All creatures great and small; we are one with them all.

These words enter my thoughts as I begin writing this week’s Blueprints for a Hope-filled Life.  Partly because on my bookshelf is my grandpa’s James Herriot book All Creatures Great and Small.  My grandpa loved and respected all animals, and I feel his gentleness and grace flowing through me when I observe or touch any.

Partly these words flow from my heart as I write to you with my cold nosed teammates by my side, intently listening to and for any of those creatures – especially the small ones – that might fly, hop, or scurry by in closer proximity. 

And these words flowed from my soul about an angel in grey who has reminded me that not only did I have cold-nosed guardians by my side when I was growing up (and for the record I’m still growing up with cold-nosed guardians) {grin}.  I also had slightly rough-tongued fur angels who also offered me their unconditional love and taught me to hear from the soul. 

Rough-tongued? You ask.  Or maybe you think of this creature’s somewhat independent attitude that might appear as if their love comes with certain conditions when they are discerning if they want to give you attention or maybe not.  (smile)

Yep.  Cats.  (smile) 

Among these slinky, sleek, self-determining hunters and huntresses that were my soul companions was Mountain Dew.   White with grey spots who loved to be pushed in a baby stroller.   And Morris, an orange tiger kitten we rescued from an abandoned building on the side of a road one night.  And Topper. 

Oh, Topper. 

Topper had a mixture of grey and black tiger markings over much of his body, with white socks and a back leg mostly socked in white with a black spot!   How Topper LOVED to show off that spot.  He’d walk by where I was sitting, slowly streeeetttttcccchhhhhh out that back leg and proudly display his badge of honor.  

Earlier this Spring a young grey cat visited my mom and stepdad.  Just to say meo-llo.  Or so it initially seemed.   This small creature of grey had a home, though from the outside glancing in that direction, the neighborhood is aware there is emotional and mental pain that also dwells at the residence.  Grey Kitty, as she became known, would linger longer and longer at my parents. 

Then Grey Kitty birthed six kittens.   At my parents.  My mom, her father’s daughter after all, was torn.  On one end of her dance with grace was the knowledge my parents couldn’t be “owned” by eight cats.  Max as full-time resident and Grey Kitty occasionally was the maximum feline capacity.  At the other end of my mom’s dance was the struggle to return six kittens to a home already shrouded in deep pain manifested at times in loud sounds of anger.  

Fast forward past the heart-wrenching decision to return a feline family to their home and a text I receive now there are three, wait, there are four.  Grey Kitty, now proud Grey Momma had decided she would bring her young family back to my parents.  Soon four became five.  A couple of days later, as my mom was preparing to take five young lives to their future new homes, five became six when the last pawed kiddo showed up with hey, wait, I’m coming, don’t forget me.

These six kittens didn’t go for a car ride to the homes excitedly awaiting them without Grey Momma conspiring with a certain angel above who wished to speak with me soul to soul.   One of her six children had the markings of Topper, including that most handsome back leg with a black spot!

Grey Kitty is now Daisy, and she has become a mostly full-time resident at my parents.  She learned at a young age how to survive in the “wilderness”, and so though she appreciates a blanket in a chair to sleep on, she also values the freedom to sleep under the stars at night and scout unchartered lands during the day.  

Her exact physical age uncertain.  Maybe 18 months old.  Daisy has sage wisdom, evidenced in the trust in her eyes despite her soon to be deep loss.  Daisy offered her pride at her part in bringing joy to others as she focused on the greater good.  That the greatest unconditional love can sometimes mean experiencing great loss, that to save her children was to let them go.   

Daisy is sweet, calm, gentle and open-hearted.   She has a story with hidden chapters only she knows, like how she has experienced trauma, witnessed in her defensive reaction to a ball being tossed.   What was once thrown at her or her children?  Only she knows.    

I witnessed this angel of grey follow my three-year old niece through the woods on a scavenger hunt adventure.  Daisy liked the inclusion.  Even more, Daisy followed behind or ahead with determination and certainty she was the keeper of my niece’s day, that my niece would stay safe, remain innocent, be joyous.   For my niece to feel love walking by her side.

Daisy followed us to the last stop on the adventure and then went exploring.   We returned to my parents expecting Daisy’s return shortly.  The next morning my mom asked that I keep an eye out for Daisy on my short hike.  Daisy hadn’t yet returned home.   As I neared the area of the prior day’s adventure, that inner whisper nudged start meowing.  So, I did. 

After a few minutes I paused to pick ripened blackberries.  I heard Meow. I’ve been keeping watch for a little girl.  I stayed in case she came back and needed something. 

As I picked up this angel of grey, I let her know her little girl was safe and sound and as we walked back to my parents, Daisy purring in my arms, I thanked her for being a very special soul who is further teaching me how to hear from mine.

4 thoughts on “ANGEL OF GREY

  1. Such a wonderful and beautiful story!! Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Thank YOU! For many reasons, that happen to include your kind and gracious words!

  2. jan quakenbush 08/03/2023 — 11:22 AM

    Thank you for writing this beautiful story. It makes my birthday week that much more special.

    1. Thank YOU for sharing how it touched your heart and added to your special week!

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