Mom Had No Idea Cat She Rescued in College Would Fall in Love with Her Daughter

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People who own multiple cats or dogs at a time sometimes say you can’t have favorites, but that isn’t necessarily true. You can have pets you like more in one way than you like another, but there’s usually one that stands out from the rest.

Sometimes it’s the critter that started it all. You’re still so smitten with them even though they’re long gone, and while you love every pet you bring into your home, that one individual will always hold a special place in your heart.

It’s not always clear during their lifetime that they’re “the one,” but if you’re fortunate enough to be like this family, you’ll know greatness when you see it.

Bailey isn’t your average cat. Many cats are too good for their owners, let alone any small humans that they have to share the house with.

Many cats will perch high out of reach, staring down at the masses with half-lidded eyes and just the tip of their tail twitching as they survey their kingdom.

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But not Bailey. Bailey jumps right in to whatever his girls are up to. He has the patience of a saint — something you’d expect to see in a dog.

It all started when a college student named Erin snuck a cat into her dorm room — something many are guilty of, though some choose less-obvious ways to break the rules, like a tortoise in a dresser drawer or a guinea pig cage tucked under a desk (not speaking from experience or anything).

“I hid him in my dorm room where animals were not allowed,” Erin said in an interview with The Dodo. “I ended up getting caught a week later.”

“The school gave me 48 hours to get him out of the dorms. My parents told me, ‘You’re getting rid of him.’ They already had two cats and a dog. I was devastated.”

The situation seemed bleak. With her parents unable to help her out, she had to turn to others.

A video from her college years shows her cradling the orange tabby cat and asking “Who is gonna take this little baby?”

Fortunately, an old neighbor was willing to give Bailey a shot. “I ended up finding an elderly woman that lived in the neighborhood I grew up in that offered to take him,” Erin said. But the choice wasn’t easy.

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“Half my drive back to college, I was in tears. This kitten had a personality like … no other cat I’ve ever met.”

That personality must have been too much for the neighbor to manage, because just a few days later she tapped out. Erin had a cat once again, but she had a different plan this time.

She had a month break from school, and told her parents she had the cat but that she’d use the time to find him a home. Of course, what she meant is that she would use that month to make her parents fall in love with him so she wouldn’t have to give him away.

It worked — and the rest is history. He’s no spring chicken anymore, and will turn 14 this October. Bailey is using his age and wisdom to ponder the deeper meanings of life while simultaneously engaging in princess dress-up and tea parties with his young charges.

Now married and a mom of three, Erin Merryn has been surprised at how seamlessly Bailey has taken to her children. Bailey accepted each of her babies quickly, and soon was snuggling up next to them for naps, snuggling up to them for attention, and just plain snuggling.

He looks quite content to be pushed around in dolly strollers and adorned with tutus and bridal veils — the fact that he goes out of his way to make himself available for these situations is proof enough that he’s a unique cat.

And it all started because he was a stowaway with a personality of gold.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking