Mom and I are suckers this time of year for all things glittery, shiny, musical, and anything goodwill that reeks of Christmas. We’re also suckers for small furry creatures without homes.
So, Mom decides to feed the neighborhood feral cats. According to her, it is hard for them to forage for themselves in below freezing temps. That all of their food supply hunkers down when it snows and ices up. Now I’m thinking sensible rodents need to eat too, so obviously they can’t be all hunkered down and hidden from starving cats. But hey, I’m not going argue.
Got to admit I enjoy watching the poor, cold, skinny cats that come to feast at our garage door. They sit and stare at us through glittery Christmas windows with death glares while awaiting their meal.
But there’s this one special cat, not a feral, but one that has lived far too long at the local rescue shelter. A pretty kitty, an adult female with watchful eyes that defines the word introvert. Gem is aptly named, and Mom and I have debated seriously over the possibility of adopting her for about 3 months. Gem has lived at the shelter for almost 1-1/2 years. Came in very pregnant and starving. Her babies lived, were adopted, and there Gem stayed to calmly watch many more adult, adolescent, and baby cats snatched with love and carried off to their furever homes.
We decided, it’s Christmas. If we’re going to do this, we need to do it before the Holidays. So, we did. Already have three cats, all rescues in their time. But you know, the four of them now seem to get along quite well. Curious about the new girl, yes, but calmly accepting of her as she is them. We won’t discuss the role of our two dogs in this new family arrangement.
So, yeah, I think it was the right move. We have brought a soft and gentle creature without a home into ours. If she is not outwardly appreciative, at least she doesn’t bite, and seems to accept it all. Mom says she’ll become more trustful with time. OK. Tell that to the dogs. We are all feeling good about ourselves today. Very Christmasy.
And then suddenly Mom is crying. Her cousin died this weekend. I’m thinking rotten news for his family this Christmas. And his family is massive. This small, quiet, faithful man who proceeded to work and care for not only his biological children, but literally dozens of foster children that at one point were out there alone in the cold.
Some had families that they eventually were reunited with. A lot did not. This man and his wife adopted over a dozen children over 40+ years of marriage. They brought those children who were thrown into foster care, some feral, some shy, into a warm and loving forever home.
There are grandchildren now, and Christmas at their modest house is simple, but filled with all things love and lot’s and lot’s of family. I can’t think of anything more shiny and glittery than that. I love you, Mom’s cousin that I never met, and I am humbled. And I wish for you the best Christmas that you have ever had. Pretty sure God rocks it!