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Catastrophe (averted)

My husband Charles and I once undertook a daring cat rescue at night in the middle of a busy two lane road. There’s a conversation about it in “Hey, God? Yes, Charles.” and, if you’ve read the book, you know that it was so daring, I ‘bout killed him. The husband, not the cat.

Three hundred dollars later we had us one healed sweet, sweet ball of kitty fur, obviously pre-loved and healthy prior to the injuries sustained the night our headlights spotted him lying on the white line. He was so clearly someone’s baby that we plastered the neighborhoods with signs, contacted every veterinarian clinic near and far, and finally ran an ad in the Sunday Tennessean.

That afternoon, I answered the phone. A soft, sweet voice identified herself and said she had been looking at that ad all day but had delayed calling because she was so afraid of being disappointed. I assured her I understood but that she and her husband were welcome to come by and take a look. They did. Hubby didn’t say much, but Mama explained to us that their cat had been missing for some time. He, like this one, was a pretty standard black and white male. They spent a lot of time with our guy. She’d brought several pictures too, and they compared them back and forth. Finally, satisfied, and with everybody happy, all three headed home. As they were pulling out of our driveway, Charles had a sudden thought, looked at me, and said, “Hey! What about our $300?” “Charles, honey,” I replied gently, “that's not their cat.”

About six weeks went by and one day I happened to see a vaguely familiar face in a nearby store. I stared briefly and finally said, “Aren’t you the lady who…?” She finished my sentence, “…got the cat?” We beamed at each other and then she continued. "You know," she paused for a second, "he’s not our cat.”

“I know,” I smiled. And then, before another word was said, we looked at each other and declared in unison, “But he’s a GREAT cat!”

Like so many stories, this is a story without, perhaps, a perfect ending. But the one it did have was pretty good.

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