|A Christmas Miracle|
|Part 4: Miracles of Love|
Christmas Day broke bright and sunny. Snow crystals glistened in the brilliant sun in Des Moines, the golden orb warmed the Christmas cactus in Tucson, as well as the hearts of celebrants all over the globe.
Sandy sat in his kitchen, sipping at a cup of cocoa and reading the news from cities all over the world, through the wonders of his new computer.
A headline caught his eye:
"SHILOH RETIREMENT CENTER
"Attendants were puzzled and residents were charmed by the cats that somehow made their way during the night into bedrooms of the residents. 'We've heard how pets can sometime raise endorphins of patients, but we've never seen it in action before," said one attendant, who asked to remain anonymous.
'These people are all acting twenty years younger, this morning. I don't know who brought the cats, but they also left cookies, cider and cat food. I guess it's that time of year for Good Samaritans' When asked if the retirement center would pay for spaying and neutering the feckless felines, a representative replied, 'Of course. A dozen cats are plenty. We can always get more at the nearest shelter.'"
SHELTERS CITE ADOPTION FRENZY
The feature article described the long lines of people queuing up to adopt dogs and cats at shelters all over the world. "This is an unbelievable phenomenum," said one shelter official. "If this keeps up, our shelter will be completely empty by tonight, for the first time since it opened, 58 years ago. And the strangest thing is--every single adoptive family has made arrangements for spaying or neutering their new pet.'
A warm glow spread through Sandy's chest. It seemed that a whole chain of miracles was working this on this special Christmas day. As he smiled and scrolled and clicked, he suddenly started, and quickly clicked the "back" button. He read the headline with misting eyes and a lump in his throat.
SERENDIPITOUS GIFT AIDS ANIMALS
"Just when animal shelters all over the world are reporting record adoptions, an anonymous benefactor steps forward to help put them out of business permanently.
'We are grateful that so many people are adopting dogs and cats, puppies and kittens, but we know that if they don't spay and neuter their pets, we'll soon be filled to overflowing again,' said one shelter official. 'There seems to be a whole new trend starting. Virtually everyone who has adopted today, has announced their intentions to spay and neuter their new pet, but we know many can't afford it. But now, it looks like there's even a solution for that problem. Who'd have expected someone to be so generous in the cause of Spay & Neuter?'
He was referring, of course, to the anonymous benefactor who has donated $60 MILLION toward the spaying and neutering of all household pets. The money will be managed by a trust, and will be divided among shelters, humane societies and rescue agencies for their work. An additional $10 MILLION is set aside toward education for pet owners, on subjects like spaying/neutering, and declawing, which we're told is undesirable. Whoever this benefactor is, he or she will soon have the gratitude of thousands of volunteers for the animals."
Sandy's grin almost split his face, as he typed in a secret code on his computer. The monitor shimmered, then zoomed in on a kitchen scene. There sat Amos Grumble at the table, feeding a very contented Mr. Peterson bits of liver patè from a can. Sandy saw Grumble's lips move, and turned up the speaker volume.
"When you've had enough patè, we're going to the shelter and see if they have enough food for the holiday. Then we'll pay a visit to my worthless bankers and see if they have those trust funds set up correctly. Then, my friend, you and I are going to get to know each other."
Sandy turned off his computer and gave a hugh sigh of contentment. Another Christmas. Another year. He had seen his shares of miracles over the centuries, but this had been the best year yet.
Story ©Copyright 1999-2001 Franny Syufy.