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How a 9 lb. cat continues to teach me to live life in the moment ...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How a 9 lb. cat continues to teach me to live life in the moment ...

First of all, I freely admit that I was not always a cat lover. However, as a devout lover of all of God's Creatures, I have had an affinity for dogs. That was until Mallory Ann, entered my life, and graciously, lovingly, chose to share her life with mine. Mallory Ann had a very inauspicious beginning: Brother Dave would see her sunning under a stately Palm tree in our front yard when he mowed. With summer rains and hurricane season, she took refuge in a culvert for protection against sub tropical winds and torrential rains. We believe she probably belonged to our neighbors so we were careful to only give a kind word and go about our business. I would see her from our living room window -- a diamond in the rough -- this once long-haired beautiful little girl whose coat became tangled and matted from lack of care and a life lived precariously outdoors. Fortuitously, all of that changed on October 15, 1998, the day I received the 4th in a series of biopsies and colposcopies that indicated early stage cervical cancer. The doctor called me with the biopsy results from the recent hospitalization. I asked to receive the news via telephone since my loving family was by my side rather than go through another sterile, cold "sit down" in unfamiliar surroundings to learn what I already knew in my heart was true. As I attempted to digest and disseminate the jumble of medical words spoken from the other end of the phone, I placed the receiver in the cradle and walked to the front door and peered out the large windows. I strained to listen to gentle "meow" to ascertain its distance ... Again, another faint cry ... Immediately, excitement replaced concern for my own problems as I saw the precious little body standing before me, her big green eyes twinkling as she stood on our front porch. The little white cat with the matted hair was asking for a little food, a bowl of milk and perhaps a kind word!!! Emaciated from lack of sustenance, and the worst case of ear mites and fleas we had ever seen, we began the task of cleaning her from stem to stern. But first Mallory Ann was introduced to a bowl of "Fancy Feast" and so began her love affair with the good life!!!

We received word Friday afternoon that Mallory Ann is facing yet another medical crisis and uphill battle ... Truthfully, the odds are against her especially given her rough beginning and now, with advancing age -- even though we still affectionately refer to her as "the baby..." I do know that Mallory came into my life for a reason, of this I am sure. You wouldn't think a little 9lb. cat could teach us Life Lessons, but I can assure you, she has .. and the Good Lord Willing, she will continue to do so ...

And so, I promise you, my Spark friends, to be as positive, loving and cheerful as I possibly can even when I'm bone tired from long days and nights spent at Mallory's side tending to her every whim and need, just as she lovingly took care of me when I was so sick all those years ago. My goal in the coming days, weeks and months ahead is to regularly share with you the whole story of Mallory Ann, the life lessons learned and re-learned and how a 9lb. cat stole my heart and whose life has become a metaphor in how to live life in the moment, with purpose, glory and grace ...


This blog is dedicated to "Auntie Michlea" our dear and precious Spark friend, who has touched my heart with her very own style and grace and never once criticized my love and devotion for my Mallory Ann!! ( ..... yours was the only communication I could write Friday after hearing the news of Mallory's illness ... Thank you for caring about us, Cupcake .. I am eternally grateful and blessed to have you in my life....)
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  • MSHEL7
    I am being snoopy and reading your old blogs. This is so sweet. I am a cat lover. The one that I call lover is actually named Dory, he is getting up there in age and has been run over by a car, but he is still determined to do cat things. We also have another cat, Pretty, she came her 6 years ago. I was at the end of my rope with a very active 3 year old boy who would not sit still for 1 min. One day she showed up, out of the blue, skinny, begging for food. To this day, she will not eat unless we are watching, something about her. Anyway, God sent her, I know this to be fact as that ball of fiery energy called son would actually sit with her, quietly, calmly, lovingly. It was the first time the boy had sat since he could walk. He is great, but oh my how I was being tried, God knew just what to do and when to do it. I'll be eternally thankful to him for sending that cat. Yours came at the perfect time for you as well. Wonderful how that works, isn't it.
    2261 days ago
    I just had to come reread this blog and she her beautiful face again. What a beauty!

    You both were blessed to have each other, in a time in both your lives where it seemed that nothing was going so well. I am both a cat and dog and horse and goat and....well you can see where this is going. There is no animal that I don't love. I love skunks, even though they can be stinky, I love snakes, tho many people hate and fear them.

    This love of animals was given to me by God, and is something that I have nurtured my entire life.

    God bless you for taking her in at a time when you could have chosen to be completely self focused. You both saved each other.

    A tender hug,
    3390 days ago
    I, too, was a dog person until Poncho came into my life. He was the most beautiful cat I had ever seen, a red point Himalayan x Ragdoll, in the cage at the Humane Society and so, despite allergy-induced asthma, I brought him home. I soon discovered why such a pretty and loving boy had been dumped; he had kidney disease. Poncho lived to be 9 1/2 before he finally crossed the Rainbow Bridge with my help. He became a Quadrupal Grand Champion in the Household Pet Class of The International Cat Association and his photo graced the pages of their magazine. He was beautiful inside and out and he knew it. He was a kitty evangelist. He converted me into a sane and ethical cat lady. Today I live with eight, half of which are rescues with special needs. There is something to be said about the unconditional love of an animal. They teach us patience and authenticity, don't they?


