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.

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?