One day I decided to let the cat out and that way it could run around. Little did I know that Missy would purr her way into my heart. Our dog Brownie didn't know what to make of Missy. Missy knew exactly what to make of Brownie. Missy slowly worked her way into Brownie's life, too.
After about two weeks you could find Missy curled up between Brownie's feet as they lay in the sun. Brownie loved Missy rubbing against her while purring. At times I thought Missy thought she was a dog. They went out together and most times came back in together.
Missy was a very sociable cat. She would take off and go visit all the neighbors. Even the ones that didn't like cats would take the time to stop and pet her. I'm really not sure what kind of cat she was but her copper eyes could hold your attention for hours.
She never grew to be a very big cat and I guess that's why I fell in love with her. I always felt that she needed more attention than our other pets. Little did I know that she was wrapping me around her tail all along.
There were days when I'd come home from being out and Missy would be outside. She would come running to see me always purring and wanting to be picked up. If I didn't pick her up, she would climb up my pant leg. How she could climb without clawing me I'll never know. After she purred her hello she would wrap herself around my neck. She would stay there until something else caught her eye.
Sometimes at night, when I'd go out back in the yard, she would be up on the roof of the house. She would come down and playfully swat at me as I walked by. Many nights she would go out and return in the morning. She always brought critters home with her. It was her way of showing us how much she loved us.
One rainy night she didn't come home. I waited up late into the night for her. She never came home that night. The next morning she was sitting outside the back door. I opened it; when she came in she didn't rub against me. I thought nothing of it. All that day I hadn't noticed that she wasn't around. I found her lying next to my shower in the bathroom. I thought that was stranger but again I just passed it off.
That night as I was going to bed, I noticed she wasn't at the back door waiting to go out. I searched the house and found her in bed with one of my daughters. I asked if Missy had been there all along. My daughter said she didn't know because Missy was there when she went to bed. I knew something was wrong then.
I went over and as I picked her up she yelped in pain. I placed her back down and looked her over. I couldn't see very well because of the dim light. I had my daughter hold her and I went for a flashlight. When I returned I saw blood on her fur. I looked as best I could without hurting her. That's when I saw she had a hole in one of her back legs. It had stopped bleeding and she looked fine.
My daughter called me into her room about ten minutes later and said something was wrong with Missy. I picked her up and took her into my bathroom to get a better look at her. Once in the better light I saw blood on my arm. I knew she was hurt. How bad I didn't know.
I called the vet and he said to bring her right over. My daughter went with me and after 20 minutes the vet came out and said she was hurt real bad. At first he thought she had gotten into a fight with another animal. Then after taking X-Rays he said she was run over by a car. Missy's back was broken.
Even in extreme pain she was the loving cat we knew. When she saw us come into the examining room, she started purring and wanted us to hold her. The vet said he didn't know how she was even walking. I asked if he could help her and he said he could but that would mean an operation. He then said even after the operation he could say if she would ever be able to walk. He added that this would mean she could never go outside again or even go to the bathroom by herself. He said he would have to show us how to help her go.
My heart sank because I knew what I had to do. I had to choose to put her to sleep. Missy would have slowly died not being able to go outside. Looking into her eyes I could see her pain. I asked myself why God would allow this to happen. In the silence of that moment I heard God say, "She gave you unconditional love, now give it back to her, let her go."
I looked over at my daughter crying and then back at the vet and asked him to put her to sleep. I asked if it would hurt her giving her the shot and the vet said no. My daughter knew what had to be done and asked if she could hold Missy until it was over. The vet said yes and gave Missy a shot.
Missy laid her head down and started purring. I went over and started petting her and she sighed, purred one more time and went to sleep. The vet said he would take care of burying her in the pet cemetery and we could go. We cried on the way home, but we knew it was the right thing to do. Missy will live on in our hearts and our memories.
That was 5 years ago and we still talk and laugh about some of the things she did. Missy, thank you for teaching me unconditional love.
Copyright © 2007 Richard Causey