Excerpts from Angel Cats: Divine Messengers of Comfort by
Allen and Linda Anderson. Copyright 2004. All Rights Reserved.
Is Life Better When We Curl Up
One Lucky Cat -- Donna Francis
Mother's Cat -- Renie Burghardt
Harley, the Cat Who Changed a
Facility into a Home -- Margie Broadrick
Persistent Princess -- Christina Louise Dicker
Most Remarkable Gift -- Carole S. Cahill
Comfort of Cameo -- Toni Eames
Do We Get Help to Heal Life's
God's Kitty Heart Specialists -- Carol
The Cat Who Made Amends -- Carol L.
Nurse Melanie -- Julie Ann Mock
Presence of Willie -- Judith A. Morris
Kinky Cat Who Chose Me -- Graceann Maciolek
Loyal Friend until the End -- Ms. Anastasia Lynn Baima, A.S.
Mama and Her Kittens -- Patty Hall Laswick
Meant to Play with Our Littermates?
Major-League Assistance from "The
Sisters" -- Brian McRae
Muse of Mirth -- Kevin
Living with a Dickens -- Judith A.
This Candy Is Reserved for Cats -- Sue
Bam Bam Helped Me Pack for My Vacation -- Darby
A Place at the Table -- Jenny Carlson
Cat's Hair -- Pamela V. Brown
Cats Mirrors of the Soul?
My Patient and My Healer -- Laurie Crawford
The Music of Forever Love -- Beverly F.
Tough Guy -- Pamela Jenkins
Morning Home Alone -- Tim Bellows
Life Lesson from Two Cats -- Bettine Clemen
Hocus and a World of Ordinary Miracles -- Sally
Hear the Sound of a Heavenly Purr?
The Man Who Got His Purr Back -- Tim
Tigger Purrs a Love Song to God -- Carole
Bears Are No Match for KittyBaby -- Nancy
Pete's in Heaven -- Niki Behrikis
Anna's Three Angels -- Judith E.
Mina Goes To the Light -- Lee Crowe
About Allen and Linda Anderson
Excerpt from Angel Cats by Allen and Linda
Stately, kindly, lordly friend,
to sit by me, and turn
Glorious eyes, love's lustrous
On the golden page I read.
By Algernon Charles Swinburne
velvet paws tucked serenely under his rhythmically purring body, an Angel Cat
breathes sighs of contentment. Stretched out on the cushioned window seat in
languorous repose, he gazes outdoors to watch birds and squirrels scurrying
around in an attempt to entertain him. Then he turns away from the window and
patiently scans his territory, where he spies an empty lap. Majestic as a
prince, he rises and glides away from the window. Sauntering across the room, he
prepares to take possession of the inviting thighs. He sits on the floor nearby
with ears perked up expectantly and gazes intently at the lap, flicking his tail
from side to side. Then he turns his head away as if indifferent to its allure.
Suddenly, with the grace of a gazelle, he springs forward from his hind feet and
leaps onto his rightful throne.
Confidently, his paws knead the lap as if it were made of yeasty
dough that will rise into a soft pillow underneath him. The Angel Cat arches his
back, twitches his whiskers, and gazes with lustrous eyes into the human's face.
Within seconds, he closes his eyelids and luxuriates in the touch of fingers
that lovingly caress his silky fur and rub his fuzzy cheeks. When the fingers
stroke his face, his raspy pink tongue licks them gently, as if to congratulate
them on having found their purpose in life. The soothing purr of this charming
companion makes the human's cares and concerns float away on waves of vibrating
the petting is over, the Angel Cat rests. His front legs curl possessively
around the human's knee, and his claws retract into the spongy pads of his paws.
Immersing himself in the moment, he settles into a Zen-like, meditative state.
tranquil minute, or maybe an hour, the cat awaits a tolling bell that only he
can hear. It emanates from the mysterious cat consciousness that will announce
when these peaceful moments must come to an end. Without a shred of regret, he
silently leaps back onto the floor. Then he turns his head, nods, and solemnly
winks at the person with whom he has shared this intimate respite. With soulful
eyes and the detachment of a Buddha, the Angel Cat telegraphs a message that, as
enjoyable as this moment in eternity has been, he has no need to cling to the
exchange of pleasure. His friend's hands rest, lonely as winter tree branches,
on the still-warm lap that no other earthly creature can fill as completely or
Excerpt from Angel Cats by Allen and Linda
God's Kitty Heart Specialists
Smith, Saco, Maine
foggy, rainy October day in 1992, I was walking along a beach road near my house
and enjoying the crisp autumn air. Many of the summer vacation homes were closed
for the season. With no other activity to draw my attention, I began to watch a
black cat who seemed to be trying to keep her baby from running into the road.
