Friday, March 13, 2009

Fingerprint Friday---Love Lives On

Fingerprint Friday is hosted by Beki.

There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says:

I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know it's true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of God

I invite you to read the companion post to this entry.
It can be found here.

I can't say that I planned to do these two posts at the beginning of this week. In fact, I had something completely different in mind. Yet I have continued to get more than gentle nudgings...and have been almost driven to finish them.

So, there he is...there's Humphrey again! He's sleeping in my chair...that was one of his favorite spots. You might notice the bald spot on his front leg...that's where they had shaved him to give him an IV. Oddly enough, this was long before he presented with lymphoma. This was "simply" an bad upper respiratory infection that had left him pretty dehydrated.

A month or so after Humphrey passed, I wrote a letter to all of his doctors, thanking them for everything they had done. I quoted a portion of that letter in my last post and I would like to quote another portion to begin this one! The first few sentences will be a repeat...

"Do I want another one like him? Absolutely not. Would I take him back? In an instant. And frankly, it truly wouldn’t surprise me if he DID show up again. I mean, God has a lot of patience…but please…this is HUMPHREY!"

In the previous post I also spoke of being so very angry with God. I had believed right up until we said goodbye to him that God was going to grant us a miracle and heal him yet again. It was just this morning that I realized God did grant me a so a glimpse into Heaven itself. Lesson learned? Yes love lives on...but perhaps more importantly? Don't pigeon hole God! He's GOD! He can do ANYTHING! Miracles can be simple or they can be extraordinary. Don't think that just because you didn't get the miracle YOU expected that He doesn't have something even more miraculous planned for you. And so, I will try to lay out these miracles for you...from the the extraordinary!

The day after he passed...this is where we found our other furry boy, Gus. He was sleeping in "Humphrey's chair"...and no...he had never even attempted to sleep there previously. We thought it was so sweet and so sad at the same time. I don't know if you can tell from the picture but the doll Gussie is leaning against? She's covered in Humphrey's fur.

Gus also picked up another "habit" of Humphrey's. Gus joined our family as an adult cat. He had been abandoned at a horse barn and was taken in by a feline rescue group. When we brought him home it was like letting a "Cave Cat" loose in modern society. We had to teach him everything...and what we didn't...Humphrey did. Humphrey used to do something to both Garry and I that we called "polishing." He would stand on his back legs and rub his paws back and forth, up and down, on the backs of OUR legs. In my case, he frequently polished my back pockets! I can't tell you how many times he would come up behind me while I was working at the computer and polish my back pockets through the slats in my desk chair. About a month before Humphrey left us, Gus started doing the same thing...and continues to do it...just a little lower...he is shorter you know. Love lives on.

Love lives on every spring as I watch and wait for my Bleeding Hearts to come up. My pink Bleeding Heart plant came from a start of my grandmother's plant. Grandma passed when I was 12 so I think you can see how important that plant is to me. I also have a pure white one. Garth and Humphrey's ashes are buried beneath two pink plants, and Horatio's are beneath the pure white one. I cry every year when those tender shoots peek out of the cold, hard ground...they make my heart smile.

A few months after Humphrey crossed The Rainbow Bridge, another furry boy joined our family. His name is Wally. To read his beginnings please visit here.

Yes...that's Wally. And that's a pretty typical pose for him. He is the silliest cat I've ever known. I think he's upside down more than not! He hadn't been with us very long before we started noticing some similarities to Humphrey. Sure, he liked to get into trouble...but nothing like Humphrey did. We just attributed these similarities to his age and getting used to a new home and new family. Yeah...right.

I invite you to look at these two pictures...

Yeah, ok...I'll give you that one...most cats like to get up on the kitchen table.

How about these?

Nope? Ok...cats like kitchen counters too...but the same the same spot?

How about a shared fascination with the table? And no, she didn't feed either one of them.

In fact, neither one would/will have anything to do with her unless she is at the table or if she is asleep.

Both of them loved/love to grab a nap on my collection of Ragamuffins.

