Our next stop was to be an appliance store to browse at washing machines and dryers, but I asked my husband if he wouldn't mind us stopping to check in on the cat. Very quickly after returning, a couple of things happened. Andy said I should share pictures of the cat on social media sites on which I participate. The other thing is that I started rubbing the kitty's cheek at which point he did a big stretch (that's my hand!)
I had asked the woman (Lisa) who was in charge of the kitty if all of this was ok before I started shooting away with my iPad's camera. I also explained that my cat is the same breed and he has a small but passionate following on the internet.
I soon learned that the cat was named Garfield, he had all of his shots and was healthy (she wrote down all of the details of the tests for which he tested negative), he was neutered, and had been living in the basement of a 99 Cent store in the Inwood section of Manhattan. To emphasize Garfield's plight, Lisa said that he was treated like trash. The previous owner was a cashier working in the store and it was she who surrendered the cat to the rescue organization. The cashier's daughter adopted the cat while she was at college in a town an hour north of New York City. The girl brought the cat back home with her but ended up not going back to the school. The mother became the cat's caretaker and really did the best she could. She took the cat to work with her but the store manager did not want the cat on the sales floor so he was banished to the basement. The rescuer lived in the same neighborhood as the store and intervened on behalf of the cat.
Just an aside that as I write this, I still have a hard time dealing with how Garfield must have been living. Persian and Exotic Shorthair cats are bred as indoor-only cats and Garfield was made to be the store's mouser. He lived (for a cat what might be akin to) how Charles Dickens described the conditions of the poor and orphans in the England of his time; the Garfield we adopted was filthy, smelled bad, and was underweight.
He relished the times we visited him in the bathroom where we kept him until we were sure it was time to make one-on-one introductions between him and Chester: