Amazing Grace

       In my 20 years of a wonderful, varied and active family life, we often raised cats at the same time as the dogs in perfect harmony. They even slept happily together, even our two ordinarily reckless huskies.

       We often took our family cat, Priscilla the Chinchilla, out to Harwood to a male Persian for mating. From this match we had several bluebloods with great papers. I would bathe them, manicure their claws and brush their long silvery locks until they gleamed, but we never showed them. One time when she was in season, Priscilla jumped through the screen and out the window to meet a Romeo on the prowl. A few months later, we came home from church to find little tuxedo-style kittens happily nursing in my daughter’s dollhouse. Not one tiny piece of furniture was even bent.

       Years later, when my children and a husband or two had flown the coop, I started to long for a bit of company. Cats seemed the best way to go. So it was off to the SPCA due to little money and much variety. I was through with apartments and able to move into a house in a wooded area that cats found agreeable. I had a stately one I called Cameo, because she loved to make cameo performances to greet those who came for parties, like a grand dame of Victorian days.

       When it came time for her to leave her ninth life, by a strange happening I acquired another rescue cat I called Sparkle because she came in the holiday season. Leaving a neighbor’s house in the rain, I saw a little tiger cat who did a rain dance for my enjoyment and rolled over on her back to get my attention. My neighbor said the cat was trying to acquire me, to rescue me. She told me to ask another neighbor if I could have her. That neighbor, who only fed her scraps, said that I could have her if I came the next day to their garage. 

       When I got there the people were not there, but the little tiger cat was crying on the balcony above. I held out my arms and she jumped into them. This little Sparkle cat continued to brighten a holiday season of parties and lots of enjoyment.

       Sparkle’s demise much later when I entered my 60s — when a partner of mine was also very ill with MS — was quite distressing. I cried because she was sick and not her bright, cheerful self. I felt her pain and my partner’s in my own limbs and cried for no apparent reason, even at work. 

       My editor said that she knew the cure for this malaise. She and her granddaughter should take me down to the SPCA. I finally went with them, but I didn’t hope for much. I just felt that I would find some cat named Grace, which I thought was a strange name for a cat.

      When I saw this black cat with bronze brindling throughout and bright green eyes, I knew that she was the one for me. I had never heard of a tortoise-shell Persian, but now I know from reading the book I was given about breeds and their coloring that these cats have a lively but peaceful personality. I could see that she was entertaining all of the volunteers in the rescue center. She is the most loving cat I have ever known and has entertained, loved and certainly rescued me ever since. She is my saving grace.