During a visit back in July of 2004, very sadly, Curly met a tragic death with that chain and stake in our back yard. He’s now buried in the same spot where he met his demise. That very same week while my in-laws where here, maybe even the same day, two scrawny stray cats showed up on our front door step. I ignored them. I was not a pet person. I had never owned a cat or a dog growing up. As a married adult, I reasoned that Scott’s allergies were way too sensitive to bring any hairy animals into my family. I had survived successfully this long without any kind of animal attachment and I certainly did not need one now.
A couple of days went by as we mourned Curly. One of those two cats was still hanging around. I was still ignoring her. I thought she was ugly. She wasn’t a pretty orange color or a satiny solid black. Her fur color was all mixed up with wide stripes on one side but not the other. I could not figure out what her attraction was to my front porch. It wasn’t until several days later that I learned that someone else in my house had been feeding the cat Curly’s dog food. Well, no wonder.
I’m not sure if they were trying not to waste the food or if they truly had compassion on the pitiful little kitty, but either way, we couldn’t just quit feeding her at that point. I made a few contacts trying to find a good home for her but none worked out. We asked all around the neighborhood to see if she had gotten away from someone. Nothing.
Finally, a week or so later on a trip to the grocery store, I bought her her very own bag of CAT food. And a little toy. It was official. She belonged to us.
We eventually gave her a name. Marbles. Originally it was her ears that inspired the name. They look like marble, the rock/granite stuff that floors and counter tops are made from; all pinkish and veiny. Now, however, she more often makes us of think of the little round things you play games with, or the things you lose when you’re going off the deep end.
It took about 6 or 8 months for Marbles to realize that we were more than just a food source and that we could also provide her with a good scratch on the head and rub under the chin. I think even today she still has a few abandonment issues leftover from her life prior to our front porch, but she has come a long, long way.
We took Marbles to the vet yesterday for her annual check-up and shots. We’ve taken her every year since 2005, and a couple of times in between. The first time we took her she was afraid of everything. Even us. Yesterday was different. In that little exam room she huddled up to my chest and let me hold her close while she curiously looked around. That is not typical behavior for her. She’s a little ADD and usually has to go do something else after little bit of snuggle. Unless, of course, it’s nap time. Which it wasn’t. Besides, who can nap in a vet’s office with dogs barking and birds chirping and no telling what other kind of animal it was emitting that smell?
Change. It can happen. Marbles has gone from wild, scared, and homeless to seeking out security in my arms. I have gone from thinking of animals as annoying allergy aggravators to actually loving one. How did that happen?
Cat dander. Walking around outside in the dark calling her when she’s not curled up in the rocker on my front porch by a decent hour. Those and several other feline-friendly fumblings that stretched beyond the limits of my control, that’s how it happened. I had to relinquish a little bit of being “the boss” in order to find the blessings in something that God said was good a long time ago.
Even though Marbles likes to be in charge sometimes too, I’m sure she would agree.
God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25