Today, despite a paltry three hours of sleep, I volunteered at Abandoned Animals in Prestatyn, a short drive from my home. Because of the disturbed sleep and mixed up meds I was emotional (I had been in floods of tears most of the morning) As I drove my mind wandered, what would I find today? Would any of the cats have found new homes or yet again would it be a matter of loving them a while as they continued to wait patiently for someone to pick them.
i arrived at the gates and beeped my horn to be let in and parked my car and looked over to the cat enclosure. The five little souls looked out from their pen over the desolate car park. Hugo a nine month old tabby with attitude. Nyla and Tash White and black affectionate cats about four years old. In the corner my favourite boy Chop an enormous bundle of fur and his sister Tuna. It had been a fortnight since I was last there and they were still waiting. Naturally I was pleased to see my feeling friends but my heart broke that they were still waiting.
I went to the staff room to sign myself in and then let myself into their little world otherwise known as the cat enclosure. I greeted them all by name and stroked them and I swear they understood that their friend was back again. And then I saw him…….my special boy Chop. Now Chop is very big but he has the softest fur and the loudest purr. I picked him up and held him in my arms, he wasn’t sure at first, but then he relaxed and sang me a beautiful song. I nuzzled my face into his soft fur and chatted to him quietly. He looked me right in the eye with soft pleading eyes that seemed to ask why? But then something amazing happened. Carol the Manager came over and told me Chop and his Sister Tuna had found a new home. I was glad, I held him a little closer and told him he was such a good boy. Maybe his eyes would stop asking me why? I cried with relief for Tuna and Chop had endured nearly two years at the rescue without any interest. I buried my face in his soft fur once more as tears streamed down my face. I put Chop down as my arms had begun to ache and went to find Tuna. Tuna had always been more stand offish than Chop but today she sang for me and rubbed her head against mine. I told her I was pleased she would have a new home and that she was a good girl.
All this got me thinking. How many people are there out there that need a home, a place to be, a place to cling to. I am lucky my mum is still alive and still lives in the family home where I lived from five yrs old till I was 36. I visited her recently and spent some time in my old bedroom. It is now a store room for my brothers children but some of the furniture is the same and the bed. The walls have been repainted but I could still see the faint marks of sellotape and blue tack that held my pictures and posters when I was a teenager. There was an old wooden letter rack on the window ledge and looking insid I found a couple of letters from Zoos in reply to my letters about becoming a Zookeeper…..from the dates on.the letters I was only sixteen an entire lifetime away. I stayed a while but then headed back to my Mum downstairs having briefly glimpsed the past.
How things have changed. The letters had been typed on a typewriter, today they would be emails. Back then I had ambitions of a very different kind to now. Back then my mum was my rock. Now I am facing loosing her far too soon to pulmonary hypertension and for a moment I wished it was not so. This had been my home for so many years and I wondered for how much longer.
I have a new home. A home I have built with my partner Sarah our seven cats and a budgie. We have guitars on the walls, saxophones in the bedroom and bikes in the living room. We have a memory wall adorned with tickets and photographs of our various experiences. It is here I now call home with Sarah and the cats and I thank the Lord for such luxury. If we spend too much time in the past we will be consumed with regret. Visit it sometimes but always live in the present.