Platita and Ben

Ben first met Platita when he first moved into his downtown apartment complex. She came up to him, meowing plaintively. She told him she was desperately hungry, cold, and all alone in the world. She told him what it was like to spend cold nights shivering for shelter under cars in the parking lot. She blinked her golden eyes and purred as she told him he was her one true soul mate. She had spent her entire life waiting for a human to cuddle her and keep her warm. Ben adored his Platita right from the start. She was that kind of lady.

Ben set her up in his apartment and took her to the vet for medical care. It turned out she was already spayed, but she had no microchip. The vet told him she had probably turned up at a feral colony sometime in the past. A rescue group would have spayed her, given her shots, and returned her to the streets. Ben’s heart broke at the thought of his beloved beautiful angel fighting strays for scraps. Never again! He had her microchipped and gave her a collar with a tag that said “LOST KITTY” and his phone number. He wasn’t going to take any chances that he might lose her.

A few days later Ben got his first phone call from a neighbor saying “hey, I think I have your cat.” Platita had gone up to another human, meowing plaintively, telling him she was desperately hungry and all alone in the world. That neighbor wasn’t the only call. There were many, many more. Eventually Ben got so annoyed with all the phone calls that he took the collar off.

It turns out that Platita went by many names, and she had many homes. She had been a fixture in the neighborhood for years. People often stopped to say hello when they saw her sunning herself in the courtyard. If she liked the look of you, she would fix her gaze on you, blink slowly, and purr gently. She made you feel like you were the most important person she’d ever met in her entire life. And you would believe her.

Platita behind a computer

The first time Platita didn’t come home, Ben spent the night searching the courtyard and calling for her. She came strolling in the next morning, still warm from whatever neighbor’s house she had spent the night in.

This routine went on for years. She would visit all the neighbors, and some of them kept special snacks for her. It was a fairly small block of apartments, and most neighbors knew each other, so they would send her home again. But every now and then, people moved in, and when they met Platita, she’d go up to them and meow plaintively.

Then there came the day that Platita was missing for a week. Ben was really worried this time, and he called me. This cat! It was a really good bet that some kind human had believed her lies and “rescued” her. So I told Ben to call all the vets in the area, talk to all his neighbors, and get her photo on social media, as I was certain that whatever had happened, she’d seek help from a human.

A few days later, Ben got a call from a vet 30 miles away. Platita had found some tourists in Hemisphere Park and worked her particular magic until they put her in the car and took her home. The vet scanned her microchip and called Ben. He immediately went to get her.

On the way home, she gazed at him with her golden eyes and purred. She told him how awful it was to be stolen away, and how she was terribly mistreated and starved. She was so grateful Ben had come to rescue her, but she had never doubted he would.

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