Monday, 17 November 2008
Guest post submitted by JUSTAVAPORHERE
Dear Dr. Burns:
I would like to start by thanking you for the card of sympathy from your office regarding our loss of Stubby Cat. We were deeply moved by each personal signature of you and your office staff! Thank you all!
I would also like to thank you for the picture of Stubby Cat you sent me. I was deeply moved by your personal efforts regarding this as well. It was very kind of you to go out of your way to send me this. Though we only got to share a short time with Stubby Cat, I did manage to get a few pictures of him as well. I hope you enjoy the enclosed picture. It is my favorite. It is a picture of the cat I knew and loved with all my heart, Stubby Cat, when he was at his best, full of life, bold and brave, just as I knew him to be!
I know you are very busy in your profession as a vet, Dr. Burns, so I do not want to take up much of your time, but I just felt led to share a few things with you.
I have always been an animal lover, but dogs had always been my favorite animal before Stubby Cat entered my life. After my faithful and loyal companion of 15 years died last year, Lucy, a dog, my heart was terribly broken. Around that time, my daughter kept saying “ki-ki” for “cat”, and with that and my husband being a cat lover, I decided to cross the tracks and try owning a cat. We got two black kittens. Though I have grown to love these two cats, they still haven’t and probably will never meet my standards of a faithful dog, and surely after having owned Stubby Cat, never His standards.
One is a male who is super nosy and the other is a female who we should have named “Queen.” She has the softest fur I have ever felt, likened only until silk or satin, but she has an attitude to go with it. She reminds me of the cheerleader (I hope you were not a cheerleader, HA!) in high school who gets homecoming queen and has the best looking boy in school for a boyfriend…the popular one, and she has an attitude to match it…walks around like she thinks she can walk on water. I only tell you about the female cat to relate her interaction with Stubby Cat.
I try to live a Christian life as best I can. I have always firmly believed that the people and situations and circumstances that cross our path in life are always with a purpose. Perhaps just a lesson God is trying to teach us or what have you, but I sincerely believe that everything happens for a reason from God and that God can use anything, right down to a homeless cat, for that which He intends. I figure since He can speak through a jackass, he could certainly use a cat such as Stubby Cat.
I remember seeing Stubby Cat for the first time. He was hunkered down in some brush and ran away when I tried to go near him. I thought he was a rabbit. But by that afternoon, my husband had coaxed him to come to him. From the minute I first petted Stubby Cat, I knew there was something special about him. We bonded and I soon developed a love for him like nothing I had never shared with ANY animal, not even my dog Lucy of 15 years.
I remember thinking when we found Stubby Cat and after spending a few days with him how while I do not believe in reincarnation, I felt that God knew my heart was broken with missing my dog, Lucy, and I wondered, with knowing God works in mysterious ways, if it was possible that God somehow took Lucy’s spirit and transferred it into Stubby Cat. Stubby was exactly like Lucy. The resemblance in their humbleness was amazing to me! Preposterous I know it sounds, but I never count out anything when it comes to God.
There were so many things I loved about Stubby Cat. It may sound funny, but he reminded me a lot of myself.
He was very punctual and predictable. He had a routine just like me…day after day the very same routine. I could set my clock by him. Every morning at 7:16 a.m., he was within feet of the porch for his breakfast. He got about 3-4 cans of 9-Lives everyday. After his breakfast, he would pile up on a big bed and nap for about 4-5 hours. I still remember the feeling of snuggling up against him and the cool smell of dirt on his tummy. He was not your ordinary cat! He did not get up when I laid down beside him. He came when I called with a whistle. He was a snuggler and a lap cat, no doubt. And I used to get tickled every morning when I would see him come running up on the porch in his jack-rabbit type fashion. And that sweet, little meow that filled my heart with joy!
If someone would have told me before my time with Stubby Cat that a cat could bring so much to my life or speak to my heart like he did, I would have figured them for insane, just as you probably will think I am crazy after you read this, but I am not crazy, Dr. Burns. I was simply taken with this sweet cat!. He was likened unto that ONE person you meet in your lifetime that changes your life forever, that inspires you or motivates you, or as in Stubby Cat’s case, teaches you something about life.
