Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Unexpected Gift

A few Sundays ago I awoke to an unfamiliar sound. It was soft, sweet and high pitched. As I gained further consciousness I was sure the noise was snoring but it was too quiet to be my husband. I moved slowly to a sitting position and found our cat Emma curled up snuggled against my leg sound asleep and snoring. With a warm and fuzzy heart, I settled back down and delayed getting out of bed so she could enjoy her peaceful slumber.

It was the day after Christmas and though the holiday had offered a great distraction I was still feeling pretty bummed about our first failed IVF. I had so been looking forward to making a big announcement on Christmas Day. While savoring my pre-church mug of tea, I found myself listening intently to a crying sound. Needing to squelch my curiosity I pulled back the curtain to our sliding door and when I looked down there was a small orange striped cat staring back at me. I ran upstairs and told my husband; pleading that it was cold outside and we should let the little cat in. I was sure the cat was lost. He disagreed and thought that it could be someone’s outdoor cat and that whether the cat belonged to someone or was lost we weren’t going to have a strange cat running around the house while we were at church. Reluctantly I said good-bye to the little cat and went to church.

After church we went out to eat and ran a few errands. When we arrived home I ran to the back door and was greeted by the cries of the little orange cat. There were already sings of an impending snow storm and my husband agreed that we couldn’t leave the cat outside to battle the elements. After several unsuccessful attempts to pick the cat up we simply opened our back door. The cat trotted right in took a lap around the living room sniffing everything and then proceeded to curl up in front of the fire and fall asleep. Later she (we discovered she was girl) snuggled up in my lap purring and she even slept in bed with us.

The next day I battled snow and ice and traveled to the pet store to purchase some necessities. I then spent the next week calling shelters and looking on Craig’s List and other Lost Pet sites trying to find her owner. We were also becoming quite smitten with her. She was absolutely adorable and her presence was meeting the very real need that I had to nurture, snuggle and all around smother with love. Thankfully for the most part she didn’t seem to mind us giving her constant attention. We decided that if we couldn’t find her owner we would keep her. I tried calling her different names everyday to see if any felt right.

After a week I was pretty certain that she was staying for good until I went out in my back yard and looked over at the back yard of our brand new neighbors. Their patio had cat paraphernalia placed on it and it appeared as if they were trying to lure a cat to the house. I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me that the cat could have belonged to the new next door neighbor. Later that night I knocked on the door (surprisingly it ended up that I knew the neighbor) and asked if she had lost her cat. She said yes, their cat Emma ran away about a week ago. I went back over to our house and picked Emma up and began walking over to the neighbor’s door. Emma started freaking out and was squirming and scratching, doing anything she could to get out of my arms. She succeeded and ran away. The neighbor said that Emma often ran away and that she would probably come back. I was very upset and worried about her as it was really cold outside and I knew that in the morning she would be hungry. I ended up sleeping on the sofa downstairs just in case she came to the back door. In the morning she was still missing so I went to work convinced we’d never see her again. When I came home from work however I heard a familiar little cry and there was Emma sitting at our back door. I let her in and fed her and then contacted the neighbor to let her know that Emma had come back to our house. I think by now the neighbor knew how attached we had become to Emma and she compassionately and with much self-sacrifice told me that if we would like to keep Emma we could. I was elated and she has been a joy and comfort to us ever since. We are probably biased but she is the best cat ever. She greets me at the door when I get home from work and she snuggles in my lap while I do my devotions. She is silly and playful and we lavish her with attention. When I had my last egg retrieval my husband went out to pick up some food. He looked at Emma and said
“You take good care of Sarah while I’m gone.” She sat on the sofa watching me the entire time while he was gone. She took that job seriously. I really needed her and she is such a comfort to us as we continue to work on our infertility issues. I’m sure that God worked things out just right to bring us our fur baby.

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