While she was herding her kitten, the mother cat was also chasing a bird. I
chuckled at what this mother cat had in common with all human mothers I know. It
is quite a task to protect your young while carrying out family
came closer to the cats, I realized by seeing their scruffy coats and thin
bodies that they were in trouble. I asked neighbors about them. People told me
these cats had been in the vicinity for a few days. All the while, the nursing
mother cat had been desperately attempting to provide food for her baby.
looked for more of this mother's kittens, but I didn't see any. Sensing that the
creatures wouldn't survive much longer under these conditions, I scooped up the
two orphans and brought them home with me. Little did I know that they would
someday return the favor and contribute a crucial element to my health and
named the cats Molly and Miss Minnie. After I fed Mother Molly, who was only
about six months old, she was able to better care for both her daughter and
herself. This mother and daughter had a special relationship, yet they also had
distinct personalities. From the moment when I first picked her up, Molly
started to purr. Miss Minnie, tiny enough to fit into my shoe, didn't learn to
purr for several months. The two cats seemed happy to be together. They played
often, and Molly washed Miss Minnie and herself for a good part of the day.
years after Molly and Miss Minnie had come to live with me, Molly started a
strange new routine: Each night, she awakened me from a sound sleep. When I
awoke, I'd notice that my heart was racing and my blood pressure and pulse were
decided to see a doctor about my health, but even with prescribed medication I
continued to feel poorly. On a few occasions, I passed out during the day; upon
returning to consciousness, I found Molly licking my nose to awaken me. Molly
continued to nurse me in this way as I went on with my busy
point, I noticed that Molly began to sleep closer to my head at night. I was
sometimes awakened by her whiskers tickling my face as she brushed my cheeks and
listened to my breathing. I'd roll over and go back to sleep, only to have Molly
awaken me with her whiskers again. Around then, I began to take a new
medication. When it began to help with my heart condition, Molly stopped waking
me up at night, and I slept peacefully for many years.
Minnie grew into a lovely, bushy-tailed, gray-and-black-striped coon cat with
double paws. She looked much like her mother, although Molly was mostly black
with a little white. Miss Minnie was not the kind of cat who would cuddle with
me. In fact, after she was spayed she became aloof and self-centered.
surprised, then, when Miss Minnie started to change her standoffish ways. In the
fall of 1997, when she was about five years old, Miss Minnie started to awaken
me during the night. Just as the naturally loving and caring Molly had done
years before, Miss Minnie began the strange ritual of walking up and down on top
of my body to wake me up. At first I would check to see if she needed anything.
It was perplexing to me that she never left my bed all night. If she woke me
with her body walk and I didn't get up, Miss Minnie would sit on my chest and
lick my face. It was as if Molly had taught her this routine.
was an additional perplexing issue. Harold, an orange four-month-old male cat,
had joined us in March of 1994. He was not healthy, physically or emotionally,
and Miss Minnie resented it when Molly gave Harold her motherly attention. After
all, Miss Minnie had been an only child. She didn't like the fact that Harold
slept with me, and she usually jumped down when the intruder came onto the bed.
But during the fall of 1997, Miss Minnie stayed by my side and continued to
fulfill her mission, despite her resentment of Harold's presence on my bed.
heart condition still seemed to be controlled by the newest medication, so I
continued to work long hours at my job. Then one day, when I went for my usual
beach walk, my heart began to race and beat irregularly. I managed to get back
home and call a nurse friend. She checked on me and quickly whisked me to the
being admitted to the hospital, I was hooked up to a heart monitor. All that
night, the nurses came in repeatedly to awaken me. I realized that this was what
Molly and Miss Minnie had been doing for me over the years; my cat nurses must
have known when my heart beat too rapidly or stopped beating during the night,
and that was why they'd awakened me. Now that I was ill and had time to reflect,
I realized that I had two cats who were angels. I thanked God that they had come
into my life on that damp day in October years before.
summer of 2003, Miss Minnie started to sit on my chest again. It was
uncomfortable. Even though I pushed her down, she would return.
changed doctors in September of 2003. After a visit to my new doctor, he called
to say that the monitor I'd been wearing over the weekend showed that my heart
was stopping for eight seconds at a time, several times each night. "You need
surgery today," he said. I suddenly realized that this was what Molly and Miss
Minnie had been trying to tell me by waking me up during the night and walking
or sitting on my chest. After I explained to my cardiologist what these cats had
done over the years, he said, "Your cats were pacemakers." I really believe that
these wonderful animals served as my heart monitors. Until the doctor put an
implant in my chest to monitor my heartbeat, my cats kept me alive.
and Miss Minnie remained my primary caregivers throughout their lives. Over
time, I've learned to listen to my kitty heart specialists more carefully. I
discovered that they were far smarter about my health than I was. I also slowed
down the hectic pace of my life. Molly and Miss Minnie seemed to know that I had
started taking better care of myself, and they eventually showed less concern.
turned out, Molly also had a heart condition. She died in her sleep - a loss
that is still painful to me. Sometimes it makes me sad to think that, had it
been possible, an implant might have helped Molly, since she died with the same
condition I had.
also thankful that Harold found his way into our lives. The doctors' treatments
and Molly's love healed him, and now Miss Minnie and Harold have each another as
companions. They both miss Molly very much. They consoled each another after her
death, and for months Harold continued to call out for Molly.
my heart today, I know I'm doing better. Since my last surgery and the implant,
Miss Minnie hasn't sat on my chest once.
Contributing Author Carol Smith signing Angel Cats at Nonesuch Books in