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lhg0962
12-23-2000, 12:23 AM
This is from www.petwarmers.com (http://www.petwarmers.com) and very fitting for the holidays.SEEKING SHELTER

T'was the night before Christmas...
Well, it was actually about 3 o'clock Christmas Eve day. The sign out
front said "Closed early for the holiday" and everyone had already left to
finish last minute errands and get home before the storm. I, too, would be
gone after my final round of the kennels, distributing treats to the eager
animals who were safe, warm, clean and dry but nevertheless homeless and
unwanted.
I had a lot to do before Christmas morning and places I had to be, and
for a split second I thought of pretending I didn't hear. But doggie
doorbells erupted in riotous barking and my lone car, in the otherwise
empty parking lot, betrayed my presence and kept me from sneaking out the
back. So I responded to the rather insistent pounding on the front door.
A young woman stood there with a very pregnant cat wrapped in her red
scarf. She was a tender hearted student on her way home for Christmas who
just couldn't leave this obviously stray cat with no place to go, alone,
and about to give birth -- especially now that it was spitting snow.
With a sigh in my heart but a smile on my face for this humane act, I
took the cat in and let the good Samaritan go on her way, complete with
wool muffler.
The cat and I eyed one another. She was a matted Maine coon mix with
big green knowing eyes that gave this very soon to-be-mom my number in an
instant -- that red "S" on my forehead which is highly visible to animals
stands for "sucker" not "superwoman".
An irresistible purr started at the bottom of her eight toed, double
pawed white feet, kneading in time to the rumbles in her throat.
"Well, I can't leave you here to have your babies all alone, so you're
coming home with me," I informed her, as I bundled her into a crate and we
headed out into what was becoming a full fledged nor'easter.
She never quit purring, even when the car stopped dead on the long
deserted country road and refused to start again.
"This can't be happening. Not my trusty old Volvo, not on Christmas
Eve, not with a cat who was about to pop!" I muttered.
Well, this was long before the days of cell phones, and I had two
choices -- wait or walk. After 15 minutes went by with no cars and the
blizzard intensifying, I wrapped the cat in a scarf again, my own this
time, pulled up the hood to my parka, took the crate firmly in gloved hand,
and we headed out on foot to the house lights I could dimly see in the
distance.
It might have been the cold air searing my lungs, or the blinding snow
obscuring my vision, or being suddenly stranded on Christmas Eve, but I
couldn't help thinking of another couple seeking refuge this same night
nearly two thousand years before. With both wry humor at this situation
and respect for the first, I named this expectant lady "Mary" too.
Despite the lights, there was no answer at the first house, or the
second. As I kept trudging to the third, that bone thin cat gained weight
with every step I took.
Ah! Someone was home. The look on her face was priceless as she
struggled to understand my story as the storm howled around us. She wasn't
quite sure she wanted to let some stranger with a pregnant cat into her
beautifully decorated living room. I shook the snow from my hood and
tipped it back so she could see that I looked harmless enough, and she
exclaimed in recognition, "Oh, I know you. You're the humane society lady
on television!"
With that, I went from potential nutcase to needy humanitarian and she
let me in to use the phone. She dismissed the melting snow on her clean
floor, and warmed and fed us royally as we waited for our ride and repair.
We didn't get home until nearly 10pm -- the final presents not wrapped
or delivered, the last minute groceries not bought, and the parties
unattended. I was exhausted and beyond frazzled, but I got Mary situated
in the big kitty condo and introduced my own nine cats and three big black
German Shepherds to this latest foster edition.
I finished my chores and finally soaked the long difficult day away in
a bubble bath. I dozed off, and woke after midnight when the water had
cooled and the house was totally dark and silent. "Ut oh, the storm knocked
out the power."
I dried off, lit a candle, found the oil lamp and stoked the
woodstove. Then I checked on Mary in the flickering light. She was still
purring, even louder now, accompanied by tiny meows.
The three Magi (my dogs), who came to celebrate these holiday births,
watched in quiet fascination with gently wagging tails. I laughed, helped
her clean her kitties, and called them by name. "Now Dasher, now Dancer,
now Prancer and Vixen, on Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen..."
I know I'm mixing the metaphors of Christmas, however that seems to be
what happens at the end of the Twentieth Century. But Mary and her tiny
babies were alive and well that night because people cared, and went out of
their way to help even on a busy holiday and in a raging storm. A
concerned college student hurrying home took the time to pick up a poor
stray cat and take her to the humane society. An overextended shelter
director was generous enough to welcome a pregnant cat into her own home.
A kind, gracious lady trusted enough to let a stranger and cat in her house
for safety and warmth. A caring and dependable friend came to the rescue
even in treacherous weather.
Kindness and caring, compassion and generosity, trust and love.
That is the real meaning of Christmas, and I think both Mary and Santa
would agree.

-- Carol Munroe <[email protected]>

carrie
12-23-2000, 09:24 AM
What a wonderful story, Logan.

4 feline house
12-23-2000, 10:52 PM
My favorite author, James Herriot, has a touching Christmas kitty story - Chapter 9 of "All Things Wise and Wonderful", which was later published as a short story titled "The Christmas Day Kitten". It's a true story (James Herriot is the pen name of a vet who practiced in the Yorkshire Dales from the 30's through the 80's and wrote several wonderful books detailing his experiences - I recommend them for any animal and literature lover) about the best Christmas gift one woman had ever received - even tho it's a short chapter it's a little too long to post here, but if you are interested and are unable to find it, I'll be glad to e-mail it to anyone who would like to read it.

[This message has been edited by 4 feline house (edited December 23, 2000).]

ktreva52
01-12-2001, 01:20 AM
Logan, where do you find these wonderful stories? That was so touching and funny at the same time. Wonder what happened to Mary and the "reindeer" kittens? Any way to find out? Yes, it DOES exemplify the true meaning of Christmas. Thank you for posting it.

wolflady
01-24-2001, 02:22 PM
I just love stories like these. Thanks for posting it http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif
4 feline house, I love James Harriot too! We all used to watch All Creatures Great and Small on TV a long time ago. I will have to get back into those books http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

Thought I would share a nice little blurb that was put out by IAMS food co.

What Cats Do For Us
From Iams Pet Food Company

Warm our laps.
Give us someone to talk to.
Help reduce high blood pressure.
Bring the winter air inside, nestled in their coats.
Create a kindred feeling with other "cat people."
Turn common household objects like bottle caps into toys.
Make us more aware of birds.
Donate their services as alarm clocks.
Display daring acrobatic feats right in front of our eyes.
Contribute to living a longer life.
Make a window sill more beautiful.
Keep mice on the run.
Make us smile.
Inspire poets and playwrights.
Teach us how to land on our feet.
Let us indulge our desires to really spoil someone.
Make our homes warmer.
Remind us that life is mysterious.
Share with us the all-is-well experience of purring.
Instruct us in the luxurious art of stretching.
Show us how to lick our wounds and go on.
Give us cool cartoon characters.
Make even an old worn couch look beautiful.
Open our hearts.


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"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb