48: Cinnamon Spices It Up

48: Cinnamon Spices It Up

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What?

Cinnamon Spices It Up

If we treated everyone we meet with the same affection we bestow upon our favorite cat, they, too, would purr.

~Martin Buxbaum

Dr. Henderson’s report concerning our seventeen-year-old cat, Almond, was not good. Her lack of appetite and resulting weight loss were due to kidney failure. Sadly, my husband and I made the compassionate decision to end Almond’s pain. Her basket, carrier, and toys were donated to a local shelter. We vowed not to take another cat into our lives, but a call from Dr. Henderson several months later caused us to reconsider.

Aged clients of Dr. Henderson were moving to an assisted living complex where cats were not welcome. The owners were heartbroken about giving up their pet. Dr. Henderson said the cat, Cinnamon, had received lots of love and gentle care, just like our Almond. He thought we would be a good match.

My husband and I agreed to meet Cinnamon and her owners, Margaret and Bill Sheppard, at the veterinarian’s office.

We shared the story of how our recent loss had left an empty spot in our hearts. As we chatted, Cinnamon meandered across me and settled on my husband’s lap. We looked at each other and nodded, promising to give Cinnamon a permanent, loving home. Little did we know that this decision would give a new focus to our lives.

After Bill and Margaret were settled in their assisted living apartment, my husband and I took Cinnamon for a visit. She was a big hit with the residents. When we saw how her presence brightened their day, we began to make frequent trips to the complex. The Sheppards and their many friends began to look forward to our visits.

Cinnamon enjoyed all the attention and soon learned that when the carrier came out, she was headed for special treatment. Hugs, ear scratches, and treats were generously given and gratefully received. A new toy often awaited her arrival. Cinnamon always wore a colorful ribbon attached to her collar, looking like the pampered cat she was.

Cinnamon became our life changer, opening up a new world to us and adding spice to our lives. Our days were filled with purpose. Our visits gave us a sense of accomplishment, introduced us to interesting people, and Cinnamon got all the loving strokes and kisses a cat could ever want.

We began volunteering for special events and introduced a few friends to the joy of interacting with the senior residents.

Adopting Cinnamon and opening our hearts to yet another cat became a fulfilling experience for the Sheppards, their neighbors, Cinnamon, and most of all, for us!

~Mary Grant Dempsey

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