Jul 292016

IMG_1057I think his name is Chester…if it’s not, he’s content to be called that.

I’m really growing to love my formerly feral friend, who is feral no longer.

Thanks to a dear friend, he’s going to the doctor soon and he has been fully adopted by me.


The thing I love the most about this cat is that he is one thankful feline.

When he arrives in the morning he howls until I rise and come forth to feed him and pet him.

It used to be all about the feeding, now it’s all about the petting.

He already loves the giver more than the gift.

He doesn’t just eat and run…once finished he sits outside the door and lets me know how very thankful he is to be here.

He still has a tough life…he’s outside all day in triple digit heat.

The other cats treat him poorly.

He’s never really had a home and he only has part of one now.

He was obviously abused both by his former owners and his own kind.

He could have become a bitter and mean cat, always looking for offense,always ready to attack.

He could have placed himself beyond the ability to ever know joy.

No one who knows his story would have blamed him for doing so…but no one would have cared enough to bother.

Instead, he has carved out a cool place in the garden as his temporary dwelling and counts it all joy to greet me (loudly) as I come and go during the day.

He knows things aren’t great (yet), but he’s blessed that they are as good as they are.

Me…I’m blessed when he howls me awake in the morning…because it means I woke up here for another day and not in heaven.

I have both a bad heart valve and an aortic aneurysm…waking up is no longer something I take for granted.

I’m both broke and broken in body…and utterly thrilled to be here anyway.

I read on social media everyday how bad things are.

How the country and the world are both ready to collapse and how evil is everywhere and how it’s almost all over for everyone.

I read how angry you are and how angry I should be and I know that if I’m not as angry as you are you will be angry with me.

Then I turn off the computer and thank God I’m still here.

I thank God that here is Oregon and that here is where my loved ones love me back and life is pretty damn good for most.

I thank God that I live in the best possible time in human history to be alive and that even though we have huge problems, we also have huge resources to deal with them.

I thank God that there’s enough money to feed a grateful cat.

Things could be a lot better…and they could be a lot worse.

Something tells me that will change depending on how thankful we are already.

I think Chester has it right.

Make your own application…

  23 Responses to “TGIF”

  1. I’m happy for Chester..except I suspect the doctor visit is going to be life changing. I hope he doesn’t hold it (them) against you. 🙂

  2. Jean,

    He’s going to become a eunuch for the kingdom. 🙂
    I’m hoping the other cats will receive him better when it’s done…

  3. Amen.
    I love the name.
    Love the Feline Gospel.
    It’s never too late to develop a Pollyanna outlook.
    There is so much to thank God for all the time.

    Keep cool!

  4. “I’m both broke and broken in body…and utterly thrilled to be here anyway.”

    Glad to hear that, Michael. Me too.

  5. Blessings on you, Josh…this isn’t an easy road, but we have good company.

  6. Another beautiful parable. Thank you.

  7. Thank you, Nonnie!

  8. Michael, you and Chester are quite inspirational!

    I think, at least for now, Chester does well to distance himself from the negativity of the others of his kind. Hopefully they will come around at some point. I think he has a lot to teach them.

    Turning off the computer is usually a good idea, too.

    I’m sure you already know this, but it’s not “almost over for everyone”. Just those who don’t have hope.

    Your condition sounds much like mine was – is yours a bicuspid aortic valve, or some other valve defect? I had the same aneurysm, it is was knocking me on my rear for months. My surgeon told me that my bicuspid valve caused the aneurysm, over time.

    You are in my prayers.

  9. Owen,

    Thank you and thank you for the prayers !
    They originally thought it was a bicuspid valve, but not now .
    I spend a lot of time on my rear…very frustrating.

  10. I hear you Michael, it is very frustrating…..

    Are you on any physical restrictions, and have they discussed options or dates?

    (If I’m asking too much, let me know…)

  11. Owen,

    When the aneurysm gets to a certain size they will go in and fix both.
    I’m sure you know the routine.
    Because of the risk and insurance you just wait and deteriorate until that point.
    Because of my medical history , my cardiologist knows I can’t do much anyway , so there’s not much to restrict.

  12. Oh yeah, I remember the “wait and deteriorate”….

    Although I probably won the lottery on that, as my aneurysm was already one millimeter past the size the guidelines had been set for at the time. So my waiting was only about 4 months. 9 months later, however, they changed the guideline, now i’ts 5mm larger. (this is in Canada, I don’t know about U.S. surgery guidlines for such.)

    You have a better attitude about it than I did when I was diagnosed, however. I had a hard time feeling happy to be here.

  13. “my cardiologist knows I can’t do much anyway , so there’s not much to restrict.”

    I don’t know about that. You raise a lot of heck up in here.:-)

  14. Jean, that’s our little secret… 🙂

  15. Owen,

    It seems better than the alternative… 🙂

  16. “He could have placed himself beyond the ability to ever know joy.

    No one who knows his story would have blamed him for doing so…”

    This is such a poignant reminder to not judge because everyone has a story and many of them are not very good.

    Nice one, Michael.

  17. Chester and Miss Kitty? i think Michael was a Gunsmoke fan as a child… 🙂
    now you need two stray dogs to name Marshal Dillon and Doc

    insurance is strangely short-sighted these days…

    Chester has a good god, but i tell myself that Michael has a bigger, better God and feel less selfish as i enjoy the posts of this man with a serious heart condition

  18. Em,

    In some ways it’s the best thing thats ever happened to me.
    I have to prioritize my time, energy, and emotions carefully…I have to measure my words and who I exchange them with.

    It’s brought eternal things to the fore and made most temporal things look like litter.

    It insures that I end most conversations with “I love you.”

    My guess is that I’ll keep all these new habits even if I survive the surgery…life is better this way.

  19. Thank you, Cash…and thanks again for your contribution this week…it has gone far and blessed many.

  20. Michael, i bet that you could make a story out of the cat i mentioned earlier this week (Puggles) – she turned up soon after my daughter’s family moved into the neighborhood and, while they enjoyed her and gave her an occasional treat, they thought she belonged somewhere else – until one night when she gave birth to a litter of 3 kittens in the flower bed under their bedroom window

    i know there must be applications for us in there somewhere

  21. Dang Michael, I hadn’t a clue, “How the country and the world are both ready to collapse and how evil is everywhere and how it’s almost all over for everyone.”

    I guess I don’t watch enough TV or get on social websites enough.

    I thought today was a wonderful day!

    My garden is doing well.

    My rescued animal family is such a blessing to each other and my wife and I.

    I have much to be thankful for, My God reigns!

    I am blessed you woke up alive and able to care for Chester.

    May you have length of days and much joy in them.

    Three of my rescues enjoying life together…

  22. Chester looks like one cool dude. We lost our precious 6 year old Chloe a couple of mos back. She was run over by a car.

    We adopted a male cat (Tommy) from the rescue pound. He was essentially raised in a closet when we got him. A little freaked out at first but he settled in nicely and now thinks he runs the 2 acres we live on and all the other surrounding acreage too.

    Cats are an interesting breed for sure.

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