dumped far from their home.
The more time went by, the less likely it seemed she would ever be
found or find her way home. Posters and promises of a reward had produced
no clues. It was hard to hold on to hope.
Some mornings and evening as I prayed I felt a little foolish praying
for the safe return of a cat. Along with my prayers for Buddha, I prayed
for peace and comfort for a family whose toddler daughter had recently
died. She would not be returning to them in this lifetime.
I prayed for peace and comfort for the parents of Chandra Levy, now
missing from her Washington D.C. home for nearly seven months. I prayed
for her safe return.
I prayed for the safety of a handful of aid workers trapped in
Afghanistan, although it was hard not to fear they were long since dead.
In the company of such prayers, my prayers for a sweet, small gray cat
sometimes made me blush. But I couldn't keep from praying.
I would wake sometimes in the middle of the night. I would look at the
clock and I would know that my sister was out in the biting air of
Michigan's fall, watching, waiting, probably with cat treats in her hand.
I would think then of the sleeplessness of Levy's parents and of the
families of eight foreign aid workers trapped inside Afghanistan as it
was pummeled by our war on terrorism.
Buddha, Chandra and eight foreign aid workers -- it was hard to hold
on to hope for them. But it was impossible not to pray.
On Thursday came the news. The aid workers had been released during an
anti-Taliban uprising in Ghazni. They were rescued by US Special Forces
and airlifted to Pakistan. I could hardly believe what I heard and saw.
Next came the phone call. Someone had found Buddha. My sister was on
her way to get her. I felt like I'd hit the prayer lotto.
Buddha had found a family -- or they had found her -- out in the rural
countryside, quite a distance from my sister's suburban Saline home. They
had taken her in, fed her and read the tag on her collar, which had
entangled one of her legs.
How she got there is anyone's guess. She wasn't in good shape. She was
thin, filthy and her leg was rubbed raw and infected. "If only cats could
talk," lamented my sister's son, Remy.
Buddha would have a story to tell. Her discovery and return was a
dream come true, as far-fetched as the deliverance of eight foreign aid
workers from war-torn Afghanistan.
* MICHELE MARR is a freelance writer and graphic designer from
Huntington Beach. She has been interested in religion and ethics for as
long as she can remember. She can be reached at o7