Unplanned, Unasked-for Adventures
You know the ones.
These are the new everyday adventures that you didn’t ask for. The ones that make you cry, slow down, refocus and sometimes….ask why.
Shortly after launching New Every Day – these are the kind of adventures that came my way. They came directly after a planned adventure – a much, much needed vacation and time of rest for me and my husband. I can’t wait to tell you about that one. I will. First, though, I want to go to one of the unplanned, unasked for adventures, now that I can talk about it. For awhile…I just couldn’t.
My husband and I picked up our son from Camp Electric in Nashville, Tennessee (his adventure) after enjoying a very relaxed new adventure for ourselves in Crossville, Tennessee – which is primarily a retirement community and very laid back. (Except for this one guy, but, that’s a story for another time.)
We made the long drive home under some apprehension, because while we were on a nice little lake cruise, we had received a text from the young man who takes care of our animals and house while we are away. The text went something like this:
Is Princess the only cat in the house?
???????? What??????? What kind of question is that?
My response: Yes. Why??
Him: Does she sometimes not use the liter box?
Me: No, not really. Did she get sick?
Waiting….waiting….waiting….may I please transport myself through the phone, now?
Him: No – it’s number two. (He’s so polite. We are a fan of this boy.)
Me: (Still thinking she probably had some major hairball issues) Sometimes she makes a mess here or there.
Him: Okay – well, I’ll try to clean it up the best I can.
So, while I was a little concerned and my hubby was even more concerned we didn’t really think it was going to be a huge deal. Not really.
THEN, we opened our door…
I’d say the smell was the first thing that hit us.
That, and the cat YOWLING. I mean YOWLING!
And, the Pet Stain and Odor bottle on the floor. Oh yes…and the trail of poop.
This was my son & I going in first and surveying the damage. And, there was damage! Fortunately, we had closed doors to every bedroom, my husband’s office, the studio (arts, creative space), etc., because every room that had been available to her (even the kitchen) had been hit.
We have a large farmhouse. We don’t have a lot of new furniture. We bought our first ever brand new (not hand-me down, not garage sale) living room set a month before this…yep – every single piece…..hit.
So, after an over 12-hour drive, we cleaned our house for a solid 5 hours. We couldn’t save everything. We were able to save our new furniture and with carpet shampooing, that will last a few years yet (much to my chagrin.) Our basement furniture – granted, it was at least 20 years old, but we loved it – not savable. We threw a lot of stuff away that night. But, that’s not the worst of it.
We knew something was terribly wrong with the adored family cat.
Princess came to us as an adult cat through someone who saved her from their two rather large dogs when she wandered onto their farm. She was looking for a home for this beat up cat and I said we could take her as an outdoor kitty. So, we did. Our daughter was four, our son was six. We came home with this beautiful, but skinny cat who needed a trip to the vet for some injuries. When we got home, I set her down on our lawn and she looked terrified. Hmm….
I took her inside. She curled up on the couch. Hmm….
I called my husband.
“Could you grab a litter box and some litter?”
“Oh, no!” he said, “We are NOT having an indoor cat!”
“I know, but I think that’s what we have. Just hear me out…”
And so it went, until we had reached a compromise. We checked to see if anyone was missing a cat, took her to the vet, got her house cat ready, and then, claimed her for our very own.
That’s the background story, but not the every day adventure she provided for our family.
Getting back to our discovery – Obviously, were concerned for her and knew she had to go to the vet. Knowing I couldn’t do it, my husband took her in. He later called to tell me the grim prognosis. And so, loving our cat, we made the decision to put her down.
I’ve had pets before and I’ve been sad when there were gone, but I wasn’t expecting to be hit so very hard.
For nine years, she has been our comfort, our companion, our entertainment. She was there when we were sick. She was always in the middle of homework and board games. She was the greatest. She will be missed. This end came as quickly as the beginning. We have been blessed by this animal….things will never be the same around here.
We said our goodbyes and our dear Princess is now buried on our land. The vet thought she was around 14 years old and we were happy to hear that.
And now, this –
As sad as we were….a classmate of mine and his wife lost their 19-year old SON a week later. Their son. Talk about putting things in perspective. I cannot even begin to pretend to understand their grief and sorrow. I put this in here, because I want others to know that I KNOW the difference. Me losing a cat is sad, but it is certainly not the same. I wanted to share our story, without comparing it in any way to a human loss. That is the ultimate unplanned, unasked for adventure. And, unwanted. I just felt I needed to point that out.
Lamentations 3:32 – Though (the Lord) brings grief, he will show compassion , so great is His unfailing love.
Look for a much happier and fun-filled New Every Day adventure post very soon.
Thank you for reading & God bless!
Sheila Jenkinson – neweveryday.org