I need to interrupt this series to share family news....
It’s been a tough day for our family; we had to say good-bye to a friend of 16 years. Our cat, Irish, came to Will & I on our 1st wedding anniversary back in 1993. She had been rescued as a small kitten by a kind man who noticed the abandoned litter outside his workplace in a deep snow. Months later he had to relocate and needed to place his cats in other homes. We were lucky enough to welcome little Irish into our snug apartment.
She has been such a joy through the years, watching her play with ribbons and bows at Christmastime, climbing into boxes and batting twisty ties around for hours on the slick kitchen floor. She loved watching birds from the windows and sleeping on the top cushions of our living room furniture. In our current home, we could always find her in that favorite spot behind the Lazy-Boy chair enjoying the warmth of the radiator. I’ll probably still look for her there.
More than anything though, Irish was a constant, quiet companion. She had a knack for coming round just when I needed a pick-me-up, leaping onto my lap and looking into my eyes when I felt blue and friendless. And all I had to do was touch her head and the engine would start - that wonderful, comforting purr. With my husband, she preferred not his lap, but his chest as he was lying down watching football or golf. I have old photos in our albums of Will relaxing on the couch, with visible snow falling outside and young Irish nestled into a ball sleeping soundly on his chest.
She reluctantly tolerated our new puppy, Jasper, in 1995 and seemed genuinely distressed when he whimpered as we left for work in the mornings. She also welcomed several other dogs over the years and two children who loved to carry her about the house and doctor her with their play stethoscope and xray machines. She took most everything in stride...even the day I came home to find our basement flooded and Irish adrift on the pond in our laundry room!
We have been blessed to share in the life of this little cat and God has blessed me in ways over the past few weeks that I could not have imagined. I will not forget my son and daughter’s prayers over Irish...how our son anointed her with holy water and helped her walk. I won’t forget the drawings Josie has made of her favorite cat or the hand-made card Ben put together that says: “Irish you are the best cat ever!!! I love you 1000%!!!” It still sits in the laundry room near her bed. I will not forget the tenderness and care my husband took to build her casket and dig the grave carefully beside Lady, his beloved dog in youth. I will remember his gentleness in teaching our children about death and his ideas for the funeral we had today.
I believe these are the moments that make families stronger. Who ever knew that such lessons could come in a 12 pound, furry package with eyes of emerald?
Thanks be to God, who holds in His hands the breath of every living thing! Job 12:10