So this happened…
The first weekend of December 2016, Santa came early? Or, sad-eyed cats from rescue shelters know exactly how to cry a heart-rending meow just as an emotionally ragged animal-loving pastor walks near.
It just so happened that I ruined a tire on my car. The details aren’t important – it’s enough to say that I ruined a tire on my car and did damage to the wheel well and fender. Not my most shining moment. I’ve been changing car tires since I was 12. I noticed one of the lug nuts looked funny, but loosened the rest and got the car up on the jack. I’d leaned the cute little donut tire within reach and all was copacetic except for the one funny looking lug nut. Yeah, it was a locking lug-nut. Evidently in some parts of the world, car tires are so valuable that when owners come out of stores or restaurants, their cars are sitting in the right parking spot, but are buck-tire-naked. So some genius came up with the locking lug-nut idea – the key being that the dealership includes the locking lug-nut adaptor kit in the car when it is turned over to the owner. Oh, ooops, sometimes that doesn’t happen. When it doesn’t, it’s also NOT possible to have a friend run you up to the car-dealership to borrow an adaptor kit because they don’t let the “master adaptor key” leave the lot. The car has to be on the lot, and when the car’s not drivable to the lot… well, let’s just say I had a few JBT (John the Baptist you “brood of vipers who warned you of the wrath to come”) moments with some nice car dealer people.
Bottom line, car was transported to the dealership, tire was replaced, AND all the locking lug-nuts on ALL the tires were replaced with non-locking ones. I’m taking my chances on getting stolen buck-tire-naked blind when I go to the grocery store, lug-nuts. So on my way home from the whole ordeal, I stopped at PetSmart to get old Bud a sack of dog food, which is where I was going when I ruined the tire/wheelwell/fender in the first place. It should have been an omen.
It just so happens that in the weeks preceding Christmas, every animal rescue place in the six-county area brings their rescue animals to pet department stores for unsuspecting and emotionally ragged and tire-(d) *snort* people to have their heart-strings pulled. Being aware of this, I kept my eyes directly on the ground and avoided most of the myriad of temporary animal crates and fences with dogs in them. I knew I’d either take one home, or stand and cry that I couldn’t take all of them. The bag of dog food was successfully thrown in the cart, and I headed straight for a register.
I was so very close to getting out of the store when I let my guard down and there were the wire cages with the rescue kittens. I made it past all the mewing and the spitting and the playing with balls of yarn-ness ‘til the very end crate where I slowed down to make a turn toward the register and it just so happened that a nice(?) lady stepped out and commented that with that much dog food I must have a very large dog who must need a feline rescue friend.
I compassionately but firmly shared that I had just rescued an orange cat in May (thereby proving my animal kingdom generosity), and he just so happened to be the same color as the one in that last wire cage, and we were all getting along quite splendidly. At which point she noted the sign taped to the last crate, and the three names above this one were crossed off, meaning all of his litter mates had been adopted and he was the lone sibling left. I then mistakenly looked closely and there he was, squished down in a litter box inside the tiny wire cage. She told me he was 7 months and that at 6 months, they become really difficult to get adopted and proceeded to pull him out of the crate to place in my arms as she kept speaking without taking a breath. That’s usually my job… On cue that cat began to purr, and cuddle his head in my neck, and work his paws on my shoulder, and, seriously?!?
It was all over.
So Ringo and Bud now have a pet cat named Oscar. They initially shared that they really hadn’t asked for a pet, but are getting used to his need to be close, to be the center of attention, to eat their food and play with their toys and lick their heads.
Was it meant to be? I mean, did I ruin my tire and wheelwell and fender and have an unremoveable locking lug-nut without an adaptor kit to have to take it to the dealership to end up at the pet department store on a Saturday instead of a Friday because that’s when 3 billion rescue pets are present and the one orange 7 month old last sibling left cat in the last crate before the register was the one I was meant to take home with me that first Saturday in December? You know, it just so happens that Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday this year? Coinkeydink or miracle?
Is there a strange symmetry to the “it just so happened” moments in life that bring us gifts we weren’t exactly expecting or planning? Ummmm, my parents and most of my friends would say that no, it is rather my creative/imaginative/poetic need to find a reason for a not very well thought out or reasonable decision and that I’m pushing the limits of being, well, a crazy cat lady. A friend says I have to have at least five before joining the crazy cat lady club, maybe stay tuned. Should they all be orange?
It just so happens that contemporary Christian band “Cloverton” comes to Grace tonight, Thursday, December 15. Their Christmas cover of “Hallelujah”, my choice to head this blog this week, went viral and has since grown their music ministry immeasurably. Their music is accessible listening for all ages and their spirit and heart of the Midwest a connection for us not to be missed. Because the concert has been generously subsidized by wonderful donors, tickets are only $5, and at last asking are still available. They may be purchased online at: tiny.cc/cloverton, and will be available at the door. You can also call the church office for more information.
Maybe a Cloverton concert is one of those “just so happened” moments to get you into the Christmas spirit ten days before baby Jesus! And let’s face it, a $5 Christmas concert has much more limited consequences than a “free” orange cat named Oscar – a gift that keeps on… needing fed, and vaccinated, and flea and tick collared, and heartworm pilled, and litter-boxed and, well, loved. See you at the concert!