Breathing Lessons

I couldn’t breathe…my tears were causing me to drown in sorrow and anguish. Not having children of my own, My animals are


my children. 2010 was a bad year for my animals and for me. I had two cats, one a black and white tuxedo, and one a white and black domestic short hair. Sneakers and Smudge. I had them for eight years. They were my life. Within six months of each other, they were gone and I was devastated, trying to breathe, trying to function. How could this be? They were indoor cats, pampered and sheltered. Smudge went first, the victim of a stroke. Sneakers died six months after, the victim of insecticide spray (I did not use it, my mother did). He had organ failure.

With my heart in a million shattered pieces, I went to the shelter. It had only been a couple of days, but I knew if I didn’t have something to love, I would not get through the heartbreak. The house was so empty. The food bowls and litter box evidence of loss. I felt directed to go to the Halifax Shelter. I steeled myself to face the need of the shelter’s inhabitants. No, I could not take them all home. I could only take one. There were so many and I had to put it out of my head that this shelter does euthanize. One. For me. Now. Stay focused. Breathe even though it hurts.

 I said to myself, you’ll know it when you see it. You will fall in love with one, and that is The One.  They allowed you to hold one at a time. There was a volunteer getting the cats out of their cages, which were clean and odor free. I must have held ten kittens, all the while watching the kitten in the arms of the man who was seated to my right. He was speaking to the kitten, and I strained to hear what he was saying. “You have to let them see your personality…You have to be at your best… Someone will take you home…” He was trying to find a good home for this special kitten. I asked to hold her. She was The One. I assured the man she was going to an excellent home. I picked her up the following day. I could breathe again. My heart was still broken, but there was light at the end of the black tunnel.

Bella (Yes, I’m a Twilight fan, so sue me)Bella is a Maine Coon. So pretty with her strips, her fluffy tail, her thick coat, but it’s her personality that makes her extraordinary. She is dog-like in her demeanor, greeting me with ferocity and adulation. We are joined at the hip and inseparable.  I can finally breathe again.


7 thoughts on “Breathing Lessons

  1. You have me in tears at the moment. I love animals, especially cats and it tears me up inside to see them in shelters, but you are going to give one a beautiful home! It is so wonderful, a little girl!! I lost my first two kittens I ever had when they were only 6 and 8 months old to FIP (Feline infectious peritonitis, an incurable, fatal disease). I was devastated, but I got two new kittens, well they are over a year now and I do love the two furrballs!

    • Thanks for stopping by. I had no idea that Maine Coons are as extraordinary as Bella. I reccommend them to everyone now. Yes, we are healed and a strong team.

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