Friday, August 6, 2010

A Touching Story From One Of My Readers

MOONSHINE RILEY RETURNS . . . sort of 



It began about 15 years ago when our dear fluffy black cat, Porky, died of old age. He came to us from the Toronto Humane Society when it was located on Wellesley St. and lived with us in our Willowdale home. On moving day to Lawrence Park, he got out, ran up a tree and stayed there for a couple of days. Some days you never forget. His passing was, as they say, nature’s way but gosh it was hard to take. 


Our neighborhood animal clinic waited a couple of weeks and phoned to say they had a skinny black cat named Moonshine, about two years old, needing a good home. He had been adopted by another family but it didn’t work out and he was orphaned once again. Suckers, we adopted Moonshine and gave him a second moniker - Riley – as in so lucky to be alive and living the life of Riley. On a Friday night shortly thereafter he “dropped into” the basement of the church centre under construction across the street to be rescued by the construction crew the following Monday morning. Very hungry. That’s when his attitude started to show. The church is one of his favourite spots. We were never sure what he did in that building, but if he spotted the front doors opening up, he was gone and inside in a flash. Moonshine Riley remains a Christian cat (United Church of Canada) to this day. 


Five years ago a dear friend of ours in Orillia died. She had asked us to take her three year old tabby Zoe into our home. Zoe is a sweet, loveable puffball and immediately and willingly took her place as secondary cat in the house. The two actually get along nicely and have set up a regimen of rules I have yet to figure out but it works for them. Then a couple of years ago, Moonshine packed up his bag and moved in with the family 5 houses away. It was winter and when we didn’t see him for several weeks, assumed the worst. We heard about his new life from the new family at a social gathering and could hardly believe our ears. When the snow melts and the sun shines, he visits us every few days to see what is in the food bowl and what is new in the house. His visits rarely last more than 15 minutes. 


Last summer my husband Gary became ill and over the weeks he was hospitalized, Moonshine visited the house every day despite weather conditions. (I have to add here he detests getting his feel wet and/or cold.) Gary died in April. Not a sunny day has passed since without a visit from Moonshine. Now he looks throughout the whole house, behind doors and under furniture before checking out the food bowl and saying hello to me and Zoe. Occasionally he even catches some winks but a visitor he remains. Not that I have any say about the matter.

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