When Violet arrived at the Effingham County Animal Shelter in Illinois on Monday, it was immediately clear that the stray cat used to have a home. “She’s very, very sweet and loves to be scratched on the head,” Michaela Muzzy, Violet’s rescuer, wrote on Facebook.
But her sweetness wasn’t the only thing that hinted at the cat’s past — around her neck was a pink collar and attached to it was a note.
Purple marker scrawl filled up every inch of the page.
It read (corrected for spelling): “Bye Violet. I think that name chose you. I wish I could keep you. Bye Violet, I hope you get a good owner. To owner: Please take good care of her. By the way, I named her. Thank you! Love, Lacey.”
The earnest letter broke hearts across the shelter. Not only was a sweet cat missing a home, but a child was missing her. “When we pulled it off and read it it just tugs at your heartstrings,” Vanessa Skavlem, an animal control officer at the shelter, told The Dodo. “I just envision some child loving this thing, and knowing that they can’t keep it.”
The shelter’s scan for a microchip came back negative. With no way to contact Violet’s former owners, they posted a photo of Violet and the note on social media.
There, the child’s plea for her beloved pet to find a good home continued to touch members of the local community — including Cindy Murray.
When Murray first read the post on Facebook, her eyes filled with tears: “You could tell it was written by a child,” Murray told The Dodo. “You could tell she loved this cat but she just wasn’t able to keep her anymore and she wants her to go to a good home.”
Murray had the day off work, so she thought she’d stop by the shelter to meet Violet.
“I screenshotted the post and sent it to my husband at work, and said, ‘I want to go get this cat. I love it — talk me out of it,’” Murray said. “And he said, ‘You know I can’t do that. If you want it, go get it.’”
Murray could tell the little Siamese cat was nervous in the shelter, so she decided to bring her home that day. And, once she was back in a loving environment, Violet finally began to relax: “She’s been purring and she seems very happy,” Murray said.
Murray only wishes she could reach the little kid who loved her cat so very much and let her know that everything is going to be OK: “I thought about doing a little video to this girl saying, ‘Dear Lacey, I adopted your beautiful Violet. She’s going to have a wonderful life — full of treats, snuggles and everything we can give her.’”