spacer
Thrive logo
spacer
spacer Log in | spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
spacer
corner browseissues corner
spacer
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
corner popularlinks corner
spacer
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
corner spacer corner
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer

Snowflakes
By Joanne Lovering

Snowflakes came into our lives unexpectedly. The day before Snowflake’s birth, my little boy said to me, “Bobalink is going to have some babies.” Bobalink is our female tabby cat. At the time, she was actually our 7-month old tabby kitten. We had not spayed her yet because my friend Jane had only recently rescued her from a neighbour’s garage. I had not noticed her swelling tummy. I contradicted my 10-year-old son at first, but on closer look my “no” turned to “maybe.” The next day my “maybe” turned to a “well lookie there.” Three precious lumps appeared in her box. Snowflakes was one of them, so named because the white markings on the back of his mostly black body looked like snowflakes. Kind of.

Unfortunately, Snowflakes’ mother did not favour him. He had a few good weeks of nursing alongside his sister (the third kitten did not live long) and then suddenly, his mother was done with him. One day she grabbed him by the top of his head and tossed him out of the box. His sister was still welcome to snuggle and feed, but not Snowflakes.  So, Snowflakes grew up fast. And strong. And independent.

He began patrolling our property indoors and outdoors as though he was a security guard walking his route. As he grew, he seemed like our protector. He would stroll into the house, do his rounds by visiting each room, request a pat on the head from each of his humans, and then having assessed that all was well at his home, he would leave again.

As I watched Snowflakes grow and thrive, I began to envy him. His attitude was one of non-stop intensity. Whatever he did, he did full out and focused. When he ran, he ran fast and majestically. When he was kicked out of the nest he moved on quickly. When he socialized with us he purred intently and nuzzled aggressively. When he ate, he ate heartily. And most beautiful of all to me, was after he ate, he would crash on our bed and sleep. I have never seen a creature so committed to sleeping. Nothing disturbed him. His body would stretch out and relax and he emanated satisfaction. When I put my hand on his back, I felt peaceful myself.  I averted many a sleepless night by moving close to Snowflakes and clearing my mind as I listened to his calm purring.

Then one day, I had an almost magical experience with Snowflakes. By chance, I was invited to participate in his joyous play. It was a sunny summer morning and I was jogging through a very large cemetery several streets away from our home. It is full of bushes, has a little creek and backs onto a ravine. As I trundled down a path alongside the creek, I detected something moving in the scrub ahead. I saw a white flash and thought I had discovered a rabbit’s nest, as it was baby bunny season. I tiptoed toward the bushes, pulled back some branches, and came face to face instead with a large golden-eyed cat. We locked stares briefly, and then the cat jumped out of the bushes and lunged toward me. “Snowy, what the heck!” I screamed. It was my own beloved cat.

He ran behind a gravestone and I chased him there. He darted behind another one. I chased him there. The two of us ran about like silly kids for a few minutes and then he started panting really hard. He scared me a bit because I had never seen a cat breathe so fast before. I walked over to a little tap that the cemetery provided so that patrons could water the plants around their loved ones’ burial sites, and filled my hands with water. I put them under his face and he drank furiously. I got tired of cupping my hands and found a little bowl and filled that with water and put it in front of him. He stared at me as if to say, “Not what I am looking for, lady.” I put more water in my hands, and he drank directly from me again. It was as though he wanted a little love with his water.

When his thirst was slaked he took off on me. I ran around looking for him for about five minutes, but he was gone. I knew he was super savvy and would find his way home, so I began to jog out of the cemetery. As I passed a particularly high tombstone, something suddenly came flying toward the side of my head. I turned to see Snowflakes sailing through the air like something out of a Saturday morning cartoon show. Once again, I screamed. This time he had a snake in his mouth. He was seriously trying to freak me out. I dodged his flight path, but after he landed he came running at me. I changed the game and charged at him, yelling for him to drop the dang snake. He did, and we chased each other around and around again for a while. When it was time to break up this strange inter-species game of tag, Snowflakes headed toward the bushes I had found him in. He stopped before entering and looked back at me. I went over and gave him a love tap on the head and told him I would see him back at home.

But he meowed at me, plaintively. He put his head under the bushes and waited. It was as if he wanted me to follow. He took a few steps into the forest, and then turned and waited again for me to come along. He took a few more strides forward, and then one more time looked back at me. As much as we had enjoyed an hour of special communication, he did not seem to understand when I told him that it would just be too difficult for me to crawl under the prickle bushes on my belly, jump across the creek, climb the six-foot wooden fence, run through the neighbour’s backyard, cross the road, run through a few more neighbour’s yards, jump a few more fences and then run up the driveway to our home. He looked so disappointed that I was not leaving with him. As I headed back to the paved pathway, he turned around and decided he would come with me instead.

