Mystery and Magic of Cats

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.


So what!

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

Dreams of Ivan: College Memory

Corn field. Yellow kernels trapped in green stalks. Earth, rich and dark, sent up its musky scent. Along a path in back of his parents white farmhouse, on a lazy Sunday afternoon after church in autumn 1981, he and I had walked along. Friends, we were, laughing and admiring the amazing blueness of that rural North Carolina sky and the cottony clouds laying low across the tree line.

Last night, after forty-one years, his pale blue eyes flash in a dream and awaken me, and warms my heart at that youthful place where we had once dwelled. Both of us on the cusp of the future; our lives with all its promise lay on the unchartered road laden with dreams that were ripe for the picking.

A foot and a half taller than me, I can still see him as I craned my head up to listen to his voice, and that smile of his flashed again, dimples and all. His pale blond hair fluttered in the autumn breeze.

At twenty, I pondered if it was love or if it was just friendship. Was it simple fondness? Or was I mesmerized by the beauty and gentleness of that gentleman?

So very long ago, four decades later, I recall our parting on the last day of our freshman year. He and I hugged goodbye. Somewhere tucked away in my heart, forty years later I ponder the what ifs.

Time passes. Memories fade. But, in the darkness when dreams ignite themselves in those quiet corners of our souls, memories of youth can awaken us. . .

Ivan, a sweet gentleman, dwells in that happy corner of my soul. In my dream, his smile reappeared and reminded me of a joyful moment of innocence, of friendship, of kindness, of a world that was simpler then.

Thanks, Ivan, for your friendship, so very long ago.

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2022


close up photo of beagle resting head on armrest
Photo by Hilary Halliwell on


BoBo nestles beside me wrapped in his pink blanket,

Australian Shepard/Beagle/ Dachshund, my little rescuer,

having rescued me from the sadness, from the darkness,

he my shadow, my faithful little friend.

Cold black nose, his lips turning upward as if smiling in his sleep.

His chin resting on his big paws,

my perfect friend,

in his silent sleep, his presence comforts me,

nestled next to me.


Jenny Andrews Copyright 2019


It has been three years since I adopted BoBo from a pet rescue in my community. He was one of a litter; his mother had been rescued as had his father. Dogs (and cats) can bring such joy to someone’s life. Consider adopting from an animal shelter or a reputable animal rescue if you are considering getting a pet. Pets take a lot of care and attention, but they are such a blessing, as well. BoBo has been a blessing to me.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2020!