Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Stepdad and his Cat–Tissue alert

I haven’t posted this yet, but I lost my stepdad to cancer last week. He was a tough old ox to the very end, and he never wanted anyone to know he was in pain. But this story I’m about to share with you isn’t about his bought with cancer, nor his life with us. Instead, it’s a story about  a man and his cat! It’s a good story, trust me.
My stepdad, Jose, a landscape artist,  was a cat lover!! I can’t even begin to tell you how much HE LOVED CATS!! I’m sure if he had his way, he would have adopted many cats, but my mom on the other hand, wasn’t exactly on the same page on that subject.  They had some cats throughout the years, but it had been a long time, until eventually he started to be vocal about having a kitten of his own again.
It was two years ago when we finally got my mom on board with letting us get him a cat. When we saw that he would get my nieces toy cat and pretend to love it along with her… WE KNEW IT WAS TIME! So she finally caved and we got him one that Christmas from the local animal shelter. Her name was Tuesday.
Christmas came and like every year, we let the kids open their gifts then we all jump in. When everyone finished, we brought Grandpa Nati (his nickname) out his final gift…the cat.  He was so shocked and surprised and LOOOVVVEEDD his new little friend. It was the sweetest thing. We told him her name was Tuesday and that just didn’t do for Grandpa Nati, so he renamed her “Bonita”, meaning Beautiful in Spanish.  He had his Bonita finally and life was great!

It was really very precious to see how much he loved that cat. I think he even made a song for her (brother!). After the cat had her first litter, they knew she would need to be spayed so they took a trip to the vet. Upon arrival, the latch came loose on the carrier and the cat ran off. They were unable to find her and after endless searching  and my stepdad was simply devastated. He kept two of her kittens whom are still around, but he never found his Bonita.
My stepdad passed away last Tuesday and we had a service for him on Friday. We even included a picture of him getting his cat for Christmas in the slideshow. I think everyone knew how much he was fond of his cat. I think part of me found solace in the fact that he would be reunited with his cat finally.
Now fast forward to this past Monday. I was off work and I got a call from Sammy saying the Garland Animal Shelter was calling him about a cat named Tuesday. Someone turned her in and my name was still on her microchip. Sammy asked, “is that Nati’s cat???”.  I was speechless. After all this time, I couldn’t even believe she was alive. It had been a year and six months since she ran away and here she was alive and well.
I called my sisters up and told them that Bonita was at the animal shelter  and we laughed and cried and were pretty much overwhelmed that all this time,  she found her way home. Especially being that it had only been 6 days since my step dads passing.
I laughed with my sister and told her how I bet, when Nati didn’t find his cat in heaven, he went searching the streets of Garland for her. In our mind,  he’s the one that brought his cat home.
I’m still getting goose bumps thinking about it. I haven’t gone to see her yet but she’s home now and so far, getting along with her children.
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My sister says she goes to my stepdads room a lot.  Maybe because she’s scared or maybe she just remembers. Regardless, I had to share their story. I thought it was too precious not to tell!


SmithShack71 said...

I'm really sorry to hear about your step-dad. I think this is a sweet story, and I know that Bonita remembers the room. Also, we can all use a break from our kids every now and then. ;)
So glad she's home.
Hugs to you.


momtofatdogs said...

That's enough to make me cry Rita!!! Few men love cats. Isn't it odd that Tuesday showed back up though?? Many years ago. A family friend smuggled a canary from Mexico in her bra....she had it for 3 years & asks my Mom does she want it? It isn't going to live long...My Mom took it & that little S.O.B. lived for 7 years! (more) And sang every day. As in EVERY. STINKING. DAY. Relentlessly. My mother suffered a long bout of breast cancer. And when she went to the hospital , the bird did like always. Sang & Sang. Then one time my Mom went to the hospital & the bird stopped singing. Not a peep. My Mom didn't come home from that visit. She died 2 weeks later in the hospital & the canary just a few days after. It was really eerie..She loved that bird & I will never have a bird...(messy messy messy!) Thanks for the cat story. You know I work at a landfill....we're covered up with cats.


Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss! Thank you for sharing this sweet story. Xoxo

Martha Hernandez Gloria

Emom said...

Deborah said...

Hi Rita, Sorry to hear about the passing of your Step-Dad. I loved your story. I miss you. You must come by Fabulously Frugale so we can chat.
Deborah Gallaway

Kammy Wielenga said...

So sorry, Rita!!! He sounded a like an awesome man. And I've ALWAYS said, there's something extra special about any man who loves cats. And that's the truth.