Angels In Black and White
Clyde died less than a month after my father passed away. Although it has been a little over two years ago, I still feel responsible for Clyde’s death.
Clyde was our long-haired grey and white cat who had the cutest little pink nose. His fatal diagnosis was Mycoplasma Haemofelis. In layman’s terms, he had a feline red blood cell parasite. I did not realize his pale pink nose was a sign of anemia. I spent much of my time with my father before his passing; it never occurred to me that Clyde was sick too. Intuition told me the fading pink nose was not common, but I was not home enough to notice his other signs of illness.
If mourning for my father were not enough, I mourned for Clyde as well. Unable to resurrect the lives I missed so dearly, I did my best to keep moving forward with life. And about three months later, my husband showed me a picture of a rescue cat, named Cher, who needed a home. She was a Manx, (breed without a tail), white with black spots. She was a polydactyl as well, (extra toe on each paw). With much hesitation, I went with my husband to meet this little cat knowing how much he wanted another Manx.
I hesitated meeting Cher because I felt sadness for Clyde and I did not want another future tragedy to enter our home. Cher put the moves on my heart by jumping on my shoulder and wrapping herself around my neck. We signed adoption papers, and soon after, Cher was nestled in a cat carrier in the car heading to her new home and family. We were not fond of her foster name and we decided to name her Zoe. Interestingly, in Greek, Zoe means life.
Like the Dalmatian that visited me on New Year’s Eve in 1997, Zoe is my live-in angel wrapped in white fur with black spots. I know she is an angel because she joins me while I spend time in prayer. When I kneel, she lies on my calves, and when I sit in a chair, she sits in my lap. She even jumps on my shoulder and wraps herself around my neck, just like the first time we met.
Even though my husband is the one who lobbied for her adoption, Zoe has claimed me as her special person.
I understand now that Clyde’s passing was not my fault. And a blood parasite is not a common illness that pet owners discuss over coffee. As Jesus is proof, from death comes new life.
We cannot resurrect the lives that have gone before us, but in time we can celebrate a new Zoe.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.