Holding out for a miracle

October 8, 1999

It's been two and a half days since Barney left us. I called the SPCA and the lady told me not to give up hope yet. She said that it is very possible he will find his way back home. I felt comforted by her words. She also doubted that he had been killed by a dog, which was one of my worries or that he had been hit by a car. She told me to give it a week, so for the next five days I will be passing out flyers and walking the neighborhoods yelling his name. I hope she is right, I hope he comes home. I also talked about getting another cat, not to replace him, he can never be replaced but to give the evil cat a playmate and to help Elizabeth with the loss of Barney.

Today was the first day she noticed that he was gone and she acted very depressed. I was honest with her. I cannot lie to my child. When I was her age my mother took my dog to the pound because she was getting a divorce and she was unable to take care of him. She lied to me and told me that he ran away. It wasn't until years later that I found out the truth and it hurt. Jeff's father was like that too. He would bring home puppies for them to love and then he would get annoyed with them and go dump them out into the woods or shoot them.

I thought about praying to god for Barney's safe return home, more like begging than praying but I didn't. Why should I have any faith that god will restore my pet back to me when he allowed my brother to be murdered and my mother to die of cancer? This is why I have no faith in the judeo-christian god. If god doesn't answer prayer concerning people in our lives, he's truly not going to do it for what the bible deems a soulless creature. I'll just have to trust that Mother Earth is providing Barney with food and shelter and that if he doesn't come home that he has at least found a nice family to reside with. I'm hoping that someone will at least put an ad in the newspaper. "Found" ads are free so someone would have no reason not too unless they wanted to keep him.

I know some of you are probably wondering why I am so attached to this cat and why he means so much to me.

The first year of mine and Jeff's marriage was a living hell. He had a very violent temper and after being threatened several times and a vacuum cleaner thrown at me (he missed) I was ready to call it quits. Sperm donor father hit my mother and there was no way I was going to tolerate being hit by a man, much less my husband, so I gave him an ultimatum: either I leave or we get help. A few days later we went to our first counseling session at Catholic Social Services. Jeff also began therapy on his own and went to an anger management classes weekly. When we started counseling we told our therapist, Tony, that we were on the verge of ending the marriage, we lacked stability and argued all the time but he told us that if we loved each other and were committed to making it work it would. So weeks into counseling we began to notice this gray cat that slept at Jesus' feet. (a large statue out front) He was scrawny but friendly and everyone brought him treats to eat or gave him bits of their lunch. One night Jeff came home from anger management class with the gray cat. I was shocked because Jeff never cared too much for cats. He told me this story about how the cat followed him to the car and when he opened the door the cat just jumped in and sat in the passenger seat so he figured he would bring home. So we named him Barney, after Barney Fife because he was so scrawny and skinny. For the next nine months of counseling we joked that we couldn't get divorced because it would break up our family and who would get custody of Barney. And Barney was a wonderful pet. He would scratch at the door to go out and use the bathroom, everyday right about the time Jeff would come home he would sit at the front door and wait for him. He slept with us, and whenever we were upset he would come sit with us and nuzzle our arms. I've always said that cat saved our marriage, our guardian angel sent our way to guide us on a troubled path. Barney has been there through all the bad times -- my brother's murder and my mother's death/ I've shared more with Barney than any human being about how I feel and my grief. He's also been there for all the good times too, especially the birth of Elizabeth. We thought he would be jealous but he wasn't and they instantly became best friends. I can't imagine life without him, can you see why?




































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