Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: TRUST (07/21/16)
- TITLE: Purring Friendship
By Francie Snell
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The neighbor explained the cat was a stray he had brought home from the mill the year before, and that his name was Kiwi. But he wasn't interested in caring for him now.
"He looks sick," I sadly commented to my husband one day as I studied the fury mess through the window.
"Why don't we just keep him," my husband bravely suggested.
"But aren't you allergic to cats?"
"Yeah, but if we vacuum every day, he shouldn't be a problem."
I immediately hopped in the car and drove straight to the local grocery store, and for the first time in as long as I could remember, I bought cat food.
It was that evening when the first bite of delectable pâté placed just so in a new plastic food dish signified the first step in a trusting friendship between a middle age couple, and a Main-Coon cat.
About a week later, the three of us took our first family road trip. It was an appointment at the veterinarian with Kiwi voicing his objection the entire way. Although we loved the little guy just the way God made him, we felt an alteration needed to be performed. Our little Tom Cat would soon embark into a completely new lifestyle. And it was at this appointment we learned some unusual things about him.
The veterinarian seemed surprised when examining our new family member. "Where did you get him?" he asked, tilting Kiwi's head back and peering in his mouth. "His front fangs are missing."
"No teeth? I said with surprise. "He came to us, just showed up at our back door… how old do you think he is?"
“At least ten years for sure.”
“Really? I thought he was a kitten.”
“Oh no," he stated emphatically. "He's definitely a middle age cat."
I was delighted to know the little ball of fluff and I already had something in common.
Puzzled by Kiwi's loss of teeth, the vet investigated further through x-rays and found six gunshot pellets scattered throughout Kiwi's tiny skull.
"He's been shot. It's a miracle he's alive," the vet exclaimed as he showed me the film.
Kiwi won my highest respect that day as I imagined him struggling to our back door after being shot in the head. Paying that first vet bill was the first installment of many we'd make in the years to come, but worth every penny for the special gift God had delivered to our back door.
Kiwi seemed horrified when first coming into our house. Warily, he slipped through the doorway and darted around our feet, then made a straight beeline down the hall. He hid under a sewing machine in a back room for the night. The next morning when I opened the sliding glass door, he tore out of the bedroom, down the hall and out the door, like an escapee from prison. This routine continued for a few weeks, until one day, his demeanor changed.
I was shocked one morning to witness Kiwi leisurely cleaning himself in the middle of the hallway. After completing his task, he ventured out into the living room where I was and sat down. He appeared confident as he stared me in the eye. With celebration, I praised him for his accomplishment.
A few weeks later, he was in my lap. I cradled him like a baby in my arms. I think he enjoyed the rocking of the chair as much as I did. Now, he could live a life of luxury, no longer having to fend for himself to survive. And we could have the enjoyment of spoiling him rotten, a wonderful distraction in helping us forget about ourselves.
After eight years he was our dear aged friend who now required daily nebulizer treatments. With an uncanny humanness, he looked up at me with care in his eyes as I cried one morning on the patio. He ambled to my leg and patted it with his tale like a wise old man trying to comfort me. He knew it was time. He trusted me.
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