Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Unlikely Friendships

You’ve always heard of fighting like dogs and cats, so Harold was concerned when the stray kitten showed up on our doorstep. It was a little worse for wear: tail torn off and bloody back legs. The kitten was dehydrated and hungry. What else can you do when a teeny kitten refuses to leave, but just sits there mewing much louder than you’d think possible?

Enter Neptune into the household ruled by Lucy. Just a short year before, Lucy had wormed her way into our hearts in the exact same manner—a stray who took up residence.

Harold was worried that Lucy wouldn’t like the cat. I introduced them by letting them touch noses, and they had many staring contests. The cat stayed on the front porch, and Lucy was queen of the deck.

Cats being curious, Neptune eventually approached the deck. At first, the dog barked and Neptune backed away. That didn’t last long. Soon Neptune was darting in front of Lucy and scooting behind the grill.

“The cat shouldn’t be on the deck,” Harold said as he shooed Neptune away. A few minutes later, the cat slid through the rail to venture on the deck again.

After a few weeks, Lucy quit barking at the cat and they declared a truce. The cat took over Lucy’s bed, and Lucy would lie beside it and nose Neptune. Sometimes they got a little rowdy, but neither seemed to be scared of the other.

While I was gone to the Alzheimer’s Forum, Harold said, “The cat is going to have to go. They mock fight and one of them is going to get hurt.” I don’t believe he was worried so much about Lucy hurting Neptune as he was about Neptune scratching Lucy.

By the time I got home, he had to show me how they acted. When he took Lucy for a walk in the backyard, the cat went down the steps side-by-side with the dog. Then, the cat ran up a tree, only to sidle down and launch a sneak attack.

All was quiet when we were inside. On the surveillance camera, we saw them lying together on the same chair while four other chairs remained unoccupied. Now, Lucy prances about each morning anxious to go onto the deck to play with her unlikely friend.
It seems that throughout life, we all have unlikely friends. At the Forum each year, I look forward to spending quality time with my two friends, Kathy Siggins and Sarah Harris. It’s an unlikely friendship when you consider that Sarah lives in Virginia, Kathy in Maryland, and I live in Missouri. Our friendship is never diminished from spending time away and when we meet at the Forum, we haven’t missed a beat. The Forum is like a special homecoming of the heart.

We all lost our husbands to an Alzheimer’s type of dementia. We met at the Forum and had an immediate connection. Now, it would be hard to imagine my life without them.

These serendipitous friendships are promises that nothing is really random. No matter what happens, we will meet the people we are supposed to meet and fulfill the purpose we were born to accomplish.

“If it hadn’t been for Alzheimer’s,” Sarah said, “we would have never met.” This is an undeniable truth. Our adversities defined our strengths and shaped our souls allowing us to embrace our unlikely friendship.

Copyright © April 2015 by L.S. Fisher

No comments: