Manís best friend may be his dog, but as far as Iím concerned, my cat, Jezebel, should claim
the title. When I moved into my first house, memories of childhood pets beckoned. Before the
days when people neutered their pets, weíd always had lots of mama cats and kittens. It just
seemed that homes and cats went together.
Amazingly enough, at one Christian singlesí banquet, a lady stood up and asked if someone
would like to adopt her cat, Jezebel. She was marrying a man with a dog and they felt like one
furry friend was enough. My hand, with a mind of its own, raised to claim the little orphan.
Jezebel proved to be the most loving little friend a single girl could ask for. She would always
greet me at the door on arriving home. When sitting in a chair for reading or television, Iíd find
my black and brown tiger pal snuggling on my lap and purring like a motor boat. She followed
me wherever I went in the house and had the strange habit of sleeping on top of me. Iíd often
remain in an uncomfortable position so as not to disturb her highness. Even her seven pounds
became heavy eventually, and Iíd apologetically switch positions. Sheíd wait for me to settle
down and hop back on my back or hip.
One Easter Sunday, I was preparing to leave for a family dinner and couldnít find my little
darling. I scoured the house to no avail. After searching the yard, I panicked. Crying to my
mother on the telephone, I explained I would be late as I couldnít find Jezebel. My prayer warrior
mom prayed over the phone with me that she would soon turn up. While re-searching the yard,
I happened to glance back through the screen door. There she sat in the doorway looking
curiously at me with her mysterious green eyes. She knew the best places to hide and wasnít
about to reveal her secret. Scooping her up in my arms, I received lots of facial licks from her
sandpaper tongue. Friends forgive and forget, so I scratched her chin and ears and offered her a
The next fall, I was devastated with news of my motherís terminal illness. In the month before
she died, Jezebel seemed to sense my need for her companionship. She patiently allowed me to
weep on her fur tummy like a pillow. Her little tongue kept licking the tears away as she purred
soothingly and flipped her tail around my hair.
A couple weeks before my motherís death, I was able to interview her via camcorder. My
mom told stories of her childhood days which we didnít want to lose. Just recently, I viewed this
precious video again, eleven years later. Iíd forgotten how often Jezebel appeared in my
amateur production. She walked across the back of the couch and chewed on my motherís hair as
she talked. Itís as if she wanted to reassure my mom that she was there to help.
To provide comic relief, the scene stealer jumped on my lap and walked in front of the camera.
Sometimes, just her ears popped into the frame. She was the perfect friend to take into a house of
sickness and dying.
Being a little old lady, my kitty friend had her own health problems. Not having medical
insurance for a pet, I spent hundreds of dollars keeping her in urinary track health. When I was
sick in bed, sheíd never leave my side. She cuddled next to me and kept me company through
colds, bronchitis, and the flu. Could I do any less for her when she was ill?
As all pet owners know, friendships with animals end sooner than those with people. Elderly
and failing, eventually Jezebel needed to be put to sleep. She hunkered down in her carrying case
as I made that final drive; it took all the determination I could muster. The rest of the day, as I did
other errands, I sobbed out an explanation to those I encountered. My chiropractorís
receptionist cried with me. So many can relate, I believe, to the loss of an animal friend.
Iíve had several cat companions since Jezebel, but none has been quite like her. I suppose
you might say she was really a dog in feline form. I know that animals donít have souls, but
when I get to heaven, Iíd love to see my little tiger girl run to greet me.
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