Miracles Do Happen Even When Your Plan Goes Sideways

Miracles Do Happen Even When Your Plan Goes Sideways

Sometimes life can feel like a series of unexpected twists and turns, leading us down paths we never expected. But what happens when those twists and turns bring us to the edge of our capacity for loss? For one woman, moving to Texas with her beloved cat proved to be a journey of heartbreak and redemption. Through the loss of her feline friend, she found a new companion in a scrawny stray kitten. But when that kitten fell ill with a potentially fatal virus, it seemed like history was repeating itself. In the end, though, hope prevailed, and the little kitten who was once named Mirage became a true Miracle.

Here is her story.

When I decided to move to Texas, there was no question about taking my cat with me. She was a beautiful, multi-colored Tabby that I adopted after she was surrendered from a bad home.  We bonded and I would never think of leaving her behind.

As I departed from New Hampshire, I thought I would be in a new house within three months. Until my perfect house showed up, Don and Janice, my friends in Texas, graciously offered to let me and my cat stay in their home.  It took longer than three months.  In spite of my planning, it took eight months.

During that time, I developed a much stronger friendship with my hosts. We celebrated the holidays, went to the theatre and festivals, and went on road trips.  Glendalough was timid and stayed in the bedroom where I slept most of the time.  I looked forward to taking her to our new home where she could roam to her heart’s delight.  That didn’t happen.

Losing the Cat I Loved

After we returned from an overnight trip to Galveston, I realized something was very wrong.  Glendalough didn’t eat or drink anything for at least two days.  I took her to the vet that clipped her nails just the week before.  He couldn’t find anything wrong and recommended she stay overnight in an emergency animal hospital.  They couldn’t find anything wrong, either, so I brought her home. 

For a few days, she was her old self, eating, drinking, and jumping on furniture to perch.  Then she declined again.  After a few days, she stopped eating and drinking and seemed to shrivel up before my eyes.  I knew that she was in pain.  I had to let her go.  I took her back to the hospital and had her put to sleep.  Everyone in the family was sad — my friends, their kids, and their kids kids. We all cried.

A Backyard Mirage 

At about the same time that my cat started to decline, a stray kitten showed up in the backyard. It was so scrawny that Don started feeding it every morning.  The minute the back door opened, the kitten simply appeared ready to gobble up the food.  We named him Mirage.

After a few days, the kitten started following Don everywhere… into the garage, out of the garage… into the house, and out of the house.  Don was thrilled.  He had hopes that the kitten would become a deterrent to the squirrels that overran the backyard, knocking over bird feeders and scaring the birds away.

Another neighbor was also feeding Mirage and another stray that showed up in the neighborhood at the same time. She took both kittens to be neutered so we wouldn’t have any more strays, at least from these guys. After he was fixed, our little kitten started sleeping a lot and became much more cuddly.  He would curl up and sleep for hours on anything soft. And then he stopped eating and drinking.

Mirage on the Edge

We knew something was wrong because that’s what happened to my cat.  That day, Don took him to an emergency animal hospital, but not the one I brought my cat to. We wanted to know what was making this kitten sick. 

They did a blood test and discovered that Mirage had a Parvovirus that is fatal if not treated.  The treatment is intense and expensive.  It requires that the cat be totally isolated because the virus is very contagious to other cats.  When Mirage was diagnosed, he was so sick, his prognosis was not good.  The vet said he might not survive the treatment.   Don was heartbroken.  He thought that if Mirage survived the treatment, he wouldn’t be the same.  He surrendered Mirage to be euthanized.  Now we lost two loved animals in two months.  We all hugged and cried. 

Mirage to Miracle

At about the same time, I found a house and was jumping through hoops to get everything ready for closing day.  My friends were excited that they would have their house to themselves again.  They started planning road trips, cruises, and music tours. Then the world changed again. Don got a call from the vet. Mirage was alive.  “Did we want him back?” she asked. 

The vet explained that when Don told her what a sweet, loving cat Mirage was, she decided to take a chance and treat him.  He came through with flying colors and was now in a cat foster home where he was fully recovered.  His last blood test showed that he was completely healed but he now needed to be kept indoors to protect him from other cat-transmitted diseases.

Don and Janice were overjoyed.  Before unpacking the food and litter box, they changed his name from Mirage to Miracle.  After he came home, Miracle was just as friendly as before but now he was a woman’s cat.  Instead of being cuddly with Don, he wanted to cuddle with Janice.  She wanted to cuddle back but she is allergic to all things furry.  She started sniffling all the time and then the pollen count spiked. At the same time I moved into my new house and Janice helped me unpack boxes that had been stored for almost a year. Between the unpacking, the pollen, and the cat dander, Janice came down with bronchitis.

Miracle Comes Home to Me

The cat had to go – to me!  They put him in Glendalough’s cat carrier and brought him to my house along with the litter box, the leftover cat food, the scratching pads, and all his favorite toys.

When my cat died, I thought I would be alone in my new home.  Instead, I have a cat named Miracle who sleeps at the bottom of my bed and entertains me as he chases after a laser beam and catnip-infused toys.

Now that I know miracles do happen, I am planning a couple more by creating compelling visions and surrounding myself with other people who believe in miracles. 

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