Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ode To Sophie

Most of us have had pets.  To truly say you have a pet is to say that you have an additional family member.  I know some have owned animals without welcoming them into their families, but have viewed them simply as a creature that they feed, etc.
Not this family.  We get very close to our cats and dogs.  Becoming friends with a furry one is so much fun.  They each have their own personalities, similar to humans. 
On occasion one comes along that really stands out as unique.  That was Sophie.
I met Sophie over four years ago.  She resided with Matt and Mindy and another car named Penny.  They all lived in California.
Sophie and Penny made the trip to Connecticut with Matt in July.  They are such a part of the family and thus greatly loved and as such, of course,could not be left behind.
Until arriving in this state they were inside cats.  (I bet you know where this is going..)
At first they were happy to just go out onto our screened porch.  I think they thought that they had died and gone to heaven, as there was so much to see from that porch: birds and more birds to be specific. There was an occasional mouse scurrying by and more than occasionally a multitude of squirrels!
Penny is more retiring in personality and easily frightened.  For many weeks she never left Matt and Mindy's bedroom.  Though after a while the porch was too inviting to ignore!
Not Sophie.  She wanted to see everything and now!  No matter what door opened and no matter where she was at the moment, she would appear in time to attempt to scoot through the opening.  We had to be extra careful not to let her outside, nor leave her to be trapped in a closet or room!  It happened more than once!
Sophie seemed to be a mix between cat and dog.  She loved to follow us around and wanted to be where we were.  This kitty did enjoy curling up on a lap, just don't pick her up, as she instantly became like a sack of potatoes that was not very cuddly.
Often Sophie would entertain us by chasing whatever we teased her with.  However, she didn't need us to instigate the play, but found numerous sources of entertainment herself; shadows, moths and even a leaf that found its way into the house.
Ray and I have a cat, Chloe, and she is an outside cat.  She has her own personal cat door off the porch and Sophie began to inspect it closely.  She started to make it very clear that the outdoors were beckoning to her also.  We finally acquiecsed.
I have my own definition of a door.  It is something an animal or child is on the wrong side of.  As the weather cooled, we needed to keep the slider to the porch closed.  Sophie always seemed to be on one side or the other desiring to get on the other side!

Yesterday evening we went to dinner and it was pleasant.  I do need to say that I realized that I am being selfish to expect Ray to enjoy such excursions.  His arm is giving him much pain and sitting for any period of time is very draining.  So it looks like we will be having takeout for our anniversary!

Matthew was driving and as we approached our driveway he cried, "Oh, no!" and drove past.  As we passed by I could see an animal lying in the road.  It was Sophie.
My precious daughter-in-law never had a cat or dog before.  Neither she nor Matt ever lost an animal this way.  It is so sad.  There have been tears.  Our hearts are heavy.
As Mindy grieved she commented that this was an animal, not even a human and then she looked at me and said, "Poor Aunt Chrissy!"
Yes, my poor sister.  Everything reminds me of her and her (our) loss.  Today much of the family is walking in the Cancer Society's walk.  More sorrow and heavy hearts.  Hopefully, more healing too.

Papa gives many gifts.  Some definitely don't come wrapped as we would expect, yet gifts they are.  We only need to trust and wait.  He will unwrap it for us in His time.  He has in the past and will continue to so again.

My heart joins the psalmist in what I read this morning in Psalm ninety-two, the fourth and fifth verses:
"You thrill me, LORD, with all you have done for me!  I will sing for joy because of what You have done.  O LORD, what great works You do!  And how deep are Your thoughts."

I jotted down something I read the other day.  I do not remember the source,, but want to close with it.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain!"

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