Sunday, September 24, 2006


I was sitting at my table, picking at the remains of what was to be a most enjoyable dinner, but turned out to be rather tasteless to all of my senses and without much nourishment for the mind and body, when she walked in. At first, I was too busy with what was on my plate...clumps of financial business, a bite or two of what was and no longer will be, a half-smear of fear, and an uneated bite of pay much attention to her memory. I'd been rather pre-occupied with the non-productive activity of picking at the components of this pity dinner...pushing bits over to this side of my plate, then making tracks in these leftovers over here....occasionally putting my fork down, deciding that I was done with this meal and starting to get up, only to pick up my fork again, and meander through the leftovers of a paradoxal life....

...when in she walked.

I instantly recognized her, but couldn't believe that she still existed.

She was always small, but if that could be condensed into an even smaller size, then it was. She was haggared; her long, fluffy coat of black and white fur hung on her bones - 3 sizes too big. As beautiful as it was, even it couldn't conceal the wear and tear that almost 4 weeks gone had done to her. Even more spent were her eyes. One with its eternal weep, the other one, the good one, looking large, scared, and without any more reserve to draw upon. One touch to her body, and the story was told. On the run for 4 weeks. Whereabouts unknown. Given up for dead.

But there she stood. A bit unsteady. But upright, none the less.

Olivia was back home.

Where she had been during the past month, we have no idea. She obviously wasn't with someone, or she wouldn't be a bag of bones. How many hours, how many miles did those little feet wander? Where did she spend her nights? What sustained her during her journey? And even more curious, what protected her? At what point did her mind turn her back towards home?

Friday night was spent tending to this little creature of stubborness, reserve and strength. Food and fresh water were offered constantly around the clock as well as gentle hugs and whispered words of encouragement to a fragile soul. As I ran my hand down her back, each vertebrae bumping my fingers, looking into her weepy eyes, I couldn't help but admire her...her spirit and fortitude...the fact that she never gave up and yes, she had found her way home.

Perhaps fate had just taught me a lesson in the guise of a 3 pound cat.

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