No? Still not buying it? Ok...let's move on into the extraordinary then.

Humphrey, as most cats do, had many different vocalizations. One was his deep, guttural, yowl. When we lived at our old place he would stare at one spot on the wall in the dining room and just let loose with THE most horrendous yowling. When we moved here, he'd do it in the basement. I can still see our friends Carol and Tom's faces the first time they heard him do it. He sounded like he was caught in a leg hold trap.

Shortly after Wally came to live with us I was sitting at the computer and I heard it...the horrendous, deep, guttural yowl. Convinced that Humphrey truly had returned I jumped up so fast I overturned my chair. I raced through the house searching for him when I got to the foyer...and saw Wally...staring at one spot on the wall...and making that vocalization.

On several other occasions he has come up behind me in my computer chair and polished my pockets through the slats. And no, Gus didn't teach him that...Gus isn't tall enough to do that...nor has he ever tried. That was a Humphrey behavior. Love lives on.

Every single Christmas, as soon as I would put down our tree skirt? Humphrey was under it. He was an absolute menace. It was always in a ball or sometimes dragged off to the side of the tree.

Our first Christmas with Wally? Take a look...

He dove under there as soon as I put it down...yet stayed only long enough for me to take a couple of pictures...and he's never bothered it since.

Humphrey loved to hang out in the bathroom with me. His favorite thing was to make a pass or two by the shower while I was in there and give me another one of his little vocalizations. Guess who else does the same thing?

When we moved into this house, for whatever reason, on every major holiday, Humphrey decided he must kill his brother. No matter WHAT brother was living here at the time! He would get very aggressive, chase them through the house, and try to deliver a "kill bite" to the backs of their necks. I remind you, Wally did not come to live here until after Humphrey passed...and yet...on every major hand to my heart...poor Gus needs to run for cover.

On more than one occasion, Wally has gotten up on something he's not supposed to. Most times he listens when you say, "Wally! Down!" Sometimes he doesn't. On the first such occasion I decided to try an experiment. I said, "Humphrey! Down!" He got down.

And finally...this one...this one is truly my glimpse into Heaven. Again, in my previous post I spoke of how Humphrey would appear out of nowhere when he would hear me getting my allergy pill before bed. He would then present his tail, I would take it, and he would walk me up the stairs to bed each and every night. Well my friends...Wally comes when he hears my allergy pills...and once...just one perfect, precious, miraculous time...he offered me his tail...I took it...and he led me up the stairs to bed. I was sobbing buckets by the time I got there.

Do we think Wally *is* Humphrey? No, not at all. We do say that his black part is Humphrey...but the white part is ALL Wally! We think...and we believe that Wally was chosen for us before Humphrey left that we could have irrefutable proof...that love lives on.

Be blessed...and thanks for reading!

Fingerprints Of God can be found on my playlist at the bottom of this page.


artsyclay said...

I love your cats. They are just beautiful. All of them, past and present. Wonderful story, and indeed love lives on.

Beadin By The Sea said...

I enjoyed reading your beautiful and humorous story. What a gift to have these glimpses of your beloved Humphrey!

pictureeachday said...

What a sweet, sweet story! I'm so glad you shared this.

Rosebud Collection said...

A wonderful post..I think it was a great story and we could learn so much from animals..Sometimes, I think our senses are dulled by not paying much going on in our world, we get bogged down..

Carolina said...

Oh Mel, what a lovely story. And Wally Sam is wonderful! The similarities between Wally's and Humphrey's behaviour are remarkable indeed! I love that upside down picture. Mad cat.

Hugs xx

Cecelia---Sis---Mom said...

I love all of these pictures and stories. Such beautiful kitties. My Mom just lost her cat last week, it was tough for me and I only got to see him about three times a year.

I found my way over through Carolina (she is a doll) and told me you have an ETSY shop so I am off to check it out.


Mel said...

Thanks to all of you for your kind comments! God teaches me so much through these silly, furry creatures..because He knows I'll pay attention to them! ;)

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