RIP: Memior of a Reluctant “Cat Person”

Posted: March 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

I have never been a “Cat Person.” For as long as I can remember, I have been incredibly allergic to them, plus, they just always seemed a little stuck up to me. I prided myself on being a “Dog Person” over one of those “Cat People.” Well, that’s not entirely true. My roommate before getting married was a rabbit named Sir Nicholas. I guess I’m a “Rabbit Person” (whatever that means!). Then I married someone who loved her two dogs only slightly less than she loved me! So I quickly learned to become a “Dog Person” (I think it was part of our marriage contract). However, when we experienced a problem with rats getting into our home, we came up with the idea of getting an outdoor cat to guard the perimeter of our house. When Sarah drove to Pet Smart to purchase the appropriate supplies for caring for a feline security guard, there happened to be a man with a box of kittens in the parking lot. He had found the litter in his boat and was now seeking homes for the little orphans. A blonde, furry little face peered over the box and won Sarah’s heart (much faster than it took me to do, I might add!).

I decided that if we were going to become “Cat People” then we would at least have an AWESOME cat. We named him Thor, and set him up with his own little bachelor pad around the back of our house, with a full deck over his head and a fence for protection. The world was his playground, and he loved it! I’ll admit, he started to win me over every time we met. For starters, he would definitely be considered an extrovert! It would take all of 3 seconds for us to step outside before Thor would come scurrying around the corner to crawl up our legs and into our arms. Then he would purr, and not stop purring until we put him down. When we walked the dogs, Thor would follow along in the ditch. When we left the dogs in the back yard, Thor would play and tease them, often running up a tree in the nick of time. The dogs loved him. WE loved him. Then one day my aunt Gina (the female version of Dr. Doolittle) took a closer “inspection” and informed us that Thor was, in fact, A GIRL. We laughed, and changed her name to “Thoraline.”

Then one day she went missing. It happened after several days of extreme rainy weather, and we feared the worst. It was not like Thoraline to be gone, and every day we came home, we hoped to see her waiting for us at the top of the driveway as she had so many times before. Days became weeks, and our hearts continued to sink.

I wish I could say this story has a happy ending, but tonight we finally were given closure for our beloved pet. While walking our two dogs, I greeted a lady walking down the other side of the street. She asked about our dogs, and then asked a question that stopped me in my tracks. “Do you guys know anything about a little blonde cat?” After further description, I realized she was indeed talking about Thoraline. Apparently Thoraline had come up to her during her walk (being the “people person” she was) and this woman had not known where she had come from. Taking her first to our house and finding nobody home, she went door to door looking for its owner. Having no luck, she reluctantly brought her back to where she had found her. The next day the storms came, and a couple days later, again on her walk, our neighbor found Thoraline. She had been hit by a car.

Heartbroken, and still not knowing who this animal belonged to, our neighbor tearfully wrapped Thoraline up, brought her to her own home, and respectfully buried her in her own garden. While the shock of this set in, the “chance meeting” crystallized in my heart as not “chance” at all. For weeks we had been haunted by thoughts of the worst possible scenarios. I had worried about predators dragging our cat into the woods behind our home. We had prayed for weeks for God to give us answers. The truth was bad, but not as bad as my imagination. God had allowed our questions to be answered by a neighbor I had never previously met. As she emotionally told me how sorry she was, I thanked her for her kindness, and walked back up the driveway to our home.

Animals are funny. I think God created us with a certain love to be expressed and received by the animals He allows us to care for. It’s not by accident that God surrounded Adam with animals in the Garden. While ultimately humanity shares a bond with each other that cannot be found anywhere else, for us “Dog People” or “Cat People” or (dare I say) “Rabbit People,” our pets become part of the family. They give us experiences that strengthen our bonds together, and when it’s their time to go, it hurts. A lot.

God gave us a little cat that won the heart of the most unlikely “Cat Dad,” and blessed Sarah and I with some sweet memories in our first year of marriage. Thoraline didn’t live long, but she left a mark on a couple of human hearts. She also did the unthinkable. She made this guy a “Cat Person,” and she will be sorely missed.

RIP Thoraline.

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