Thursday, March 27, 2014


About a year and a half ago, we went to the animal shelter and chose a cat.  He's black with a wisp of white under his shoulder blade and we named him Laurence--Laurie for short.  After the initial excitement wore off, I realized I might not be a cat person.  Cat litter is icky.  Cat food is expensive.  He won't drink water from a dish.  Why would he when toilet water is so delicious...and fun to splash.  He knocks things over.  There are still traces of white wash on my floor.  The baby has enjoyed every variety of cat food we've tried.  Laurence is pickier.  He prefers fresh flowers.

Several weeks ago, Laurence left.  The door was opened and he just left.  He was down the street and out of sight in seconds.  We circled the block and then neighbouring blocks.  We scanned back alleys and front steps.  I called the humane society.  We did it again.  And again.  For six days.  Temperatures that week reached thirty below.  We knew we were unlikely to see him again.  If I'm honest, I will confess that there was a moment when I considered, when I thought, when I wondered, maybe it was for the best.

Then Beth tried one more thing.  After the house was asleep, she put a hunk of turkey on the front step and, in a welcoming gesture, left the door ajar before slipping back to bed, the furnace blasting hot air into the night.  We woke the next morning to Jonah crying, "He's back!  He's back!"  I ran downstairs and there he was, shivering and sneezing on our cold cold floor.  We snuggled and warmed and watched.  And basked in a mixture of joy and relief...and redemption.

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