Purr-Fect Love by prettybluebirds
While throwing hay down for the cows one morning, I heard a plaintive mewing. I searched for the source of the cries and found two little kittens huddled in the far corner of the hayloft. I noticed first their unusual coloring; white with black tails, ears, and legs; much like a Himalayan cat. Bright blue eyes peered out from the long silky hair covering their bodies. But these beautiful creatures appeared to be dying. With no mother in sight to give them milk; they could barely move for lack of nourishment. Feeble movements and weak cries tugged at my heart.They needed help fast.
I finished feeding the cows and carried the babies up to the house. Fortunately, I kept some cat milk replacer on hand for emergencies such as this. It wasn't the first time I found kittens in need of help. I was determined to get all these barn cats spayed and neutered as soon as possible. I was spaying the females as fast as I could afford it at the time.
The tiny animals were so weak I fed them with a medicine dropper, one drop at a time. Then I placed them in a box with a heating pad turned on low. Now it was up to nature and God. There was nothing more I could do.
The next morning I was pleased to find the two little ones crawling around and hollering for their breakfast. Sure enough, they would make it now. Later, I would take them to the veterinarian for shots and maybe find homes for them. My heart filled with joy knowing they would live.
The kittens thrived and were soon chasing each other around the house and offending my three older cats-Bridgette, Princess, and Girl. The three seniors were deeply insulted by the arrival of the brother and sister as the antics of the two young ones irritated them to no end. I knew I needed to find homes for the two babies but it was hard. There is something about raising an animal by hand that binds a person to them. Yet, I could only keep so many cats in the house. I began to search for someone worthy of my kits.
Finally, a lady came who met my criteria. She was kind, caring, and definitely a cat person. Unfortunately, she only wanted one kitten and she chose the boy. While I hated to see him go, I knew he would be loved. This left me with the girl to place or keep. I couldn't face another farewell so I decided to keep her. The three older girls would have to get used to a child around the house. I named her Zip because that's how she traveled from one point to another...Zip!
It wasn't long before I noticed Zip was different from other cats. If children or strangers came to our house my older cats found the nearest hiding place. Not so with Zip. If a child came through the door Zip would run to greet him or her. She didn't care if they carried her upside down or pulled her tail. Zip loved children or any new person she met and she couldn't imagine anyone not loving her in return. She never realized there were some folks who did not like cats.
This is an unusual way for a cat to act. Most cats are very aloof and private animals. Cats most generally choose one person to bless with their love and the rest of the world can go to hell. This is known as cattitude.
It was a couple of years after Zip came into my life when I started visiting my 99-year- old Aunt Grace in a nursing home. Aunt Grace had just recently made the decision to move from her sister's home and into the nursing home as she needed more care than her sister could provide for her.
Grace and her husband had been farmers and owned a beautiful home. When my uncle passed away Aunt Grace was forced to sell the farm. I know it broke her heart but old age and illness forced the decision on her. I felt sorry for Aunt Grace and spent as much time with her as I could. She would spend hours talking about the farm and her beloved cats. Yes, Aunt Grace was another of the cat lover clan. I often talked to Aunt Grace about Zip and told her what a unique cat she turned out to be.
"How I would love to see this Zip cat," Aunt Grace said. "My fondest wish would be to hold a cat one more time before I die. I know it's impossible, though, they don't allow animals in here." Aunt Grace's eyes were shiny with tears.I made up my mind then and there that Aunt Grace and Zip would meet. I didn't know how but I knew it must happen soon.
A week later I figured out a scheme that just might work. It could also get me in a lot of trouble but the risk was worth It. I put Zip into a cardboard box and wrapped the box with gift paper; leaving air holes in the bottom. Zip thought the whole thing was great sport and was highly agreeable to the box business. I talked to Zip on the ride to the nursing home, and she gave me the occasional meow between loud purrs. She was happy with any plan that made her the center of attention.
I made it past the nurse's station with no problem as they were used to me coming and going. I often brought gifts for Aunt Grace so the box aroused no suspicions. My plan was working perfectly so far.
"Aunt Grace I've brought someone to meet you," I told her. "I think you will be happy when you find out who it is."
"Oh my," this must be the lovely Zip you kept telling me about. I never expected to see a cat again in this lifetime. Thank you, my child." The tears were running down my aunt's face as she held Zip and stroked her soft fur.
About this time an elderly lady came wheeling down the hall and into my aunt's room. That's when my perfect plan went awry.
"Oh, a cat," she screamed at the top of her lungs.
Soon the hall and my aunt's room was filled with elderly patients and, of course, several nurses wanting to find out what was going on. As for Zip, she was in seventh heaven. She was the center of an admiring audience and loving every minute. Zip jumped from one lap to another soaking up all the petting and admiration she could get. Whatever kind of problems this might cause me, it was worth seeing the happiness on my aunt's face.
Finally, the nurses got everyone headed for their own rooms but I noticed most of them stopped to give Zip a stroke or two as they walked by her. Well, time to face the music. I put a tired but contented Zip back in her box and prepared to leave. No one said a word as I left but I noticed everyone was smiling.
The next day I received a call from the nursing home. You can imagine my surprise when they asked me if I could bring Zip around again sometime soon. It seems the patients were all asking for a repeat visit. It felt good knowing I had brought some joy to my aunt's final days as well as the other old folks. Being allowed to continue our visits made everything perfect.
Zip and Aunt Grace became best of friends and Zip continued to visit the nursing home for several years after my aunt passed away. Zip made friends everywhere she went and never failed in her mission to love everyone. Her secret was simple, Zip loved and expected love in return. We all could have taken some lessons from her; I know she taught me a lot about love. Zip had a huge impact on my outlook on life and caring for other people. I will never forget her.
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