Stormy’s Sad Story

Over fall break, I, along with Millikin’s English Club, had a chance to take a trip to Chicago. In that trip, we toured many museums, shopped, and tasted the finest cuisine the city had to offer. And it was on that trip many surreal things happened, among them was meeting a unique personality on the city streets.  

On a cold Thursday night, as my friends and I were leaving the Art Institute to get something to eat, we saw a Tuxedo cat wearing a witch hat and cloak. The cat was tied to a milk crate by a blue wire leash. Below her was a sign that not only asked for help, but also claimed to be the only p*ssy Trump wouldn’t grab.

Needless to say, it caught all our attention pretty quickly. But then the cat called us over. Plucking up as much courage as I could, I decided to say hello and to ask the cat for its name. She told me she had been called many names over the years. Some were pleasant, while others weren’t so much. Today, she calls herself Stormy, after Stormy Daniels, and she preceded to tell me her life’s story.     

Stormy was born in a high-rise apartment in the city along with her sister, a tortoiseshell named Priscilla, and her brother, a cream tom named Harry. Her mother, a cream domestic long-hair named Winnie, never had any kittens before, and it came to her family as a complete shock and surprise.  

Stormy’s troubles all started when she was only six weeks old. Winnie’s owner couldn’t afford the rent, and they soon had to give all the cats away. “From there, Mom sorta lost her mind,” Stormy said. “The moment she heard her owner’s plan to give her away, she literally threw me and my siblings away with the garbage, blaming us for all her trouble.”

She hadn’t seen her mother since, so Stormy and her siblings had to stick together to brave the weather as well as the rest of the city. It had its ups and downs, but they somehow managed to find food and the occasional fire to keep them warm in the winter.

But as life comes with its cruelty, the siblings weren’t together for very long. Harry was caught and presumably lost forever; Priscilla also was lost in the fray. It was only four years after the incident when Stormy learned of her sister’s fate, dead on the side of the road.        

Life in the streets hasn’t been easy for Stormy, especially living out on her own. She tries to get by through eating out of the trash or going to the local fishmonger’s store, if she’s lucky. “You’d think that with this face I can get as much fish as I please,” Stormy said, “But life ain’t all silver and gold.”

Despite the hardships she has every day in the Windy City, Stormy does have a friend to help life go by a little easier. The other day, she had spent the day with Shags, a stray mutt who has been close friends for quite a while. They can always rely on each other to get through the toughest of times. “It’s like hey, the streets are uncaring, but there will always be those diamonds in the rough,” Stormy said.    

Recently, Stormy was wandering the streets when she spotted a homeless man who promised her food. She had been working for this guy for only a week, but she had only received food once every few days. When I asked how she felt about what he was doing, she told me, “You gotta do what you gotta do to get food. By this point, a moral compass ain’t gonna get you anyplace anyhow anymore.”

But by far the worst part about all of this is that Stormy’s story is almost a complete lie. Sure, there was a tuxedo cat wearing a witch costume and tied to a milk crate outside the Art Institute, but I was shoved away by the cat’s “owner” before I had a chance to get close. It was hunched over, and it looked sad, scared, and miserable. And cats can’t even speak English, so I could only assume the worst.

I’ve never had a pet, but I have always had an appreciation for animals. It’s because of that love I want to share an animal’s story. It’s because of that love that I volunteer at the Macon County Animal Shelter every week by cuddling with the cats in need of good homes. Everyone deserves an equal chance, especially the animals who need that chance to find the love they deserve.