    3858 days ago
    I have to tell you that my heart skipped a beat when I saw your precious kitty.
    See my blogpost October 26, 2008
    They never really go away, no matter what.
    3858 days ago
  • no profile photo SIZE-0-4EVER
    Oh...sweetness ..Im so sorry to hear about this. To know that God sent you this precious angel at 'one' of your most needy moments touches my heart. You are lucky to have her....and SHE IS LUCKY TO HAVE YOU!! Those babies do teach us so much. And it hurts so when they leave us (Im thinking of my dear Nickles that I lost in '05). But man....the love and memories we have will still comfort us for the rest of our days. Praying for sweet Mallory Ann(and you my dear) emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3858 days ago
    I so hope all goes well with Mallory Ann and you. I love cats (all animals really) I lost my cat last year and, my heart still aches for her, we were soul mates so I feel for you with all my heart.

    I will keep checking your page for future updates as I so want everything to be ok.
    3859 days ago
    i hope everything turns out for your kitty. This hit so close to home, we just lost our Son's dear "Bender" on new year's eve. I was with my son in the Vet's office when we had him put down. (i hate that term!) All your Love fills up inside and it's so hard, i'm bawling like big baby now trying to write. We were blessed to have him and you are blessed too.
    3859 days ago
    Aw MY precious Dollface, what can I possibly say to your dedication, but thank you with all my heart. I am not as good with words as you are but I know you can feel what is in my heart. I have prayed non-stop all weekend for Mallory Ann and for you and for everyone of us that love her so much. I got to know our sweet girl through our emails and I love her as if she were my own. I will keep praying for her to be well & happy & spoiled for many many more years.

    Love you Dollface! emoticon emoticon
    3859 days ago
    I wasn't a cat lover either but once they get in your heart ...... your done for! :) I will keep her in my prayers....I have 4 kitty's that live in our home, I had one that I took in that sounded a lot like yours....and she only had 3 legs...I named her Creola after the Buffet song, I had to put her down because she had feline AIDS from the rough life she had before us...but you know what???? She had the best life at our house and even though she was only with us for a couple of years she really touched our hearts. You can't ever explain the love for animals either you have it and understand it or you don't. You understand it and have it! Keep us posted! emoticon emoticon
    3859 days ago
  • MIZM20
    JoAnnie, I'm so sorry here hear about your Baby; felines are special and I know Mallory Ann knows who Loves her and gives her all her special treatment and is so Lucky you took her in. I can only wish you my heartfelt wishes, to the both of you to get through this.
    Love, Debb
    3859 days ago
    My dearest beautiful Joanne,

    I teared up when reading this entry, as I truly hope that Mallory Ann leaves this world with you at her side giving her all of the affection that I know she deserves. You are an amazingly strong woman, and we are all here to help you step onto this delicate rung on your ladder of life. I love you dearly, and I thank you for everything that you done for me.

    As always, lots of love,
    3859 days ago
    You always have the most uplifting blog entries. Thank you for bringing the SPARK to SPARKpeople dear friend.

    3859 days ago
    Thanks, sparkhoney, for sharing from the depths of your heart...again. I can only imagine what you are dealing with and my heart aches for you. You truly are a blessing to all who are fortunate enough to know YOU. XOXO tam
    3859 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/25/2009 8:58:23 PM
    I had no idea about all this...only that you have been heavy on my heart all day today for some reason. Now I know why. Love you doll and thanks for sharing your heart and the paw prints left there by Mallory Ann.

    emoticon and love...
    3859 days ago
    I wanted you to know what a well written and heart felt piece of writing. It is an amazing thing how the "dumb" animals can teach us so much. No matter how fat or unloveable we are, pets are unconditional and accepting. Of course, I have know Mallory her whole life and like you, not that big on felines, but she has been a real joy to have around. She is sweet and has had such a hard life and has overcome so much. I like that you are writing about it, as there are many life lessons we can take from her life and apply it to our own, especially about living each day as it comes, day by day, moment by moment. Animals live in the moment all the time and have none of our intellectual constructions, fears and prejudices to trip them up. A great, honest, expressive piece that I thank you for. Love always, Dave emoticon emoticon
    3859 days ago
  • no profile photo V-BISHOP
    I fully believe God brings the animals to us when we need them most. You have gone thru a hard journey and you have the love of a pet to help you when you feel at your worst and I know you'll take care of "the baby" for as long as you're given to have her.
    God bless you and keep shining on. You inspire us all.
    Vicki emoticon
    3859 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/25/2009 6:49:05 PM
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