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Our Heavenly Cat

After the death of her husband, a woman and her grandson find an angel on their front steps who brings them comfort and happiness when they need it the most.

Kitten is angelic being for one woman

The Boston Red Sox and our grandson, Justin. Two of my husband’s greatest pleasures. Justin spent countless hours with Grandpa Gabe, laughing and talking while they worked in the yard and around the house. Gabe taught him how to use tools and even to repair our riding lawn mower.

Their happiest times together were in baseball season, cheering for the Red Sox on television, munching handfuls of peanuts, Gabe’s favorite snack. “He’s my best friend,” Justin always said.  

My husband battled gastrointestinal cancer for most of Justin’s young life. He never gave in to the disease, and our family believed he would beat it. But on a June night three years ago, Gabe passed away. Justin was with him when he took his last breath. He ran from the house in tears.

I decided to leave him alone for a while. Neither of us could talk about what had happened. I’d lost my husband of 50 years. And Justin, at 11, had lost his best friend. There was much for me to do that night. Phone calls. Family. Hospital. Funeral home. Eventually Justin came back.

“There’s a white kitten on the steps,” he said. “He’s so friendly. Can I bring him in?” 

“Definitely not,” I said. Especially not now.

Next morning the kitten was still waiting expectantly on the steps. Where had he come from? “The answer is still no,” I told my grandson.

In the following days the kitten meowed his greetings as the family came and went during their preparations for the funeral. He was cute, no question, and certainly well-behaved for a stray. I didn’t feed him or encourage him, but he acted like he belonged with us. 

When we returned from the cemetery, the kitten was asleep in my husband’s favorite chair on the front porch. How perfect he looks there, I thought.

Then I had an idea. It was odd the way he appeared on the night we lost Gabe. That night of all nights. Maybe this kitten was a gift from heaven to comfort Justin and me. “Okay, Justin,” I said. “You win. He can come inside.”

In October that year the Boston Red Sox played in the World Series. Justin and I were amazed when the kitten sat next to us to watch the games on TV. He seemed fascinated, especially when the Sox were at bat. He not only watched with us, he snacked on peanuts, too. “Just like Grandpa!” Justin said.

The kitten curled up with me every night, a welcome blessing as I got used to sleeping alone. Today that little white kitten has grown into a beautiful cat and has become a major part of our family. He lives up to the name I knew he deserved when he moved in with us: Angel.


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