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A few years ago I was a caseworker in Milwaukee. My clients were on house arrest and it was my job to track them twice a day at home. Most of my clients lived in what was the "bad" part of the city that was poverty-stricken. I went to a client's home on a cold and rainy day in December and saw this gorgeous gray cat outside. She came right up to me and rubbed against my leg. I pet her and asked my client if he was going to let his cat inside, they replied "No, she's not mine. The people that lived here before us got evicted and they left it outside- I guess they couldn't take care of it." I asked if his family fed her and my client replied "Not really. We don't like cats." I finished up our business and as I walked away the cat sat outside the door waiting to be let in to a home that wasn't hers anymore. My heart broke for her.

The next day, I decided if the cat was still there I would pick her up. Lo and behold, I went to the client's door and she crept up to let me pet her and she purred like crazy. I asked, "Do you mind if I take her?" I'm not sure why I felt the need to ask, she wasn't his cat. He said "No, I think it really likes you and you definitely like it. You should take it." So I did. I picked her up and drove to Wal-Mart to get some basics for the cat I'd call Willa. She went from hood to pampered in a matter of minutes! My friends call her Princess Willa and she is nothing short of that!

Maggie Gervase
Chicago, IL

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