I have packed many milestones into the past month – moving into my new home, one year anniversary of arriving in Ecuador, receiving my visa and cedula, and my one year blog anniversary – just to mention a few. So this one is pretty minor in comparison to all of those. In fact, unless you are a “Rainman” with numbers, you wouldn’t even know about it. But each time I publish a blog post, WordPress then flashes me a notice that says, “Congratulations – you have just published your ___ th blog post.” So this one will be number (drum roll) 100! Who knew I could have so much to say? (OK, I can hear all my friends and family saying, “Are you kidding me?! WE DID!” I do confess I was given the “gift of gab” from a very young age. Even now, I can hear my dad saying to my mom, “Will she ever shut up?!”)
Anyway (as usual) I digress… For this blog milestone, I decided to show you a few more pictures of Charcoal settling into her new home. It has continued to amaze me how totally comfortable she is here – even as much or more than our former home in Dallas. Unlike any place since we’ve left there, she has constant contentment written all over her face! When she and her momma wandered into our backyard on the evening of July 4th, 2007, little did I know what an important place that little five week old kitten would hold in my life! I knew our oldest cat, Ashes, would not be with us much longer (and she in fact died the following March). At first Charcoal and her momma (Cinder) lived outside and we actually tried to find another home for them. But after Cinder disappeared in October and I went out one chilly morning in November and found Charcoal huddled in her little house, too cold to even come out to eat, I knew we had to make the “transition.” As expected, Ashes was not happy about another member of the family and the three lived a life of tolerance and boundaries for their next few months together (and even after Ashes was gone, Embers and Charcoal mainly just “co-existed”). But after the very hard loss of our 15 1/2 year old “first born,” I dubbed Charcoal my “comfort in advance.” Little did I know the significance of that title! Although I loved both Ashes and Embers deeply, Charcoal quickly became “my cat.” Because I was no longer working outside the home when she came along, we spent much of her young life together. When I went though the difficult times I mentioned in my prior post, she was a comfort and companion then. But ultimately God knew I have (because He gave it to me) a deep heart for and connection with animals and He knew how much I would need her daily comfort and companionship during this part of my journey.
So here are a few more pictures of my sweet traveling companion. She has been such a trooper and has patiently endured the total upheaval of her world. Each animal truly has their own personality and God gave her the perfect temperament to accompany my life at this time – I am so grateful for her!