Paw Prints On Our Hearts – Part One

God brings them into our lives for a season; His season. Sometimes they are here for months or years, other times perhaps only days or weeks. They are family and friends; human and pets. I have mentioned the human friends previously. They came into my life and left, but always left their mark on my heart and life, but so too have my pet family.

As a child we had a cat, Fluffy for what must have been only months. I don’t recall his arrival nor his departure; merely the thought of having a cat named Fluffy. Years later my family welcomed one of my aunt’s litter of puppies, Frisky, a “Heinz 57” mix of joyfulness and vibrancy. As a poor family, he was never a part of our “inner home” or family.

Now as I reflect upon that little boy, I realize he was treated with cruelty, always tied to a tree or post; my parents’ mandate. He never entered our home and the love he received from us was merely a casual petting now and then. In the winters his warmth was a ramshackle, doghouse with a discarded, tattered blanket. His food consisted of the same government commodity corn meal mush which our family consumed for breakfast.

When I became a mother of two young children, I pleaded for a pet for our children; something for them to love, but their father was adamant, “no pets.”  Then when our children were seven and nine years of age, a bedraggled, cat believed our deck was his home. After probing the neighborhood for the cat’s owner, I learned he was an orphaned, homeless cat. I also ascertained he called our house his residence of choice.  The children called him Mo, an abbreviated name  for Morris The Cat, on the television commercials, as he could have passed for Morris’ twin. For the next 17 years, he was our first family pet. He refused to be confined in our home or garage on even the coldest winter night. Our displayed love for him of a warm bed and blankies was only rebuked, with consistent cries until we released him back to the outdoors.

Tears flowed heavily when he could not be located for days and sometimes weeks. Eventually he returned to the deck, most often suffering weight loss and the presence of bloodied ears and paws. Even though the veterinarian had altered his manhood shortly after he joined our family, his desire to travel and roam was truly a part of his DNA. Please return tomorrow for the remainder of this journey.  Ecclesiastes 3: 3 KJV “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”

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