Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Snap: The Ultimate Christmas Gift

A year and a half ago, my daughter lost her lovely cat Bandit to antifreeze poisoning. She had raised him from a tiny kitten and as she tearfully said "I told him all my secrets". Since that horrible day, she has slept with a framed photo of him by her bedside, and maybe she still does tell him all of her secrets even though he's now gone.

So this year when I found the world's friendliest orange tabby abandoned in the brushy wildlands by the running trail, it was our good fortune and his. He and Asa have become inseparable, and despite the fact that his kitteny behavior has led to the wreckage of several drapes and assorted pieces of furniture and clothing, he's turned out to be a well-loved member of the household. As we celebrated Christmas and he spent much of the day lounging on Asa's lap, it occurred to me that he was a great symbol for the true meaning of Christmas: the giving of love, unconditionally. In his first few weeks with us, Asa was worse than any helipcopter mom I've ever met. She was so terrified that something would happen to him, she would hardly let him out of her sight. She was afraid he would choke on his own cat food, yet also reserved her feelings and didn't really fully give him her love either. I knew that the trauma of what happened to Bandit had affected her deeply.  Over the months, that has melted gradually away and they have developed a bond of their own.

I think by staying by Asa's side all of Christmas day, purring loudly in her ear, Miguel was saying how grateful he is to be in our household. To be receiving food, shelter, warmth, and above all  love. The ultimate Christmas gift.

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