Bob joined us just before Christmas of 2010. He was a stray cat living outside the office where Ginny worked. She and her co-workers kept him and the other strays fed. The weather grew cold. Ginny lost her job.
"I'm not leaving him!" she said to me.
Bob came home for Christmas.
Four months later, Bob was still with us. We took him to the vet and got him his shots. Soon he will be neutered. In the meantime, because Bob doesn't get along with our cat, he lives in the garage at night and in the yard during the day.
It breaks my heart, because he is a big loving boy. He needs a home. We hope to find him one. If not, he won't be left on his own.
A few weeks after our home became his, Bob disappeared. Our backyard,
surrounded by a six foot fence, was empty. We searched and called for
him, but he was nowhere to be found.
Bob was gone.
We worried. He wasn't our cat, but we were his foster family, until he had a home, we felt responsible. I went to bed and fretted. Where did he go? The next morning, I found him curled up on a deck chair sleeping. He greeted me. "Meow!" and ran for the door to get into the garage and his food.
Ginny and I checked the fencing. There were no holes big enough for him to slip through. Where did he go? How did he get away?
The answer came two nights later. Once again the yard was empty. Bob was gone. I called, heard a scratch, and watched him climb over the top of the fence and drop down into the yard.
I was amazed.
Bob explored our yard and faced a wall twelve times higher than he. Did he let it stop him? No! Bob knew there was more in life.
Did Bob let the wall restrict him? No!
Did Bob look around him, see the walls of restraint, sit down and cry?
Bob looked at that wall and thought, there has to be more and better. He
had faith. Bob took a leap into the future.
I lost my job. Ginny lost hers. A fence of despair surrounds us. We stare at it and want to sit and accept our fate, but know that's not right. We need to follow Bob's example. We need to jump the fence. Bob
understood. There are more opportunities on the other side.
Michael T. Smith
Michael lives with his lovely wife, Ginny, in Caldwell, Idaho. He has recently been published in two Chicken Soup for the Soul Books.
Edited by: Lawyer Asad