Eager for her bowl at each mealtime her humble and reserved personality had other cats served first, but that gave me the opportunity to appreciate the anticipation on her face as I lowered her bowl to the floor in front of her, as if she still couldn’t believe she was actually getting another bowl of food, just for her. A starving feral kitten, probably a day or two from death, Moses never forgot her beginnings.
All of her 19 years I watched her lean into her food to excitedly nibble here and there and thought of this gentle creature still frightened to be picked up and held, uncertain about sitting on my lap, even being petted with two hands, yet when I gave her the space to make her own decisions she came to me with trust, fervently purring and gazing at me with slowly blinking eyes and such love as I have never known.
Then after her first bite of food satisfied that deep-seated fear of hunger it was as if she remembered her manners, my quiet and refined gray kitty, and lifted her face from her bowl, pushed herself with slight difficulty back up to a sitting position and looked directly into my eyes, purring as I saw the fur on her throat gently trembling, and gave me a long, slow blink of her soft verdigris eyes.
“Thank you,” she said, every meal, every day, all her life, then went back to eating as I often brushed back tears at her honest pronouncement.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, and it’s always time to celebrate the gifts those senior felines, the rescues, the ferals, the fosters and visitors have brought to our lives.
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