Third time’s a charm

It’s been over a month now since Misty first joined me.

As she’d seen plenty of disappointment in her first four years of life, it was no surprise that trust was a challenge for her. https://quiltofmissingmemories.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/take-a-chance-on-me/

Misty had lived in two different homes previously, and had experienced a couple of long shelter stays as well.

Yet she’s a quite a resilient little girl. Instead of hiding under my tables, she now jumps up into my arms when I open the door after work.

I’ve also found Misty to be clean and neat.

And very sweet.

I’m thinking this third chance at a home has definitely been a charm.

I do know for sure that Misty clearly is.

Take a chance on me

The sweet gray cat had been in the shelter longer than the rest.

She’d been dismissed by all who walked by, just because she’d been labeled.

That is except for one kind man who was gently scratching her chin as I walked into the cat room.

Though only four years old, Misty had already lived two prior lives according to her records.

And she’d also spent time at this shelter before.

It seems Misty was originally adopted by a family when she was just a kitten. But they brought her back when they moved to an apartment that didn’t allow pets.

Still last year fortunately she did find another home.

Yet Misty was brought back to the shelter once again after her second owners reported she had a “litter box issue.”

“And you know what that means,” the kind man in the cat room said slowly.

‘It’s definitely the kiss of death’ he hinted while shaking his head as he read me the rest of her chart.

“Oh, but she she seems like such a sweet cat,” he added.

I nodded in agreement then joined in on the scratch fest, finding Misty’s sweet spot right behind her little left ear.

I’ve heard litter box issues are one of the most common reasons for surrendering a cat to a shelter.

Though I’ve also heard it’s often used only as an excuse.

More than a few little kittens have been given as gifts to people who never imagined themselves becoming owners of big adult cats, or quite accepting of the fact that felines do require regular care and maintenance.

“Was this the situation with Misty?” I asked one of the workers at the shelter.

“Well, what we do know is she came here right after Christmas and hasn’t had one accident in the six weeks since.”

I had no intentions this year of replacing my hospice cat, Mr. Bojangles, who peacefully left this world back in January.

But I admit I do like to give two legged and four legged friends second chances.

And in some special cases, even a third.

As soon as Misty lifted her head and gave me that ‘take a chance on me’ look, the rest is history.

And though our history’s just three weeks old, I’m happy to report that so far it’s been absolutely purr-fect.

One Wise Man

I was told he came from an animal cruelty situation.

I was told to expect him to live another three to six months.

Still you’d never know it to look at him.

At least, not for now.

Mr. Bojangles appears to be one happy gentleman. And he knows what he likes.

Since coming home with me right before Christmas, I’ve learned he clearly wants to be part of the family.

And to find his own place in the sun.

On this fifteen below zero morning, that meant scoring a soft bed on a desk near a well insulated window for a nap.

Occasionally Mr. Bojangles would jump down to stroll through the house, moving with gentle grace as he explored new closets and cozy corners.

Yet his speed would increase whenever I called him or when he heard the already familiar squeak of the door to the kitchen cabinet where his snacks are kept.

He knows that both mean a slow scratch and a tuna treat will follow.

It seems simple gifts bring Mr. Bojangles the greatest joy.

As well as just living in the moment.

And that’s made for one very wise man indeed this holiday season.

Mr. Bojangles

I spent Christmas Eve four years ago in an empty hospital watching Saturday Night Live reruns with my husband, Richard.

It was always his favorite show.

I held his frail right hand in mine, but found myself smiling.

My husband slept mostly, yet didn’t seem to be in pain.

Richard was in hospice at the time and wasn’t expected to make it until Christmas Day.

Though my mind was sometimes on overtime processing a host of decisions and emotions, I still found something beautiful about my husband’s hospice experience.

You see I often found myself living in the moment as well.

Maybe that’s why I found myself drawn to go back to see a special hospice cat I met last week at a local shelter.

This dear man will be joining me for Christmas Eve, and for the rest of his days.

The happy cat’s name is Mr. Bojangles, and it seems he still likes to dance.

At least for now.

But of course, I’ll still be there even when he doesn’t.

After all, that’s what life’s all about.

Isn’t it?

One Christmas Cat

“I’m a hospice cat, yet I still have a life to live,
I’m a hospice cat, but I have so much love to give.”

I met a charming new friend last Friday evening as I dropped off my year end donation at the local animal shelter.

He was resting not far from the front desk as if he was waiting just for me.

I was saddened some as I saw on a nearby sheet of paper that he was a hospice cat.

And he was estimated to be only about eight years old.

I knew I wanted a picture of this special friend to bring home.

I didn’t have a camera, so I grabbed a pencil and found a torn Christmas card envelope inside my bag that I could use to sketch a quick portrait.

Once finished, the two of us spent about a half an hour together visiting.

My friend’s soft purrs seemed to say alot as we played with a shiny red and green ball and a tiny stuffed purple mouse. His sweet face kept looking up at mine, smiling it seemed with his heart shaped nose.

I smiled back.

After a while he looked a little tired.

And it seemed I was as well.

As I opened my bag to put the envelope back inside, I thought to myself how this little cat had opened my heart some on a cold December night.

“Merry Christmas dear one.”

“I’ll be back again soon,” I told him.

“Very soon.”

And I know that’s one New Year’s resolution I will definitely be keeping.