Asked and answered

Published 12:12 pm Thursday, July 20, 2023

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In the parking lot across from my church, St. John the Baptist, there is a little flower garden. In the garden, there is a beautiful statue of the Pieta placed upon some stones with a water fountain flowing from its base. I often go there to pray the rosary and a few other prayers. I have the means to go into the church at any time which I have done many times, but I prefer the peace and serenity of praying before the statue and its surroundings.

Last week while deep in my reverie, a white van pulled up alongside my car and a gentleman stepped out.  

“You’re Lennie, aren’t you?” he said through my passenger window.  

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“I am,” I said smiling. “How can I help you?”  

He handed me $30 and said, “This is for your kids, there will be more when I get a chance.”  

“Thank you,” I replied. “It is much appreciated, and there are so many wounds and not enough band-aids.”  

“You don’t remember me,” he went on, “But you helped me and my cat a few times two years ago.”  

“How’s it doing?” I asked. 

 “Oh, she passed away last year. I loved that cat,” he said.  

“I’m sorry to hear that,” I replied, “But unfortunately the Good Lord only lends them to us.”  

“About a week after she passed on a kitten came to my door and began meowing,” he said. “I tried to find out who owned it but with no luck. I brought him to the vet and had him checked out and given whatever he needed. I still have that cat Lennie and you won’t believe this but he is just like my girl in every way.” 

“I certainly believe it,” I said pointing up to the statue. “He knows where to send His creatures.”

A few days ago I received a call from a gentleman whose cat Oliver, a two-year-old orange tabby, had stopped using its left rear leg and was in obvious pain. He had brought it to the vet for tests and x-rays and spent around $400 to learn there was an old wound that had damaged the joint, and at this time amputation was the best course.  

“It will be about $1,700, sir” the gentleman said, “and I don’t have that money right now. I was told you may be able to help.”  

“Take him to Landrum Vet and tell them Oliver will be one of Lennie’s Kids. You just do what you can and don’t worry, Oliver will do just fine with three legs.”  

“I know,” he went on, “I’ve had three-legged cats and I have at home right now one with only one eye.”  

I laughed, “I guess Oliver is in the right place.”

This morning at Landrum Vet, Dr. Parker will be doing the amputation. Oliver let me examine the wound and stroke his cheek. 

“A sweet boy,” I said to Dr. Parker.  

“We decided to take the leg because it would be much more intrusive to try to mend the problem and he’d certainly have problems down the road,” the doctor said.  

“I know,” I said. “I’ve had such cases before.”

When I left I looked up to the sky. 

“Thank you, Lord, for all the angels in my life and for answering my prayers even before I ask.”

Thanks for listening.

Oliver, the two-year-old tabby, is now recovering after surgery.