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.

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.

The Cat who came for Christmas

“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.” – St. Francis of Assisi –

Even one sunbeam is a gift from above in mid January and I was particularly grateful they were present early yesterday morning.

Mr. Bojangles, my hospice cat, was warmed by those same sunbeams as he took his last little breath.

My heart was warmed some as well.

It seems Mr. Bojangles decided to leave on his own terms.

He passed away peacefully while the car was warming up so I could drive him to our vet.

However, Mr. Bojangles earlier days had been anything but cozy, and were laced with many shadows. He had originally come to the shelter as part of an animal cruelty case.

Yet his days in my home appeared to be happy ones for him. He fit right in with the household and immediately claimed his special spot on a desk near a window.

It was just perfect for catching a sunbeam or two, as well as a quick catnap.

Mr. Bojangles passed exactly one month after he came to us from the shelter.

Though his time here was brief, I will always remember the sunny days we spent together and smile.

And I am at peace knowing the shadows in his life are finally gone forever.

Beauty blooms in January

“Beauty is so quietly woven through our ordinary days that we hardly notice it. Everywhere there is tenderness, care and kindness there is beauty.”

-John O’Donohue

Perhaps it was a little crazy to take on a hospice cat over the holidays, or was it?

I was asking that potentially depressing question to a friend earlier this week since my husband passed away in hospice right after Christmas a few years ago.

On this gloomy bitter cold Sunday I’ve been watching Mr. Bojangles curl up on a cozy cat bed right beside me.

And I’ve actually been finding myself smiling.

Mr. Bojangles is holding his head up high, but not quite as high as he did when he first joined me.

Still he does so with grace.

Sure the fellow’s estimated to have only 2-5 months left at this point, but who really knows when our time is up anyway.

Three days ago Mr. Bojangles had stopped eating and didn’t seem to be drinking water. Yet by the next evening, I discovered he was back in the game.

However, it’s clear his appetite isn’t what it once was no matter the type of food given.

I’ve also noticed Mr. Bojangles is moving a bit slower, still every step he takes is deliberate. Though I no longer find him climbing the stairs to join the dogs up in the kitchen for breakfast.

Instead he prefers I join him in his private room and hold him as he tenderly takes in every flake of his tuna meals.

It seems Mr. Bojangles likes this extra one on one time.

I do know that I love providing him the extra attention he deserves along with some extra warm blankets.

Mid January can be especially cruel here in the upper midwest and this week has been no different.

Sub zero temperatures, icy roads with 20 car pile ups, and what looked like the loss of my hospice cat 3 days ago was beginning to play havoc with my soul.

Yet as I smell my beef stew now simmering in the crock pot while watching fresh snowflakes dance out the window to the sounds of that hospice cat still purring softly, I know it still is a beautiful world.

Yes, even in January.

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.