Pictured here is Velvet lounging on the picnic table with the leaves from the mimosa tree swaying above him. This photo was taken nearly twenty-five years ago. I found it tonight while cleaning out my garage.
Velvet had arrived on my doorstep the night of a tropical storm; rain was just beginning to fall when I heard a faint meowing. Initially, I thought it was just the wind. I opened my door and there he was trembling and huddled up; his large green eyes pleading to find refuge from the storm.
I have allergy to cat fur.
I also had two little dogs. I wasn’t all too sure how they would react to a visitor since they both were already stressed with the howling wind slapping tree branches against the house.
So, I just couldn’t stand the thought of that little cat outside in the storm.
Of course, I bundled him up in my arms in a towel, dried him off, and opened a can of tuna for him. Needless to say, he stayed pretty much by my side for over a decade.
Curiously, no one ever claimed him; so, I claimed him. And, my two little dogs absolutely adored him. They would huddle into a big pile and sleep; they did this during the tropical storm that first night.
Velvet would follow me when I’d take walks around the neighborhood; I think he may have thought he was one of the dogs. He would jump on my son’s music stand and bat at the flute my son had been playing; he seemed to love music.
Mainly, he loved being apart of my family.
Interestingly, a few months after he landed on my doorstep another stray cat whom I named Sheba showed up. Nobody claimed her; so, I did.
My allergies to cats miraculously disappeared! I think it was their love that cured me of my allergies. . .
So, I ended up with two cats that became quick friends with my two little dogs.
Looking at all those all photos that I had stored in my garage is bittersweet. I was suddenly reminded of the rapid passage of time, of loss, and of those magical moments when a simple meow would make me laugh. I was reminded of sunny days in my garden with two cats and two dogs stretched out beneath the crape myrtle trees. . .enjoying the breeze.
Time goes way to fast; I wish I could step back into those hours, but I can’t.
But, I can remember.
I can remember the magical moments of calm and learning to just sit beneath the mimosa tree, like Velvet, and enjoy the sound of silence. And the beauty of peace.
Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2022