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Norwich Bulletin - 4/10/2005

Prayer Of A Homeless Cat

A friend recently sent me a poem she wrote - the poem touched my heart and I asked her for permission to share it with my readers:

Please guide me heavenly Father,
Somewhere above the sky,
To a place to call my own,
That's safe and warm and dry.
Imagine having a family and feeling safe and secure. A kitten, playing with its human siblings, and having a place to sleep at night and good food to eat. And one day, the adults decide to move, or maybe they are just tired of taking care of their kid's kitty - and they take him to a strange place and leave him there.

Perhaps it's in the woods or on a farm or in a MacDonald's parking lot - it doesn't matter where they leave him off, because now the young cat knows it is alone and abandoned in a very unfriendly world. Suddenly there is no warmth, no safe haven and not enough food. This poor kitty searches through garbage cans, runs from dogs and people throwing rocks to make it get out of their yard - it desperately tries to get into strangers homes at first because it remembers that there was once something called home.

A soft bed in the corner,
A dish beside the door;
Bells and balls and catnip toys,
Scattered on the floor.

A bowl of fish or chicken,
Every Single Day;
A tummy full, not empty,
For this Dear Lord, I pray.

Day after day, the forgotten feline searches for something to eat, a place to stay dry in the rain, some type of shelter to ward off the wind and snow in the winter. The cat spends all of its time just trying to survive. It's not easy once you have been domesticated to be expected to take care of yourself. As time goes by, the stray forgets that his life once included toys and beds and a full stomach. When he sleeps, he dreams of these things but is unsure if they were ever real or always a dream.

If the cat is very, very lucky, there comes a time that he wanders into the yard of a Good Samaritan. This person loves and understands the hardships our abandoned cats face. She or he may already have three or four cats and not be able to afford to take on the expense of another pet, but they want to help. And so they start by feeding the cat and providing it with shelter.

Finally the cat has gotten to the first point of being rescued. Calls are made to local animal rescue organizations - each organization is overfull, short on cash and it takes awhile to find the one that can make room for one more cat. And while the answer is not exactly perfect and there is not a permanent home, at least the poor cat is no longer living outside, trying to survive on its own.

A large cage or a garage or a room allows the cat to be warm. A bed and toys and food appear - memories are stirred. The volunteers give as much attention as they can - but there are so many! And now, there is only one more step to make this story a happy ending. The cat needs a hero.

A gentle hand to smooth my fur,
A lap to call my own,
Being loved and cherished,
And never more alone.

Please be a hero and adopt a stray!

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