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We first noticed a flash of white in the backyard. Some new creature was living in our yard but it never slowed down long enough for any of us to figure out what it was.

Then winter came and along with the snow there were occasionally fresh footprints along the sidewalk. Tiny footprints that told us that the streak of white was actually a cat who had to be beyond freezing. We started putting food out for our guest and winter turned into spring. The white flash became a more and more frequent visitor, finally perching on the ledge of our living room window and peering in with an expression usually associated with orphans in old movies pressing their noses against plate glass bakery windows. Attempts to coax her to get closer to us were rebuffed and we decided that the white cat seemed to be destined to be our permanent outdoor cat.

Until one day when I was sitting on our front steps when a ball of dirty white fur appeared from behind an evergreen and climbed onto my lap. I waited to see what this cat would do.

What she did was purr. And then follow me inside to see what was for dinner. We took the white cat, now called Lucy, to the vet and Lucy became the newest member of our family. After her rough life outdoors, she became the most indoor of indoor cats, not even looking out the windows when she walked past them. I suspect that she had enough of the Great Outdoors to last her the rest of her life, which unfortunately didn’t turn out to be very long.

Lucy spent almost exactly one year with us before getting sick and leaving us for good. We are thankful that Lucy finally decided to come into our house. We were so happy to have her, even if it wasn’t for long.

We loved Lucy and I know, once our hearts heal, we’ll love our next cat too because the joy of loving them almost makes up for the pain of losing them.

Almost.

Nell Musolf
MANKATO, MN

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