Growing old is inevitable. For some of us, it may seem like a destination on an uncharted horizon, but that destination will arrive sooner...

While Searching For Her Escaped Cat On A Wintry Night, Old Woman Stumbles Upon An Unbelievable Sight While Searching For Her Escaped Cat On A Wintry Night, Old Woman Stumbles Upon An Unbelievable Sight

While Searching For Her Escaped Cat On A Wintry Night, Old Woman Stumbles Upon An Unbelievable Sight

While Searching For Her Escaped Cat On A Wintry Night, Old Woman Stumbles Upon An Unbelievable Sight

Growing old is inevitable. For some of us, it may seem like a destination on an uncharted horizon, but that destination will arrive sooner or later. Lucky are those who get to grow old with their companion. But there are also people like Fran Swayze, who lives with her cat named Bandit in an old age home. Fran rescued him from a shelter and since then the duo has been inseparable.
Until one night, when Fran noticed Bandit behaving oddly. He sat by the front door and kept meowing at something on the other side. At first, Fran didn’t open the door assuming Bandit wanted to go out for a walk and it was already past 9 pm. But when Bandit didn’t quiet down, Fran gave in. As soon as she opened the door, Bandit ran outside instantly and disappeared into the night. Fran rushed behind, desperately looking for her cat. Little did she know, on that icy winter night as she called out for Bandit, she will come face to face with an unbelievable sight.

The sun rays poured inside through the cracks in the blinds. Waking up in the morning is no longer a challenge for Fran. She wakes up without the need to rub the sleep away from her eyes. Her dreams are not just forgotten but completely erased from her mind. Looking forward to starting her day, Fran dragged her feet off the bed into her slippers resting by her bed. 

After Fran lost her husband, she went through phases of grief. At first, it was denial. Then acceptance, which took a lot out of her. She couldn’t sleep in her bed for a really long time. Then came recovery, where she didn’t want to get out of bed. And now she has moved on. She has learned to live her life, despite the loss. That’s what her husband would have wanted for her after all. 

Buena Vista Seniors Community. Fran didn’t notice when she started calling this place home. Initial years were difficult, but gradually she learned to be on her own. She even made friends with a few people here and began to enjoy her time. Things got easier when Bandit came into her life. Bandit is her cat that she rescued last year.

Around the summer of last year, Fran had been thinking about getting a pet. She knew her mind will be busy and having a companion will be healing for her. Even though she has made her peace with being alone after losing her husband, it is not always easy to be on her own. It took her years to get used to sleeping in an empty bed. She assumed getting a pet will be good for her. 

She was a firm believer in adopting animals instead of buying them from stores. Providing a home for an animal in need is the best thing anyone can do for them. They just need to be loved and cared for. So Fran decided to visit a local shelter and take a look around. She didn’t have anything in her mind beforehand. She knew once she sees it, she will know it is hers. 

As decided, Fran walked inside the shelter with zero expectations. She began to look around the cages which kept different kinds of dogs and cats. Some of the cages also had rabbits. Fran knew she is too old for a dog. they have crazy energy and need a lot of care, one which she won’t be able to provide as an elderly lady who lives in an old age home. 

Fran assumed getting a cat will be easier, plus she was more of a cat person anyway. So she began to look through the cat cages. There were a variety of cats, some fluffy, some tiny, some sleepy, some aggressive. But Fran had not felt the connection she assumed she would feel when she spots her animal. Right as she was about to turn her back, her eyes spotted a cage in the corner of the room.

Fran saw a skinny tabby cat curled up in her cage. Unlike other cats, she didn’t crave for attention. She didn’t make a sound as Fran approached her cage. On enquiring about the cat, Fran came to know that he has been here at the shelter for over a year but nobody would adopt him. Fran knew there is no reason to not adopt him, he is just a little coy that’s all.

Fran decided to take the cat home. She felt that connection with him even though she just saw him. The people at the shelter were happy to assist, as finally, after living in a cage for more than a year, the cat gets to go home. That evening, once the shelter was done with his vaccination, they dropped off the cat at Fran’s room.

