Close encounters of the preparedness kind

Close encounters of the preparedness kind


My husband, Marc, and I pulled into his brother’s driveway.  As he put the car in park, I turned to him and said, “I don’t want to go in there.”


“Why?  What’s wrong?”


 “I am afraid to see the cat,” I replied.   Just a few days before, their beloved cat was hit by a car, broke her leg, and needed her tail amputated.  “I am afraid I will cry when I see her with no tail.  I don’t want to make them feel worse.”


 “If you cry, you cry.  But you won’t.  You will be fine.  She is doing well.”


 Not believing him, I just muttered, “OK” and slowly walked to the front door.  Within moments, we were in the room where the cat was recovering.  She was as sweet and beautiful as ever.  Her leg made playing difficult, but she was trying.  She let us scratch her, and she purred at us. It was amazing.  And I didn’t even miss her tail.  She looked just as adorable without it.


 When Marc and I were back in the car, I told him he was right, and that I couldn’t believe how wonderful she looked and acted.  Not being able to resist, he replied, “Told you so.”


 What I had no idea at the time was that in less than a month, our cat, Alex, would too need his tail amputated due to a cancerous tumor.  When it was time for Alex’s surgery, I was worried about him undergoing an operation at his age, but I wasn’t concerned about the loss of his tail.  After all, his cousin prepared me for it, and showed me that tails are over rated!



Every moment we live prepares us for the next.  Have any chance encounters prepared you for something that you would soon experience?



The tailless cousin’s club – anyone else want to join?














36 thoughts on “Close encounters of the preparedness kind

    1. Brian – she is doing great.. She had a rough time of it initially, since she also hurt her leg, but now she is as good as new… Tell Gracie that Alex thinks she is the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world.

    1. madness, trouble, Squish & Milkbone – the tailess wonder is doing great.. Good memory, yes, we were worried about the sores around his mouth and paws. But after we coned him for a while, and he let them heal, they cleared up… So, all in all, he is doing great! He is happier than ever! I never thought about his hiney getting cold without a tail… I wonder if you are right… But, I got to admit, I love that bare hiney!

  1. I don’t know if you can call this a chance encounter exactly…but having 3 kids, after the first one …nothing the ones coming after do, fazes you anymore…as a parent, I think, you learn to go with the flow and just take it one day at a time!!!!

    1. Susi – Not sure if that is a chance encounter either, but I think it counts as an encounter of the preparedness kind 🙂 I am sure that everything is so much easier with #3 than #1…

    1. Chloe & Cecil – Thanks! As for you all, I never knew that you (Shawn) had more than one blog. I just thought of Shawn as the Beckers, and Chloe and Cecil as another blog. I never gave it any thought to who Chloe & Cecil’s mom was… It wasn’t until this AM when I was on your blogger profile page that I saw you had more than one blog…. and one of them being Chloe & Cecil’s. It was like a giant light bulb went off in my head….

  2. I think each phase of life prepares us for the next and if we aren’t ready that is really just too darned bad…we’re there anyway!
    I used to think that life was a test and I was surely going to fail… and then I realized that failure is a measuring stick that only I can carry!

    1. RoryBore – I know what you mean… I know I felt so sorry for my “niece” and then Alex, but both of them bounced back so quickly… I think everything was harder on us humans than the cats. I remember seeing a three legged dog for the first time, and quickly being amazed at how he was able to trot along… Thanks for the award!

  3. OH Alex I know first hand and up close how over rated tails can be. Mom thinks I look so adorable with NO tail. In fact she said she always wants to be surrounded by manxies. Uh Mom does that mean you’re adopting someone? *whew* She just said no not now, but perhaps some day way way way in the future. That’s fine with me Mom! Glad all the kitties are doing well and have joined the tailess club.

    1. Abby – I so know what your mom means… I was the biggest tail fan of them all. I loved Alex’s tail so much, and was amazed at how long and beautiful it was. But, now that he doesn’t have one, I think he is SO much cuter than before. Same goes for my “neice”. I think if the time comes to get another cat, I would want a manx too. Your stumpies are just the cutest! Alex is so happy to be part of the club!

  4. This was such a great post and it is so true …we really never know what is around the corner. One moment leads to the next with all kinds of lessons along the way!

    1. pip – thanks so much! You are so right… we never know what the future brings – be it good or bad… that is why we just have to try to enjoy today as much as we possibly can…

    1. Amber – I know.. Animals sure bounce back quick, as if nothing even happened. I guess, in a lot of ways kids do too. I think it is the innocence…

  5. Awwww your brother-in-law’s kitty is just adorable!! And Alex is looking so super duper handsome! They are such testament to the braveness and resilience of God’s little creatures! Take care

    1. Old Kitty – you and charlie would love her… She is just as playful and fun as she is cute! Alex and “my niece” are really two brave kitties that we all could learn a lesson or two from 🙂

  6. It is just amazing what one can get through in emergencies. Especially cats. They can live through more stuff. I have a feral cat here that has a hind leg that is fused together because she was stepped on by a horse before I got here. But she lived through it all by herself and managed to get food somehow. Then I moved here and there was nothing that could be done for the leg so she limps a lot but gets around and does almost everything. Love this post.

    1. Marg – thanks so much…. I am always amazed at how brave and resilient animals, especially cats are. I remember the first time I saw a three legged dog. I was so upset thinking that he couldn’t get around, but then I saw him run. It was remarkable. Your feral cat sounds just as amazing. How she survived before meeting you was a miracle…. Poor thing that her leg can’t be fixed, but it sounds like she doesn’t let it bother her at all…. thanks for sharing her tale…

    1. meowmeowmans – thank you so much. We are all glad too that the members of the tailess cousin’s club are all doing so well. We saw my “niece” last night and she is just as playful as ever. I told Alex you thought he looked good, and the modest man that he is, simply answered, but of course!

  7. You’ve highlighted something that is oh, so important about pets – they are wonderful, and physical ailments or deformities just don’t matter. It doesn’t change their greatness. I’m so glad you’re all doing well now, and the fears about the surgery are now long gone. Alex is a dreamboat – CindyLu says so!

    Thank you for blogging the change for animals!
    Kim Thomas

    1. Kim – Animals are amazing, brave and resiliant little creatures. We all can learn a lot from them….. Alex is in awe that Cindy Lu thinks he is a dream boat… now, he realized he could charm the felines, but a doggy. Wow. Cindy Lu mad his day. He is strutting around the house right now….

  8. Isn’t there a species of felines that don’t have tails? He could join that!

    He’s no worse for wear without his! His life just comes on. Yes, indeed, we certainly can learn from them!

    1. Irene – there are (although I never knew about the Manx cats before Alex’s tail amputation) He is an honorary member of that club too… Not full, since he was born with a tail 🙂 You are right, we can all learn a lot from our four legged friends….

  9. I remember one of the cats I had growing up who got shot in the leg-buckshot- and the vet saved him and the leg. For awhile he was limping though….

    1. William – the poor little guy. Must have broke your heart to watch him limp. When I first got my dog (who has long since passed) and we were training her, I was mopping up an “accident” and dropped the mop on her paw. She limped for about a month. brought me to tears…

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