An Unexpected GiftI was sharing a quiet Valentines afternoon with a good friend. Jacobs invitation to get together wasissu...
The day passed far too quickly. It always does when we were together. I waited indoors while Jacobwent out to brush the sn...
used to save a cat. Well, a life is a life. A cat, a dog, a bird...it makes no difference. After assuring himthat it was i...
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An unexpected gift

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I was sharing a quiet Valentine's afternoon with a good friend. Jacob's invitation to get together was issued with compassion and kindness. I had just lost my dear friend and roommate. Sonja was a beautiful, affectionate cat who died after nearly a decade together. She was more than a cat, of course. She was my friend. There was no warning and I missed her so much.

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An unexpected gift

  1. 1. An Unexpected GiftI was sharing a quiet Valentines afternoon with a good friend. Jacobs invitation to get together wasissued with compassion and kindness. I had just lost my dear friend and roommate. Sonja was abeautiful, affectionate cat who died after nearly a decade together. She was more than a cat, of course.She was my friend. There was no warning and I missed her so much.I was adding some decadent whipped topping to two cups of freshly made cocoa when Jacob camedarting through the kitchen doorway.“Zanne, youve got to come see this! Hurry up!”Shadowing him all the way to his terrace, we both stepped out into the cold to be greeted by a beautifulrainbow.“Isnt it awesome? Do you know what it means?” he asked with boyish delight.I saw pure joy and innocence in him, in that moment. And, I felt the innocence in my own soul. Spottinga rainbow is always like discovering a surprise gift from above. Even his black Labrador, Dude, waswearing a toothy smile.“Yes, of course,” I replied, “Its a reminder of Gods promise. Its about life going on. Its about love.”As we stood there together, like Precious Moments figurines, I silently gave thanks for the time I hadwith Sonja. I admit that I caught myself wondering if she had something to do with the rainbowsappearance. Maybe it was a sign that she made it to the other side and life was beautiful there. Whosto say it isnt so?
  2. 2. The day passed far too quickly. It always does when we were together. I waited indoors while Jacobwent out to brush the snow from his car so he could drive me home. When he came back, he stood inthe doorway with a sunny smile that was even bigger than earlier. He didnt speak. He just held the doorwide open and waited. He peeked around the corner and into the hallway for a few seconds andreturned to his original stance.Did my dear friend lose his mind? What was making him beam like that? Then, she came slowly aroundthe corner, a white, scraggly feline. Well, she was supposed to be white. She had so much dirt andgrease on her that I had to imagine what shed look like after some grooming and a few good meals.She looked extremely malnourished. Her sides were concave. Long, white hairs went flying from her dullcoat every time she took a step. She was amazingly docile and very ready for somebody to help her inher plight. Homelessness isnt only rough on humans, you know. She scratched her ears to give chase tothe mites.She looked up at me with questioning eyes; one was powder blue and the other was earthy green. Imade my own promise that day to be worthy of such a special gift by loving her for her whole lifetime. Inamed her Candy because she was sent to me on Valentines Day. I kept my promise until she went onto her new life seventeen years later and beyond.We had grown extremely close during those years. She was my greatest confidante. I could trust herwith my deepest secrets. We shared mealtimes and movies. She brought me more joy than I could everdescribe. There is no void in my heart because shes permanently entrenched there. I did miss herphysical presence, though. I still do. I always will.I prayed for a sign of what I could do in her memory. The answer soon came to me. A gift for a gift. Everyday, people lose their pets. Sometimes they go naturally from old age like my Candy did. Sometimes,they die from fatal injuries. Some are euthanized because the owner cant afford medical treatment.The director of the animal clinic was skeptical, at first. Its completely understandable. I overheard thereceptionist tell him that a woman was waiting to give him a cash contribution. His questioning eyesreminded me of someone I had met long ago. I explained my mission. Money couldnt save my dearCandy but it might help to save a sick or injured pet for someone else. There were a few stipulations:The money was to be used to help somebody who couldnt afford the care.The pet should have an excellent prognosis with medical intervention.I had to remain anonymous.The director had free rein to select the recipient.A call came in about an hour after I arrived home. The director wanted to know if the money had to be
  3. 3. used to save a cat. Well, a life is a life. A cat, a dog, a bird...it makes no difference. After assuring himthat it was intended for any animal who would likely die without it, he told me about Samson. He was ablack Labrador puppy who had just been brought in. He had broken away from his owners and ran intothe street. The driver couldnt stop in time.The young couple had no savings. They were distraught at the thought of losing their puppy for the lackof money. Samson needed emergency surgery for a fractured leg, hip and pelvis. Without it, he wouldhave to be euthanized. But, wait...there was an unusual, unexpected gift. And, yes, what incredibletiming!A follow-up Thank You note arrived from the clinic a few days later. The surgery was a success. Thecouple couldnt believe that a strangers intervention saved their Samson. They promised to find someway to help another pet owner. The clinic board was inspired to schedule a meeting to establish a newpolicy. Going forward, the veterinarians decided to donate their surgical services in emergencysituations.With my mission accomplished, I walked to the window and looked out at the frozen pond. My breathcaught for a moment. There was the most beautiful rainbow Ive ever witnessed in my life and it was adouble delight. It was reflected in the ice! Of course, I smiled. Theres nothing quite like an unexpectedgift. Sonja and Candy? Whos to say it isnt so?Story by: Zanne Lamb-HuntFrom: USARead more short stories:http://www.shortstoriescorner.comPlease check out the E-Book Store for more fabulous books:http://www.shortstoriescorner.com/e-book-storeImage courtesy of Image courtesy of Download "Green Field And Rainbow" by Anusorn Pnachol FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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