Fran decided to welcome her new cat home and named him Bandit. Since Bandit had been on his own for almost a year, it took him a while to get used to his new home. He didn’t know what sleeping in a warm bed feels like and Fran would often find him sleeping in a corner on the floor. 

Fran allowed Bandit time to get used to everything. Her home, her smell, her love, her touch. During the initial days, he wouldn’t come out from underneath the table. She got him cat food which he refused to touch. The only thing he enjoyed was some warm milk. Fran assumed Bandit had either suffered some kind of trauma or having lived alone he didn’t know how to share his space.

Fran knew that for Bandit, it is important to take baby steps to make him comfortable at her home. So when he finally decided to step out from the table, Fran let him walk around and get familiar at his own pace. And before she knew it, Bandit was beginning to come around. 

During day time, Bandit lived his life like a feline-ninja, waging wars against birds and rats. But once the evening sets in, he cuddles with Fran demanding her to pet him. He eats the finest cat food and sleeps in a warm bed every night. He was finally living the life he deserved i.e. at a loving home not locked away in a cage. 

Bandit had also made friends with the neighbors, which Fran was really happy about. Her neighbor Mary had a dachshund of her own named Sugar. But despite the expected cat and dog rivalry, Bandit and Sugar never fought with each other. Bandit made sure to visit them once during his very busy day of chasing birds and rats.

It was a chilly winter evening on a Saturday. Fran was finishing up with Dinner and Bandit was busy licking his bowl clean. Since the weather got colder, Fran liked to wrap up with her chores early so that she could head to bed and read in the warmth.

Bandit, on the other hand, was an outdoor-loving cat, despite the cold weather. So every evening after dinner, he would head out for his walk and come home after tiring himself out. Once home, he would cuddle with Fran and fall asleep while she finishes her book and eventually falls asleep herself. 

It was almost 9 pm now, but Bandit was not ready to get in bed. For some reason, he kept lurking by the door and right as the clock struck 9, Bandit sat down by the door and began to meow. Fran was really confused by this odd behavior on Bandit’s part.

Nighttime was his favorite, especially during the winters when Fran would cuddle with him in bed. But tonight Bandit was not ready to leave the door. Fran kept calling him but he didn’t budge from his spot. His constant meowing made Fran think he wants to go out again. But it was already past 9 so Fran didn’t want to send him out alone.

When Bandit didn’t come to bed, Fran finally gave in and decided to open the door. But she wasn’t going to let him out alone at this hour. she decided to join him and once he has roamed around for a few minutes, she will bring him home. So Fran slipped out of her bed and put on her shoes, ready to head out.

As soon as Fran opened the front door, Bandit jumped out the door and ran outside. Fran didn’t have the energy to keep up with his pace and before she knew it, Bandit had disappeared into the night. Her legs felt like they could give away at any moment. Her eyebrows were furrowed into a frown. She didn’t know where to look for him.

Fran began to call out for Bandit, in hopes that he will come back at the sound of her voice. But Bandit was nowhere to be seen. Fran did not know who to call for help. She thought she would go and talk to the security guard in hopes that he might have seen her cat running around somewhere. 

Right As Fran was about to turn around and go downstairs, her eyes spotted something at the end of the corridor. In the darkness of the night, Fran couldn’t make out what it is. As she reached closer, she spotted a familiar dull tabby fur creature, it was Bandit! He was standing near the corridor railing, facing the garden.

Fran called out to Bandit and the cat turned to face her but didn’t make a move to come towards her. Fran was getting confused by this strange behavior of her cat. She noticed Bandit turn around and look out from the railing again. 

Fran called out to her cat again. But this time Bandit responded back with a meow. He looked at Fran then looked back out at the garden through the railing and began to meow again and again. Fran realized Bandit is looking at something in the garden which is making him restless. She decided to check it out.

Fran reached the spot where Bandit was standing. She followed his gaze into the garden. At first, everything seemed normal. But then Fran noticed something in the dimly lit garden area, it was a pile of clothes in the middle of the garden. Frowning in confusion, Fran looked closely and her eyes went wide when she realized it was not a pile of clothes, but a body!