I observed Stubby Cat very often in his behavings. I mentioned the female black cat of ours, as above, to tell you this. This female cat was always mean to Stubby Cat. She always hissed at him and would try to scratch him if he walked by her. One of the most heartbreaking things I shall never forget is how she hissed at him the day I brought him home after you saw him and told me he had been shot. He was in severe pain I am sure as he laid on the kitchen floor. He couldn’t even really lay his head down comfortably. His face still was severely swollen and somewhat disfigured-looking. The female cat walked by him and hissed at him. That broke my heart! She was no different to him from any other day! The female cat never accepted Stubby Cat. We kept thinking she would come around, but she never did. Stubby Cat always tried to purposely avoid her by walking way out of his way to walk around her. He was the perfect gentleman cat! Not ONCE did he ever strike back at her or hiss at her when she reached out to scratch him or hissed at him. Hardly a time went by when I saw this happen that I did not think about the verse in the Bible that speaks about turning the other cheek. I remember thinking how amazing it was that their interaction as such kept reminding me of that particular verse.
Many times while owning Stubby Cat, I would share with my friends what was on my mind related to my Christian walk, and I had, right before Stubby got shot, shared with them what he reminded me, the characteristics that we should possess as Christians, such as mentioned above, the turning of the cheek with the female cat, et cetera. I talked about how he had changed my life and the joy that he brought me. I talked about how God had taken this little homeless creature and showed me so many things through Him, just like how He has shown me through my little 4-year-old daughter, things like how to completely trust and have a “child-like faith.” I told them how that though three months at best was the short time that God allowed me to enjoy this little creature, how much he added to my life! I even told them he was one of my many blessings from God! It did not matter what problem I encountered in my life on a day to day basis, just seeing Stubby Cat seemed to make it all better!
Another thing that I saw through Stubby Cat was how when I found him on both occasions of his injuries, he never once complained or moaned or anything. Dr. Warner saw Stubby Cat on his first visit, complete with bites all over him and major swelling of his leg where he had got into a fight with something. We had only had him about two weeks when this happened. I found him on the front porch, again after he did not show for breakfast. It was still a bit dark outside and I thought he had got into a mudhole somewhere, but when I opened the door and he came in to eat, I realized he was all bloody. No sound still he made. He got up on the bed and laid there silently. It was then that I realized he was soaked in blood.
Dr. Warner patched him up and home again he came. It was after the second injury, the one that you saw him for, that really hit home with me regarding “complaining,” for I tend to complain a lot, expecting life to go perfectly, which we KNOW it simply does not always go. I shall never forget the morning I found him with the shot wound. Again, he was not at the door at 7:16 a.m. My son and I began to look for him. My son had left his car window down and happened to look in the back. There was Stubby Cat, both front legs and paws soaked in blood from the seepage of blood from the right side of his mouth. I picked him up in shock at the disfigured right side of his jaw! Yet still no sound he made! I cry when I think about how in all his pain with the shot injury, he still managed to come to our home and climb in my son’s car. He came to the place where he knew he would be safe…his home! How could I not likewise associate this to us, God’s children, His sheep? No matter what may come to us throughout the course of our day, there is nothing quite like straggling to Him for comfort and protection!
The day we put Stubby Cat down was one of the darkest days of my life, honestly! I cried a whole week thinking I had no more tears left. My head hurt terribly from crying. The hardest part was seeing my husband out the door at 7:16 a.m. with no Stubby Cat running to meet me! It wasn’t my best friend I lost...it was much more. I felt like I lost my own spirit!
I have heard people all my life say on losing a loved one, “There is this void..” It wasn’t until this day that I truly began to know what they were describing, the “void” they spoke of.
Time has passed now, a bit of time, and it’s getting easier. I still make trips to Stubby’s grave and sit there and cry, but I know in time, this too shall pass. My screensaver is nothing short of a picture of Stubby Cat in all his boldness. Outside in my backyard, side by side, are the two most wonderful creatures that ever crossed my path, Stubby Cat and Lucy. I find comfort in knowing that whether there is a cat/dog heaven or not, wherever Lucy is, Stubby is.
And as I reflect on the years of great happiness the two brought me, I think about the scriptural verse that talks about many entertaining angels unaware. Do not get me wrong…I am not saying those two beautiful animals were angels by no means, but again I’d never be one to discount the possibility, for I figure again, as God spoke through the jackass as He did in the Bible, would it really be that unbelievable for Him to speak to us non-verbally through the actions and behavior of a cat named Stubby Cat?
I hope you don’t think I’m crazy after reading the above. I was very hesitant to write this because of that reason alone, but for some reason, I felt led to share this with you!
Thank you again for the cards and personal attention to us and Stubby Cat. We shall not forget. And thank you for understanding how much Stubby Cat meant to me! He was THE CAT that truly touched my heart!!!
Has God ever touched your heart through your pets?