Last month on St. Patrick’s Day, a tiny supernatural adventure happened in Dallas, Texas.
I had lost my Pan Cat of 19 years the previous December. I vowed I wouldn’t get another cat any time soon. However, the thoughts of never having another cat in my entire life left me depressed and teary-eyed. Still, I refused to actively search for another fur-baby.
The last thing I told my sweet Pan before all life left her tiny body was, “You come back to me.”
Fast forward three months. My friend, Linda, and I took a trip to Dallas to visit our friends, Jan and Steve. Steve is a cat-person and was upset to hear about Pan. So upset, that after a nice lunch, he insisted on taking me to Operation Kindness to look at the rescued kitties. Insisted? More like down right forced me to go. I had no intentions of going and even less in adopting a cat. Even though, I have to admit, I found the notion of seeing all the felines quite enticing and pleasing, but I mainly agreed to go just to please Steve.
Operation Kindness is a huge rescue operation for cats and dogs. Their building was large and full of all breeds of canines and felines in need of furever homes. Steve and I both were like little kids in a candy shop looking at all the kittens and cats. I was particularly drawn to an orange tabby kitten in a cage in the corner. His name was Puddles. Hmm . . . that conjured a lot of questions. Puddles? Puddles of what? We kept on looking. Black, calico, gray tabbies, tuxedo kitties, and more, but none spoke to me. I returned to the cage in the corner and Puddles.
The volunteer told us that Puddles had been adopted the day before only to be brought back the very next morning. (The new owner’s older cat rejected the little kitten.) Puddles was adorable! The urge to reach out and pet him was overwhelming. The volunteer took him from his cage. Without hesitation, he crawled out of her arms, into mine, and snuggled by my ear. His purring could be heard from miles away. Then. He licked my ear. Bingo! Pan always licked my ears. That’s all it took. Adopted the day before, brought back the next, checked in at noon, checked out at 3:30. Steve gifted Puddles to me. We both walked out of Operation Kindness with the bond of a tiny fur-baby and a paranormal adventure forever between us.
But, I did not like the name Puddles. Not at all.
What to name this little guy? He jumped and ran like a monkey. Monkey? No, not quite. He looked like a baby lion cub. Simba? Jan called him Tarzan. Hmm. I liked that one. It summed up his personality but the thoughts of saying, “Here Tarzan, here kitty-kitty didn’t hit home. He was from Texas. Maybe Ranger after the Texas Rangers? Peanut? Nugget? Leo? Nothing resonated. Then Steve made the comment, “He looks like a Fred.” Fred? What kind of name is that for a cat? But. It stuck. It fit. Fred it is.
Fred made the trip from Texas to Arkansas like a champ. Everything is one big adventure to Fred. He looks at the world in silent wonder, the awe of its endless possibilities makes his green eyes glow like tiny emeralds. Forever curious. Forever searching for that next adventure. Forever snuggling next to me, his new Mama, licking and purring in my ears. He curls by the picture of Pan I have on my dresser for naps. He drinks from the dog dish, just like Pan. (He has his own dish, but he prefers the dog’s.) So many little things Pan did, Fred does as well.
Pan pulled strings to bring Fred to me. She worked through Steve as a catalyst—to get the ball rolling.
Pan came back to me. Her spirit rests in the heart and soul of an orange tabby cat affectionately named Fred.
What’s in a name? A rose by any other name is still a rose. Is it not?
And love is still love no matter if its called Tarzan, Leo, Simba, Pan or Fred.