Fran rushed downstairs already dialing 911 on her way. She did not know who it was or what happened here, but this was something that needs to be reported. She told the operator there is a body lying in the middle of the garden and she doesn’t know if it’s dead or alive. The operator assured her to stay put and that help is on the way.

As Fran got near the body she spotted someone familiar, it was Mary’s dog Sugar. Fran knew it meant only one thing, the body belonged to Mary! She rushed towards the dog and looked at the body, it was indeed her neighbor. The dog whimpered as Fran petted his head. She knew the dog must be scared. Hesitantly, Fran reached out and checked Mary’s pulse.

Fran realized Mary was still breathing! She was not dead, she was unconscious. Fran was relieved, to say the least. She could hear the ambulance approaching in the distance. She sat with Mary holding her hand and waited for help. Fran didn’t know how Bandit heard Mary fall, but she was so glad he found her.

Fran was waiting for the ambulance to approach when she heard a tiny cry escape from Mary’s mouth. Fran looked down at Mary’s face, her eyes were opening slightly. “Help me….” she whispered weakly. Fran asked her to hold on and assured that help is on the way.

As the Ambulance took Mary to the hospital, Fran took Sugar back to her room. She just prayed for Mary to be okay. But she wouldn’t know much before the next morning. Someone from the old age home called Mary’s daughter who will reach the hospital and stay with her overnight.

Fran got a call from the hospital saying that Mary made it through the night and is perfectly okay to come home. She had a case of low blood sugar and as a result, she got unconscious and fell. Due to her age, they had to keep her overnight in observation to be on the safer side. But she will be discharged today.

Thankfully Mary didn’t suffer from any injuries either. She did take a fall but didn’t break any bones or endured any other injury. The doctors told her she is quite lucky she was found at the right time. Otherwise, if Fran had not found her on time, Mary might not have made it. 

Fran was immensely proud of Bandit for finding Mary at the right time. If he had not escaped the house that night, Fran would not have gone outside and spotted her in the garden. She never knew Bandit could be so intuitive. After spending a year alone in a cage, it was amazing how Bandit developed these feelings and senses to figure out who needs help.

Once Mary was home, she thanked Fran and Bandit for their help that night. She said she is very thankful to the cat for finding her on that chilly night. If he had not spotted her, Mary would not have survived. She also thanked Fran for acting quickly and also taking care of her dog while she was gone. 

Mary’s daughter came to thank Fran personally. She talked about how amazing her cat is and she has trained him well. She joked that they should call him ‘Sir Bandit’ now. But Fran joked back saying she didn’t want him to get a big head. 

Mary’s daughter posted about Bandit’s brave act on her facebook and before they knew it, the post went viral on social media. People were giving him titles like, “Man’s best friend” and “The hero of Buena Vista”. People were sending comments from all over the state and appreciating Bandit’s intuition and smartness.

The comments on the post were full of love towards the tabby cat. One of the users said, “Not a cat lover but this one is a hero, ladies I hope you live a very long and happy life and remain friends forever, xx to Bandit xx.”. Another comment read, “I’m a big dog person, but Sir Bandit is a very special cat I must say!” Safe to say Bandit was making all the dog lovers melt!

Mary told Fran how often people forget cats can care about humans too. They think cats are independent and don’t have any concern for the next person. But Bandit has proved them all wrong. He saved Mary’s life and for her, he is a hero for sure.

Bandit and Mary have become best friends since then and Bandit still goes to visit Mary every day, except now he is not just friends with sugar but also Mary. Flan and Mary have gotten much closer too. And the four of them spend a lot of time hanging out together and go for walks around the garden too. 

Ever since the day of the incident, Bandit has become immensely famous amongst the dwellers of Buena Vista. Wherever he goes, he is greeted by friends who pet him and give him food. He comes home with a full stomach now, and Fran no longer has to worry about Bandit walking around late at night. She knows he is safe out there because it’s his home too.

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