But when my path intersected a road with some whizzing traffic, Snowflakes stopped. It was clear that as much as I could not take his tangled path toward our house, he was not comfortable following my paved pathway. We parted ways and later that day he arrived home, as usual. He made his rounds, ate dinner, and then slept the coveted sleep of the incredibly satisfied on our bed.

Snowflakes is my hero. He lives life the way it should be lived. He is fully engrossed in whatever he is doing. He enjoys each and every task he takes on. He looks out for the people he loves. He remembers where he came from. He does not focus on his losses. He conquers new territory daily. He shows no fear. He plays until he is thirsty and then drinks until he can drink no more. He eats until he is full, and then he sleeps hard and peacefully.

As I enviously watch him enjoy his life, I have decided I should stop being so jealous and just learn from this incredible animal.

It sounds strange to say that my cat is my role model. But Snowflakes lives life precisely the way it should be lived — and I have never seen a human being do it so well.

Snowflakes is now 10 years old. He is strong and healthy and has never been sick. I hope that we will have many more years together. Our family has adopted a few other needy kittens since his arrival, so he is now a big brother several times over.

All the cats — except Bobalink — adore him and when he comes home from his daily adventures they gather around him, sniffing him and affectionately banging their bodies against his.

His confidence and joie de vivre is that attractive.

I am doing my best to copy him.

Joanne Lovering Bio:

Joanne Lovering is a writer living in Toronto with her cats, rats and ferrets. She also has several human companions. She loves them all. You can contact her at j.lovering@rogers.com

Back to Stories

spacer
COMMENTS (3) | animal companion, animal wisdom, humour
spacer

Comments

3 Responses to “Snowflakes”

  1. SB
    December 15th, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

    Your game of tag with Snowflakes made me smile and made me miss my two cats 🙂 You are right, much to learn from animals; loving unconditionally and enjoying the present without thinking too much of tomorrow! Thank you for the reminder.

  2. Diane Brass Winnipeg Manitoba
    December 26th, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

    Joanne, I loved your story. I have always been a “dog person” – your beautiful story about Snowflakes showed me that cats too have beautiful, sensitive souls.

  3. Morrigan Balek
    April 24th, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

    I was just browsing through the web when I spotted this story; I’m so glag I stopped to read it.
    Our furry friends have so much they want to share with us, if we would only ginve them a few minutes of our time.
    Thank you.

