I thought it was odd that he didn’t respond and called out to him around the house. No Max.
I started to panic and realized, he must have slipped out when I checked the weather stripping while I was half asleep. I threw on my jeans and a baseball hat and walked around the yard calling out to him. No Max.
There are no fences in my neighborhood so I walked from backyard to backyard calling out his name. No Max.
I was getting nervous. I put food bowls out and his jingle bells which usually work if he’s feeling mischievous. No Max.
When it started to rain heavily, I started to cry…but I still looked. I went neighborhood to neighborhood in the rain calling his name. No Max.
I was concerned because he had been coughing and all I could think of was that he was lost in a wooded area, scared, wet and catching a kitty cold…or something worse. Ignoring the heavy rain, I left the front door and a window off the porch cracked open all day in case he came home, but No Max.
In a panic, I called the Animal Control Officer to inform her of my crisis. She wasn’t as rattled as I was. She was sort of nonchalant about the whole thing. Why does it seem that when it’s someone else’s missing animal, there’s not the same sense of urgency as when it’s yours? I was expecting a kitty Amber Alert.
I called the SPCA. They were closed that day. In some ways, I was glad.
By 5 PM, I started crying uncontrollably. He’s a family member…lost in the pouring rain…out there somewhere…scared, lost and alone…and it was all my fault. Why wasn’t I more responsible?! I remembered all the signs I had seen tacked to trees LOST CAT Please Call Owner. I was afraid I was going to be one of those owners…with a missing family member never to be found. I was thinking of the worst case scenario. He was lying on the side of the road dead…someone ran over him. Or maybe he got into a fight with a raccoon. He’s an indoor cat after all. I never had him declawed and I was proud of that smart decision in that moment.
If I wasn’t walking the neighborhood in the rain, I was calling his name out the window every hour, “Maxfield, Maxfield, Maxfield.” I had been screaming his name over and over again since 8 AM in the morning as I met neighbor after neighbor scouring the streets. They all assured me they would keep an eye out for him.
By 6 PM, I was praying, My Angels, My Friends in Spirit, God… please keep Max safe and bring him home to me. I couldn’t imagine a night without him by my side. He had always been by my side…on good days and bad, in sickness and in health. He was my rock. He loved me unconditionally. Like Oprah, I realized that my animal has loved me more than any human being in my life…and now he was missing. It’s not like I didn’t know he showed unconditional love. It was the possibility of facing the future without the animal I had come to love dearly over the past eleven years since I found him on the street alone as a baby in Dallas.
At 7 pm, it was raining harder than it had all day. A cold raw October rain. I decided to make one more desparate cry out the window for my best buddy, “Maxfield, Maxifield…”
“Meow, Meow,” was the louder than usual response I heard as he made his way up the porch steps.
Surprisingly, there was not a drop of water on him. His fur was perfectly dry! How crazy is that?! I thought. It had been pouring hard all day. I had looked under the house…in every nook and cranny with a flash light and now he was in my presence as if nothing had happened.
I was so grateful he found his way home, and thanked my Spirit helpers on the other side.
Oprah says that there’s nothing more purer, truer, more genuine than the love of an animal. She said, “A miracle takes place when an animal gives love.”
That night, a miracle occurred for me. Not only was Maxfield home safe, I still couldn’t get over the fact that he was bone dry…as if he was dropped back into my life because the Universe knew how much I needed him there. I was blessed that day. Some people are not so lucky.
Like Oprah as a child, I wasn’t allowed to have an animal…not for any good reason. No one was allergic to animals, “Just Because I Say So.” If we had an animal to show our family unconditional love, I have no doubt it could have opened hearts and our family would be much closer than they are today. Luckily, when we’re adults, we get to make the Rules. “Just Because I Say So,” there will always be a loving animal in my family.
Oprah says that, “Some of our most profound lessons come from our animals.”
I have to agree. If we could all love each other the way animals love us, our lives would be much more powerful and sweeter. There’s never a moment when I’m around an animal whether it’s Maxfield or the dogs I see on my beach walks where I don’t feel joy just to be in their presence.
Oprah offered us a quote by Anatole Farmer, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” I couldn’t agree more.
Maxfield has showed me what unconditional love looks like. I can only strive to be as perfectly loving to others in my life as he has been to me. If I forget, he’s always there to remind me and the next day, we begin to love again. I’m grateful for one of God’s precious gifts…the gift of an animal family member who loves me unconditionally.
If you liked this or have more to add to the discussion, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post.
Copyright© R. Ann Rousseau. R. Ann Rousseau reviews spiritual metaphysical books on her blog http://www.explorebeyondtheusual.blogspot.com/ and website http://www.explorebeyondtheusual.com/ She has completed her first novel Portsmouth, A Love Story.