Thrusting the gear stick of my MBG GT into reverse, foot on the clutch I sped backwards, there was a horrible ‘thud’ as I came to an abrupt stop. As I did so my eyes fell on a mass of Blood moving slightly right in front of my car, not again! I always experienced the same shocking revulsion; this had gone too far, it simply had to stop.
My husband and I along with Our growing family had moved into this wonderful new home only weeks before, however it was only now slowly dawning on us that we were literally surrounded by hordes of feral cats, We discovered a new litter (it felt like) every day.
Andrea our oldest daughter had already ‘sneaked a black baby kitten’ into her bedroom, and within days we were all suffering from an unknown skin rash and persistent itching; The RSPCA was finally summoned.
The feral cats were rounded up and re homed, our little jet black cat was treated for fleas, ticks, worms, ringworm, and finally we were given a small red booklet on how to care for her. Not a great start to our lives as ‘cat owners’. However; the children were happy to have a proper pet at last, (apart from once having Gerbils in a cage) they had never owned a pet that ran round the house and slept on beds, and so we named our jet black cat Tikki. The feral instinct though was still deeply ingrained in her being, if family friends or neighbours visited ‘Tikki would fly up to the bedroom and hide under a bed waiting until everyone had departed. Despite this though Tikki lived to the ripe old age of 18 years, a really l long life for a once feral cat, however her last few weeks were sad and unpleasant and so it was that I resolved, no more cats.
As I dunked the little grey tabby into a bucket of ice cold water for the third time I realised resistance was futile. Two soft grey eyes stared back at me as if to say please let me stay; I had done everything possible to reject this new cat even calling out the RSPCA but it seemed to have adopted us. We had no idea where this kitten had come from, maybe sent from heaven to bless and enrich our lives, who can tell? So we named this new arrival ‘Charlie’. There is a well known saying that implies being called Charlie has something to do with being naughty / persistent, we had no idea if this was a boy or a girl, so Charlie stuck.
We happily shared our home with ‘Charlie’ for the next fifteen years; until… Charlie began to get sick. It was a cool afternoon when I heard a long sad sound, a mournful cry; it seemed to me a slow persistent sadness as if, as if…..I don’t want to leave you all. We did not want to lose Charlie either, but the end was near. And so I prayed; Dear God please let Charlie die under our oak tree where he had first appeared and entered our lives. The mournful cries broke our hearts, my husband made an appointment to take Charlie to the Vet, and I rushed off to work. At about 5pm a bright rainbow suddenly appeared on my desk at work, in my heart I knew Charlie had died, and indeed it was so. I returned home to my distraught husband who had discovered Charlie dead, under the Oak Tree. And so I resolved no more cats.
This story has an unusual ending; I will tell it and let you decide. I was so sad, after two weeks I was still bursting into tears as I remembered Charlie. I had never really liked animals, so what was wrong with me? I knelt by my bed and prayed, “Dear God I’m so sad” I asked the big question ‘Why,’ I don’t even like animals. Suddenly I heard an inner voice say: “It will be your father next.” Wow, I stopped crying, I felt, ‘God was preparing my heart’ ……for something which would be much harder.
And so it was that a couple of days later as I chatted with our neighbour she surprised me; she informed me that one of her six cats was pregnant. I was a bit taken aback, so to speak as I had not even known she had any cats, but six! Yes she was very pleased; we could definitely have one of the new kittens, oh dear not exactly what I had planned.
It was a hot day in August when Isabelle Lucy and I ran over to our neighbour’s house full of excitement; her cat Bandit (a white cat with a black patch) had produced four kittens. Two were jet black, one white, and 1 grey tabby (the last an absolute replica of our Charlie) Lucy picked the grey tabby up and instantly named her CJ…Charlie Junior.
Eight weeks later we collected CJ and introduced her to her new home. Amazingly just like our old Charlie she would sit outside our bedroom door in the mornings waiting for us, we were enthralled, it felt like our ‘Charlie’ had been reborn.
Was this a God incidence, Dear reader I will let you be the judge of that. I prayed again a prayer of thanks but with a question this time; “Dear God It won’t be so easy to replace a Father”…..But Jesus taught us to call God, Abba Father…”.Our father who art in heaven.”
This is a true Story
Angie Clifford….Word count 946:
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