Many of us think that when we lose a beloved long time pet, that we need to wait & "heal" before we can find room in our hearts for another pet. Many of us think that when we are so sick & weak from going through treatment for cancer that we "don't have the energy" for a new pet in the house. Well my friends, we are wrong in our thinking on both counts. Let me tell you my story, & how a skinny little girl cat named Marcie Lee saved my life & my spirit.
My name is Laurie, & my husband David & I lost our beloved little cat Sidley Bear (as we liked to call her because she looked a lot like a little bear in the winter time) of 17 1/2 years about a week before Christmas this last year. We were devastated & I was particularly inconsolable, because I was in my 8th month of treatment for ovarian cancer, which had metastasized all throughout my torso, from ovaries to diaphragm. I nearly died 3 times in those 8 months. I had been progressing nicely those last 2 to 3 months with my wonderful husband David, of over 37 years constantly by my side, & of course, with my little Sidley Bear always with me, by me, or on me.
But now my cancer marker numbers in my blood were no longer going down, they were staying the same; I was almost there, almost cured, but not quite. But my spirits were at an all time low & my husband says that he could see me digressing, going backwards physically & emotionally. I could barely get out of bed most days. We had thought we didn't want another cat yet, but then I started looking at kitties online, through the Sacramento County Animal Shelter website, which led me to Lapcats.
I sat in bed day after day looking at over 100 cats, conflicted over whether we were ready for a new one or not. Many, many cats pulled at my heartstrings, yet I kept looking. I would show them to David, & he would say oh he's cute, or she sounds nice, but was very non-committal to my search. I wasn't even sure that I was searching on a conscious level, I just knew I wanted to look at kitties.
I was growing more and more depressed with each passing day. Then, I saw Marcie....her wonderful foster mom Gena spelled it Marsee. My heart stopped, & I looked into that little face & I fell in love. I showed David, & he said well why don't you submit an application for her? So I did, that very night, & by the end of the next day, Barbara from Lapcats had made arrangements for me to come meet her that Sat.
When we got there, she was much skinnier than I expected & her hair was fairly thin, due to being sick from flea allergies & malnutrition at the time Lapcats found her. I could tell David was a little unsure about this whole thing when he saw her, but I was determined to take this little kitty home with me & make her thrive! I didn't want anyone to walk away from me just because I was sick & not perfect, right? So I took her home with us. She was very scared at first, but eventually came out to play a little here & there, running back under an end table to hide if she heard something or someone.
By that night, she had gotten used to me, & I guess she decided she kinda liked me. I wasn't really feeling much of anything for her yet, then she came and climbed in my lap & went to sleep. When she woke up, she stayed put. My husband was next to me, & he said I don't think she likes me. Oh yeah? She stood up and walked over to his lap & plopped right down, looking up at him like, yes I do!
Awhile later she came back to my lap. I had always wished for a little cat that would just lay in my lap, by her own decision, but none of my cats have ever done this. Marcie does it to this day, every day. And she looks deep in your eyes, with such love, and such caring. It can't help but melt your heart!
So that night, as I held her against me after she looked in my eyes, I felt the most amazing feeling in my heart. I felt her warm little body snuggling up to me, and I felt the love, and the LIFE, coming from her, INTO ME. It was beautiful! My sadness, my pain, & my loneliness was gone. I began to thrive, totally. I was smiling & happy & so in love with our sweet little girl, we both were.
My depression was gone, and even more important, my cancer marker number in my blood went down by a third. Also, the small mass that the Drs saw on a CT scan taken the day after Sidley died, that they thought was resistant to chemo & that I may have to have surgery again to remove it, was GONE.
I found this out 2 or 3 weeks after we adopted Marcie, & I owe my healing to her love & affection! Never underestimate the power of healing from animals. And, never underestimate the room in your heart for a new pet after losing a previous one. My question for everyone is....did I rescue her? Or did she rescue me?