We had an early Christmas present a month or so ago, a little tuxedo cat who found her way into the house one frosty night in early December. When I got up in the morning I heard a mewing that didn’t sound like any of the resident cats, looked for the source, and found her sitting in the corner of the box room next to our bedroom, shy but determined.
She plainly wasn’t a stray; she was glossy and had a blue collar, but when we offered her breakfast she wolfed it down and made short work of a couple of refills. At first we thought she was lost, but there was no identification on her collar and when we took her to the vet to be scanned for a microchip there wasn’t one. We put up advertisements with her photo and looked on lost cat websites, but no one claimed her and no one reported her missing. In the meantime we observed that she wasn’t too well housetrained (though she soon sorted that out for herself once she got used to using the cat flap) and began to wonder if someone had acquired her, perhaps to please a child, but didn’t really know how to look after a cat – and had got tired of her and dumped her.
Wherever she came from, Lucinda is now part of the family. Apart from making the faux pas of chasing Felicity the Fierce, the next youngest of the cats, she’s settled in nicely, though Felicity now gets nervous at the sight of her and has totally lost her credibility as a Tough Kitty. Feline dynamics change just as much as human ones when there’s a new arrival.
She came into our lives unsought and unexpected, but we’re delighted that one cold night she somehow negotiated the unfamiliar cat flap and took refuge with us. At the beginning of a new year, who knows what other new things lie in store? God’s gifts sometimes take us by surprise; instead of giving us what we ask, he has a way of dropping the unexpected into our lives and changing them in a way we’d never thought of. May we all be open in the coming year to the gifts he has waiting for us.
– Margaret Z. Wilkins