But Belisha knew that no matter how much he loved the little cat, their arrangement couldn’t last forever. With her busy schedule as a musician and photographer, Belisha couldn’t give the kitten the attention and care it needed. So he was sure he could find someone who did.
“One of my close friends reached out and said she had room for him if I couldn’t keep him,” Belisha said. “I took the opportunity and brought him in before I got too attached to him”.
While Belisha is sad to say goodbye, he knows he’s doing what’s best for both of them. And he stays up to date with all Popeye’s adventures.
Belisha added: “He is such a joy and a joy to be around. “Goose and I will miss him so much, but he will always be close to my friend’s house… and his new mom always sends me videos to let me know he’s okay.”