by Peter B. O’Connor

Two months ago my five-year old son Jack and I decided we would adopt a cat. We both love animals, and our dog Alice would hopefully enjoy the company. I told him that anyone could get a kitten, so why not get something special, something that nobody else would want. We looked on Craigslist and found a one-eyed cat that needed a home. He was about eight years old, and we were told that he was loving and gets along fine with dogs.

We went to the Mt. Airy home where he was being fostered by a wonderful girl named Katie Locke. When Jack and I met the one-eyed cat, we both thought, “Yes; he would be a perfect addition to our home. I wanted to name the cat ‘Argh,’ but Jack quickly said, ‘No; lets call him Happy Pirate.’” “So Happy Pirate it is,” I said. We needed to wait a week as Happy Pirate had an ear infection that needed to heal before he could come home with us. In the meantime we got all the things you need for a cat: litter box, kitty litter, food, toys, etc.

The day before Happy Pirate was to come home, Katie called me in tears, saying that she had to take Happy Pirate to Penn Veterinary Hospital the night before because he was not well. He did not respond to any treatments and was suffering so they had to do the humane thing and put him down. Happy Pirate was dead. I explained to Jack that Happy Pirate got sick and died but was now in heaven with both of his eyes.

Katie felt horrible as she knew Jack and I had our hearts set on this little cat. She asked me if there was anything she could do for us. I told her if she ever gets a “freak” cat, someone that nobody else would want, a cat that’s deaf or blind or with three legs, to please call us.

She said with tears in her voice, “Really? I have a three-legged cat sitting on my lap right now.” She was found wandering around West Philadelphia with a mangled leg, and it was just amputated a couple of weeks prior.

So a few days later she brought the kitten to visit us. It was love at first sight. She is small, very affectionate and hops around like a little rabbit. When Alice the dog met her, they each sniffed each other, and Alice sort of looked at me with a “What the heck is she doing in my house?” look. After the visit Katie told us we needed to wait a week until the stitches were removed and she was given a clean bill of health before she could come to our house for good.

I wanted to stick with the pirate theme and name her Peg. I mentioned this to Jack, and he said, “Let’s name her Pegasus after the flying horse.” So Pegasus it is. She came to us the following week and has settled in quite nicely. Alice the dog is getting used to her, and Jack loves that she sleeps under the covers with him. She does eat like a pig, and I caught her once after she stole a whole breakfast sausage off of Jack’s plate. I let her keep it.

As for all the silly toys we bought her, she prefers rolled up pieces of newspaper or tissues or the dogs tail. Note to self: Don’t buy anything except food for the cat.

If anyone is thinking about adopting a cat, I suggest getting in touch with Animal Care and Control Team Of Philadelphia at (Ed.note: Or contact our area’s Saint Rescue, otherwise known as Brenda Malinics, at 215-872-1636 or

Peter and Jack O’Connor live in Chestnut Hill. For more information,