The Fluffy, White Cat

We have three cats! We used to have four cats, but our daughter, Carol, took one to Chicago with her last
year. Over the years all of our cats were, in one way or another, brought into our house by our dear
daughter. This story is about a cat Carol never met; one who missed out on her tenderheartedness.

The fluffy white cat started coming into our yard one day last Spring. My husband, Len, and I would see her
and comment on how pretty she was. In the mornings she’d be waiting for him when he came outside to
work in his vegetable garden. Some nights she would peer at us through our sliding glass door driving our
three felines to distraction. We thought she belonged to someone in the neighborhood because she was
so beautiful and seemed to be fat and well cared for.

As the weeks went by, she became a little bedraggled looking and we discussed whether or not she might
have been abandoned or lost. She had a habit of getting in front of us in the yard and looking back to see if
we would come closer. She’d blink her eyes rapidly in that special way cats have to show their affection.
But, she wouldn’t let us get too close to her.

We started becoming very concerned about her: what should we do? Should we put food out, try to catch
her and take her to the shelter, put an ad in the paper, or what? No question about putting food out; I knew
that I’d then have another cat and could NOT house another cat! And, it’s very dangerous to put food out
here in Florida because of rats and other wild animals.

The question of what to do became a daily topic of conversation. We knew that we probably could not catch
her to take her to the shelter if we left her outside. So the question came up; should we let her in and then
take her to the shelter at some later time? Both my husband and I groaned...that’s how we got our last cat!
"Please, Mom, just let me bring her in from the cold...only until I can get her to the shelter; please, please,

So, even though I have the hobo sign of "the smiling cat" on my front door meaning "a kind hearted woman
lives here," I decided that we simply could not take another cat in. I paced back and forth crying, praying,
and arguing with God about it. Finally, I exploded, "no, dammit, we can NOT have another cat in this house;
three are enough! It’s just too much to ask of me so YOU take care of that cat!"

A few hours later I was taking something to the garbage and I saw the fluffy white cat lying dead at the side
of the road next to our driveway. She had been hit by a car and probably died instantly. I ran screaming in
the house for Len to come. He gathered her up and with bitter tears buried her in our back yard.
Underneath all that fluffy white fur she was so pathetically thin.

Sometimes the only way God/Life can show mercy is through swift death. I accept that now. But, often that
fluffy white cat comes to my mind and always it is with deep sadness and regret. I wish...
Jsue: 8/18/01