A story of love, survival, three legs and thankfulness.

On Oct. 9, 2017 a cat was brought to York Adopt a Pet. A lady found him on a country road south of York. He had been struck by a car and his bone was exposed through his shoulder. There was a massive infection and it was either euthanize or amputate.

He had struggled to live and I knew we had to give him a chance at life. So following the surgery, he came to my house to recuperate, and lived here until Feb. 22, 2018 when Theresa (Lee) Christensen came to my house and adopted little Cedar.

There is such a thing as love at first sight. In Theresa’s words let her tell you the story of Cedar.

“I saw him on York Adopt a Pet’s website and I had an instant connection to him. When I read he was missing a front leg, for some reason I knew I had to have him. I started sharing Cedar’s adoption to friends on Facebook and he became a celebrity as people across the country shared around the word. They all offered support and advice. When he finally decided I meant no harm, he was my constant companion. He’s smart, he knew what I was going to do before I even knew. He slept with us and was our constant companion.

“Then the fateful day, Oct. 25 -- while holding the door open, a gust of leaves blew up and Cedar bolted out the door and around the house never to be seen again. It happened so fast. We walked for several hours calling his name, driving around the neighborhood. We put the lost information on Facebook and it was shared over 50 times. Lee and I printed 250 fliers with Cedar’s picture and our contact information, we went door to door knocking and leaving fliers. Heat, cold, sun, rain, snow – it didn’t matter. We would go out at 5:30 in the morning before work and sometimes until 9 p.m., at night, leaving fliers in doors….but still nothing. We put out his litter box, box, his toys and we set traps on the advice of York Adopt a Pet. LaMoine said ‘he won’t go far, he will stay in the neighborhood.’ But I couldn’t imagine he would be close and not come home. She kept saying he was probably right under our noses but I started to wonder.

“On Sunday, Nov. 18, the snow had fallen and with my mind on Cedar, for the first time I was praying maybe someone had him and had given him a good home. I was beginning to accept that maybe he had been taken in and even if I would never see him again, maybe he was warm and happy.

“Then…I received a call from Carol Pfenning who lives in our neighborhood. I had met Carol earlier while she was walking her dog and we were handing out lost flyers. She said she went out to scoop the snow from her driveway and had seen sets of cat prints in the snow in her drive way. My heart leapt, could it be? We walked over and there in the snow was a set of three paw prints. I sent the picture of the paw prints to my brother who knows something about animal prints and he said, ‘Yep, that’s definitely a three-legged cat!’ I called LaMoine, borrowed her trap and set it in the back of Carol’s yard.

“We were only home about two hours when Carol called. She said there was a cat in the trap and it was howling like crazy! I jumped out of bed and I told Lee, ‘It has to be Cedar because she thinks it only has three legs, but it’s meowing. Cedar has never once meowed since he has lived with us. I’m so confused!’”

“In the meantime Carol got her flashlight and shinned it in the trap. There sat a tabby cat with three legs. It truly was Cedar, indignant, skinny as a rail, a cut on his chin and starving. With tears of joy running down my face we all hugged and Cedar came home with us.

“Looking back I realize the saying, “it takes a village,” definitely comes to mind when I think about finding Cedar. First, there were the Facebook shares by friends and total strangers (even a friend from high school who works for UPS who had his fellow drivers looking for him). Then a neighbor with sharp eyes who took the time to notice three little paw prints in the snow and remembering a missing three-legged cat. My husband who has been so patient and amazing because he knows how much I love and adore Cedar. Unless you love animals, you can’t explain the healing power they have. I recently saw a post on Facebook with a picture of a little kitten leaning against someone’s shoe in the pouring rain. It has a quote by John Bunyan that says, ‘You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never replay you.’ I think I can say that about a lot of people today.

“Thank you Facebook family, friends, neighbors, York Adopt a Pet and Carol Pfenning. Thank you God for bringing the snow and the three-legged tracks that led back to my heart.”

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