…or when one of the most terrified cats I’ve ever known purrs - purrs!! - in a human’s presence.
…or when even our never-one-to-whitewash-the-truth veterinarian concedes that the improbable, the too-wonderful-to-hope-for, the miraculous, may be the true.
The cats force a daily decision: will we risk believing in the almost-unbelievably-wonderful, knowing that our balloons may burst and the parade might get rained out?
Or will we turn away from hope when it tickles us, never believing in the first place?
I doubt it will surprise any of you that all my chips fall in the first pot, every time. I suppose that when hope is disappointed, when the seriously-loving couple doesn’t adopt the quirky cat, and the terrified cat doesn’t come around, and the too-good-to-be-true medical turnaround doesn’t come true, it’s easier to have never had it in the first place. If you don’t get your hopes up, nobody can yank them down, nohow.
But what is hope for if not for moments like these, for cats like these?
How can I keep my hope from soaring out of my hands like a renegade balloon when it looks like Tiny - Tiny!!! - may be getting adopted?
Or when Cupcake lets me pet her - and purrs?
Or when Grady looked like he was going to have a normal, cancer-free lifespan?
Ah, there’s the rub, right? Hope will, inevitably, sometimes crash down into a broken heart.
But the greater hope, the longer-range hope, the hope that all will be well, that every cat will be cherished and valued for all he’s worth, that each scared soul will learn to trust…that hope, I believe with all my heart, will someday come to fruition. Maybe not on this earth, maybe not where I can see it…but truly, nonetheless.
In the meantime, I’ll let the cats lead my hope skyward every chance they get. I can do nothing less. Better hope deferred than hope rejected, especially when it comes to these creatures of hope.