One mid December evening in 2,000, Ted, a Memphis truck driver, noticed a white dog lying near the edge of the road, bleeding. He was making a local delivery and couldn't stop and pick up a dog in the company truck, but decided he would check on the dog after work.
Ted clocked out around 10 P.M. and drove back toward where he had spotted the dog. When he arrived, sure enough, the dog was still there. Ted approached carefully, knowing the risk of reaching out to a wounded animal. He spoke gently to the creature, who whimpered in response, with pleading eyes. Ted spread a rain pancho on the back seat and gently lifted the beautiful, though bloody body, into car, feeling as if he was ministering to an angel.
Ted drove his precious cargo to the only emergency vet clinic in town. The staff there greeted him as a fellow animal lover and took the pretty dog inside. They began treatment immediately and told Ted they would call him with news of the dogs condition.
As Ted turned to leave, he heard a soft "meow." Turning toward the sound, he saw, in a cage, the funniest cat he had ever laid eyes on. She had Siamese chocolate point coloring, and a fluffy head, tail and boots. The rest of her fur was shaved short, givuing her the appearance of a miniature lion, or a feline poodle. She appeared quite undignified and seemed none too happy about it.
He asked the veterinary staff if he could approach the cat, and they said, "Yes, but don't expect much. She isn't very friendly."
Ted approached the cage and laid a knuckle against the bars. The odd little lady nudged an ear against his finger, asking for more contact. He dared to slip 2 fingers through the bars to give her greater access. She rubbed her face against them, purring loudly.
The veterinary staff were very surprised. "She likes you!" somebody said. "She hasn't warmed up to anyone else at all, before you!"
He asked if the cat belonged to anyone. He was informed that the cat had been rescued from a difficult situation, and came to them covered in fleas, dirt and sticky from candy. The veterinary assistant who brought her in had reported her name was "Sassy." The vets and groomers had vaccinated, bathed and groomed her like a poodle due to the knots in her fur. No wonder she wasn't very approachable!
Ted said he'd like to offer the cat a home with his family. The staff said they would ask the lady who had rescued Sassy if that would be okay. They wanted, also, to keep her while she healed from surgery and make sure she was totally free of fleas before releasing her.
Ted arrived home after midnight, eager to tell his wife, Robyn (this writer), about the lovely Himalayan cat with the lion hair cut. The next day, he related the story to their 10 year old son, Joel, also. "Now we just have to wait and see if the lady will let us have her."
Christmas Eve arrived, and there had been no word concerning whether we would be allowed to bring the cat home with us. We began our Christmas rounds of family dinners and gift exchanges.
On Christmas night, we were at my parents' house. The family had shared gifts, eaten Christmas dinner, and Papa had read the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2. We were all chatting and playing games when Ted's cell phone rang. A lady from the emergency vet's clinic was calling to let us know Sassy was ours and said we could come pick her up right away.
Surprised at our sudden good news, Teddy, Joel and I kissed my family goodnight and began the hour long drive into Memphis to pick up the pretty little lady who would bless our family for many years to come.
To be continued...