Spirit was the "mean cat" at the shelter. I named him, handled him, then promptly put a sign on his cage that read, "Wear gloves!" For Spirit would lure the ignorant in with beseeching looks and affectionate rubs, then would suddenly attack full-force. After drawing blood on multiple shelter visitors, he made the euthanasia list. They held onto him for me until I got home from my road trip, got him fixed for me, and then to a collective sigh of relief from all involved, Spirit became part of my foster family.
Unfortunately, the incompetent vet who fixed him, also cut off part of his ear as though he were one of the ferals. Poor Spirit.
After weeks at my house, I noticed some improvement. I decided to take him back to the shelter to see how he would fare there, but had miscalculated my days and the shelter was closed and vacant of key-holders. I took Spirit back home, knowing with certainty what the outcome of his visit would have been.
This beautiful boy is now roaming free, and happily comes home for loving affection and food. He proudly wears his fancy leather collar, and has further captured my heart. I cannot put my feelings about this cat into words, but his strength of spirit has made an impression on me.
He is not mean. He was sad and angry about being locked into a little cage. Now that he is free, he comes home freely. His temperament is still a bit rough around the edges, but he comes when called, asks for affection, is tolerant of the children, and gives plenty of warning when he is touched out. His inside is as beautiful as his outside, and I adopted him yesterday. Welcome home, Spirit.