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Column: An Important Lesson From A Three-Legged Cat

By Leah Williams

There is something about a country cat.

My mom’s house in rural Sandoval was gifted with a stray one day. She was a longhaired calico cat who my sister named Dolly. Now I am not talking hyperbole when I say that this feisty feline is the baddest cat I’ve ever known. 

I love to tell the story about how this small ball of fluff stared down a stray dog that was crossing the road. My niece as my witness, that dog backed up and army crawled through a bean field to avoid the wrath of this territorial cat.

Dolly had kittens on my mom’s porch that spring, and all three of them rule my mom’s house. Each are special in their own way but the one that I want to talk about is Hunter. My niece named him after a childhood playmate. He is a mostly white cat with spots of gray tabby stripes.

Depending on your perspective, Hunter is either the luckiest or unluckiest cat I have ever seen. If cats are really only given nine lives, he has burned through half of them the first year of his life. He has went missing a couple different times, and he has been sent to the vets’ office on several occasions. One time he was stung by a wasp and his face puffed up to nearly double the size.

The most memorable adventure for Hunter happened a couple of years ago. A winter storm had hit, and the cat didn’t come back the very next day. When the one day turned into a few days, we began to worry. We were afraid that Hunter’s luck had finally run out.

But just like he had come back several times before, Hunter arrived on mom’s front porch, only he was not exactly how he had left.

Somewhere on his misadventure, Hunter had broken one of his front legs, and the bone was exposed through his skin. He didn’t act like his injury had bothered him. He was happy to be home and slightly puzzled why he couldn’t get up on the couch as easily as he could before.

Since I was young, I had always wanted to speak to animals, and I would love to have heard about Hunter’s journey back home. The vet had to amputate the leg.

Dogs and cats I have had or met over the years have all taught me something. These four-legged lessons are rooted in unconditional love, purrs, licks and pats.

But Hunter remains a special place because of this important lesson – no matter what happens, you just gotta find a way back home.

Tell Me Something Good is a bi-weekly column from Nashville News Editor Leah Williams. The column also welcomes reader submissions about things they have seen, read or have happened to them to be included in some future editions of the paper. If you would like to submit something good, email the newsroom at

1 Comment

  1. AJ on January 16, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    This reminds me of my cat Dude. He was fluffy and totally indoors and he would run the other way if he saw a mouse or a bug. But on trips Florida if I went out, I would come back and find pieces of the little lizards all over the house. And sometimes he would look at me and run to hide the tail of his latest conquest wiggling under his pink spotted nose.

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