    Best, Morrigan

Leave a Reply





spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
newsletter
spacer
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
corner comments corner
spacer
  • Nancy Flora: I think what you mean is a non-drinking member of an alcoholic family. Alcoholism is a family disease....
  • Amanda: The family is waking up Sunday AM and my alcoholic husband again makes another nasty comment to me. The...
  • Angel: I learned how to detach from my drunk husband! Than my mother passed away. All gloves were off after that. My...
  • Lorraine: Married thirty seven and a half years to an alcoholic. But he is a good person. And he does good deeds for...
  • jw: I have been with my husband twenty one years. We have three children together, ages 5,7, and 9. He is a...
  • Richard Berman: A emotional story well written with bright eye ups and sad eye downs. A story I could relate to. My...
  • Gina: Love this. Just what I needed to read. Thank you for your courage to share this.
  • Tired: I am struggling with detaching, but still trying. I have been with my other half off and on for 5 years. The...
  • Debra Grossman: Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. It nourishes my soul to learn of such special...
  • Jack russell: Really enjoyed reading the website. I have also have a website about this great dog.
  • Anonymous: Thank God for your blog. After 37 years of being married to an alcoholic,I’ve finally reached my...
  • Anonymous: Thanx 4 da truth
  • Sandra: I am from USA, i am 36 years old, i want to gladly give My testimony of how a spell caster dr.mac@yahoo. com...
  • g: Thank you for your words. As I navigate through marriage with children (11, 5, 3) and I am a stay at home mom, the...
  • Catherine Ellen Pettway: My husband and I married in 1988. He occasionally drank beer but not everyday. He came from...
  • Nic: Thank you Mike for your honesty and vulnerability. It helps to feel a connection with someone who understands...
  • Robert Goldsmith: Thank you for sharing that very intimate experience and your story. I’m married to an...
  • MANDI: Is this group still going? I love my husband and I knew what I was getting into when I married him. I knew he...
  • Kelly: Dear Keith, I hope you are at peace now. You are missed by many.
  • Delilah Campos: Dear LaVora, Thank you so much for sharing this intimate experience. I am deeply touched and...
  • Mary Ellen Bennett: Thank you so much. I am married to an alcoholic and I have watched him go through rehabilitation...
  • Tracy: Thank you for sharing your story with me Ivor. I’m so glad you had a loving supportive Aunt to guide you...
  • Daniel Fontana: I know those kids,especially Snezana.Please send me their contact information.
  • Neyhaaa: I can’t thank you enough for sharing this. Yet, thank you.
  • Amy: My daughter is five and her dad is an alcoholic. I know we need to leave. We both own our house and I...
  • CPC: I think this is among the such a lot important info for me. And i’m happy studying your article. However...
  • online festival: Every year, people in India find different ways to celebrate the same festival, and perhaps this...
  • Karol: Listening to all the mother’s on here is overwhelming for me. I think about what all of you are going...
  • Vicki Osheka: This is my second marriage and I came from a non drinking family. Didn’t realize what I was...
  • Elle: Wel written article. My husband is walking around totally beligerant. Where he ends up making messes, he has...
  • Maren: Thank you for this! 3rd day on Cipralex and a glimmer of hope.
  • Anonymous: I ‘gave in’ recently. I am more hopeful than ever that things will improve for me after...
  • LindaJane Riley: I apologize to everyone who has commented. I didn’t know this story was still active. I would...
  • Rahulbh28: Dear Members, Please help me. . . I’m sharing my painful moments which my brother and my family...
  • rene: Yes i too lived the nightmare for 45 yrs..when in my marriage the last. 10 yrs my alcoholic lived in the same...
  • Grace: I typed in Google search, overcoming childhood loneliness because I am paying attention to some habits that I...
  • Casadina: I am so thankful that I found this website. I am like others on here and my alcoholic is passed out snoring...
  • Grateful: I cannot express how much I appreciate your story. I have been with my alcoholic for 11 years and I do not...
  • Vic: I stumbled upon this beautifully written article because I just “gave in” today. I just picked up my...
  • Carol: I have recently begun to admit that my husband is an alcoholic. My heart is broken… I am pissed… I...
  • TJ: Thank you for this article. You are the first person who seems to understand why I am still married to an...
  • sariah: I wept as I read your story. I am currently learning to detach as well after 20 years of marriage to an...
  • LaVora: Good luck, N. My experience may not be yours. However, I deeply believe that happiness is our birthright. You...
  • nk: Lavora, I am exactly here in my marriage – trying to turn it around. Rgds, N
  • Suzanne: Hi Martin and Cathy. Watched your documentary. You are a wonderful family. Everyone has their struggles, no...
  • admin: Thank you for letting us know. The link is now set to the their new WEB page. We have our dog from them.
  • Linda Jane Riley: About a year ago I was forced to take a step back from all things related to alcoholism. My...
  • SHerry: Your link to the rescue adoption site is for sale with no other info on the dogs.
  • Marleen: Thank you for sharing your story! That’s real inspirating!
  • Julie: Its 4:50am here. I can hear him snoring in the nursery. I brought the baby to bed with me.. He only snores...
  • ld: I thought I was suffering alone. The advice and comments make me feel better and gives me the strength to go on....
  • Sam: Hi Mike, Very poignant, “There are no grown-ups. We are all children in adult garments” is right on...
  • TJ: Thank You!!! Like “judy” commented above my mind was racing and I felt out of control… My life...
  • Karunakaran: It’s very nice.
  • judy: Thanks for ur writings… it really help my mind to calm down…. where can i go to talk with alot of...
  • Tanya Sousa: We certainly do have to change the way we respond, don’t we Paul? I’m encouraged though. I...
  • Paul Trainer: Thank you, Tanya, this is all so true. As someone who adores starlings too, I know that it is only when...
  • Cathy: In reading I see how difficult it is to be married to an alcoholic husband for 30 years and have now...
  • carrir: You took the words right out of my mouth. Xoxo
  • ceri: What an amazing story of love between step son and step father
  • Caney Texas: Hello! I’ve been reading your site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and...
  • julie: what a wonderful article, she described me to a tee , it was nice to put words to the feelings , I am new to...
  • michele: I am hurting so badly right now, it is taking all the strength and coping ability I have just to get through...
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
Copyright 2010 thriveinlife.ca. All rights reserved. | Privacy Statement
spacer
spacer