Friday, October 17, 2014


Many years ago, when my husband and I were first married, he took me golfing at a local 9-hole par-3 course. (For those of you who don't golf but DO ski, that's like the bunny trail for golfers). 

He was so patient with me, telling me, showing me how to stand, how and where and how tightly to grip the club, where to look, how to aim, and all that. And then I'd swing a mighty swing and the club would touch the top of the ball, it would bounce a foot off the rubber tee, (didn't I say it was a bunny trail of a course?) and roll to a stop. I'd stare at it for a few seconds and then say confidently, "Do-over!" and I'd grab the ball and put it back on the tee. 

Life needs do-overs. I sure need them in my life because there are so many times that I mess up and I just need the freedom to take another crack at it, for those around me to give me permission to fail and then to try again. 

Of course, there are things that can't be undone... like going back in time and doing things differently - like sometimes I wish I could do with the events leading up to my daughter's decision to go "out West" last summer. But even then, I realize that the very thing I had been praying for her whole life wouldn't have happened with her here, so close to and dependent upon her parents. It doesn't make losing her any easier though. Not in the least. 

But there are ways. There are ways in which, in some small way or other, I can get to do a "do-over." One of those is by pouring into the life of someone else, whether that someone is human or animal. 

LOKI - a couple of months ago - hiding the remote...

Which is why, shortly after Christmas of last year, we decided to adopt a little black kitty that very quickly became known as Loki (yes, after the character from The Avengers.) Loki (pronounced LOW-key) was born on the very day of our daughter's funeral. 

He was a little black ball of satiny softness, and still had his Siamese-blue eyes (although these changed to green later on). He was intended to be a companion for our old cat, Angel, who missed my Cody-boy after he passed away. 

But Angel didn't like him. She hissed and growled at him more and more as he tried desperately to get her to pay attention to him.

And then she left. Permanently. In mid-September. We just knew she wasn't coming back.

ERIS  -  on the rare occasion that she is not racing around!

Do-over.  Several days later, we started fostering a small kitty that the shelter called Philly, but which we called Eris (NOT Iris). Eris (pronounced "Heiress") was (and is) active, playful to the max, and so curious that sometimes it gets her into trouble!! We fostered because she was too little to spay, and so we looked after her until the shelter could have her spayed, ... and then we adopted her. 

During that time, our oldest daughter fell in love with a large three-month-old kitten at the shelter - one whose story was heartbreaking to say the least. He'd been found in the engine of a snowmobile, slipped deep down into the gears. The owner of the machine had tried to get him out, but it only traumatized him and covered them both in grease. The animal control person eventually got him out, but it took several weeks to get him to the place where he wouldn't hiss at anyone. Finally they put him up for adoption, but nobody wanted him. We visited the shelter to take a look ... and my daughter took one look and she was hopelessly hooked. He understood "cat language" as she calls it - the body language she taught herself to be able to communicate better with felines - and there was an instant connection between them.

We brought him home two days ago, just the day before he turned four months old, and the same day we officially adopted Eris. 

The shelter had called him "Tux" because he was black and white, and he looked like he was wearing a tuxedo! But he didn't respond to that name here - and we took to calling him Cal ... for "Callum" (which means Peace). It was our way of speaking peace into his life.

And he SO desperately needed peace. He spent the vast majority of the first 24 hours under her bed, scurrying away from the least unexpected thing, and jumping into the air with all fours at every sudden movement or noise. 

We so desperately wanted him to realize that this was a safe place. He didn't seem to be catching on to that. And then ... amazingly ... things started to turn around. She sat on the floor. He came over and sniffed. She sat still. Before long he was bumping her leg and letting her scratch his neck and pet him. And today - for the first time - he let her pick him up and stayed in her arms voluntarily for about 25 seconds. 

That's huge progress in just 2 days. 

Tonight I went into the room where he is getting used to the sounds of the house without the other cats around (the recommended 2-week quarantine from other animals) and he played with one of the kitty-wands we have, and I was even able to take a few photos. 

So here he is, folks. A picture of "Do-over" ... living proof that love heals and peace prevails.

CAL - five days younger and 30% bigger than Eris!

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