I still remember the day when Gwen came into our lives. It was a cold day in December
right before Christmas two years ago in 2003. My husband went outside to get something
out of the car, and a couple minutes later I heard him tapping on the window
and motioning for me to come out. There sat a little tiger striped cat.
Of course I ran to get food because I love cats and I have a soft spot in my heart for strays.
This started a ritual, around the same time every night Gwen came up to the porch.
I would sit in my chair watching TV waiting to see her little face peering in the window
to be let in the porch room. I decided to just leave the door to the porch propped open
so she could come in and eat whenever she wanted, along with an old army blanket on a
camping chair, in case she decided to take a nap. I was afraid to shut her in because
I didn't want to steal someone else's cat! But it didn't take long before Gwen was coming
around more than once a day and she would sleep on the blanket I left for her. I asked the
neighbors if she belonged to them, or if they knew if she belonged to anybody, and no one
knew anything about her, so I decided I wanted to keep her.
My husband Jon kept asking me "are you sure? You already have two cats!"
So I told him "look outside Jon, it's freezing cold. It reminds me of a verse in the bible
where the Christ said 'if you do it to the least of my brothers, you have done it unto me.'"
(Sometimes you have to get a little philosophical to get your way :)
Well Jon is a softie deep down so it didn't take much persuasion and he let me keep her.
We are both so happy that we did. Gwen was such a nice, quiet, loving cat, I couldn't ask for
a better pet. We always thought of her as our Christmas miracle, because she came to us
right before Christmas day. These last two years Gwen was an important part of our little family.
Jon and I got to look forward every night to her play fights with our other cat Billy.
He was still in the process of "growing up" when Gwen taught him her street smarts
and she really taught him a few lessons! [no one was injured!] She really was a lot of fun.
When she became sick and we learned she had lung cancer, we were absolutely shocked.
Neither of us smoke so we knew it wasn't from anything to do with smoke inhalation, at least
not from us. We were devastated to have to put her to sleep, but she was suffering
and we knew it was the right thing to do.
But it was also the hardest, and a day hasn't gone by that I don't miss her; getting up
in the morning and seeing her sitting next to me waiting to be fed, tussling with Billy
doing what Jon and I called her "happy dance" where she wagged her tail
and hopped from one hind foot to the next. I can tell the other cats miss her as well.
But I am glad that she is no longer suffering though, and I hold tight
to my faith that a God that doesn't forget the sparrows won't forget a good cat like