Taking the Journey of a Lifetime With A One-Eyed and Three-Legged Cat
If you are anything like my guest poster, Kathy, and I, you know animals can teach us lessons about life we could never forget. Their bravery, love, strength, and perseverance remind us that life is for the living!
In this incredibly heartwarming guest post by Kathy Finley, we read the tale of a kitty named Clio and how she came to help her mama heal, be free, and love herself!
This one-eyed and three-legged cat was an angel on assignment. There’s no doubt about it!
It is with great excitement that I introduce Kathy Finley, her story, and her hero, Clio. Thank you Kathy for choosing Cat Care Solutions to share your journey with all of us.
If you too would like to submit a guest post of your own, I’d love to hear from you! Head over to the contact me page and send me your ideas.
Taking the Journey of a Lifetime With A One-Eyed and Three-Legged Cat Named Clio
Several years ago, I took an incredible journey with a cat. No, the journey was not a trip across America or the world. It was a journey through life in which a spunky, one-eyed cat helped me look at myself differently, gave me hope, taught me to live and love again, and helped me discover my own superpower.
For 15 years, I was in an abusive marriage. Although the marriage was tumultuous and my ex-husband verbally and physically abused me, I was still devastated and angry when he left.
Through his abusive behavior, my ex-husband had destroyed every ounce of my self-esteem and self-confidence. I felt I would never be able to trust or love again.
Because we had no children or pets and I had a small family (I was an only child and my father died at an early age), I was extremely lonely after he left.
Although I loved animals, my ex-husband never wanted pets because he claimed to be allergic to cats (although he re-married someone who had several cats) and said dogs were too much trouble.
The feeling of loneliness was not new to me. I had been bullied as a child and remember thinking that no one (except my mother) loved me. As a child, my loneliness disappeared when we adopted a gray and white stray cat.
That cat, whom I named Lisa, became my best friend and helped me make friends. Breaking free from my ex-husband not only meant the end of his abuse, but it meant that I could now enjoy the friendship of a pet. Although I loved both dogs and cats, I preferred cats because I traveled for my job.
Literally, a few hours before I decided to go to the local animal shelter to adopt a cat, my staff surprised me with an unusual birthday gift — a gray and white kitten (who looked a lot like my cat from childhood).
Now, instead of living with an abuser, I had someone who loved me unconditionally. I named this little runt-of-the-litter kitten Clio.
Clio was so small she fit into the palm of my hand (with room enough for another kitten), but her attitude and spunkiness filled a room. She turned out to be the best gift ever because no longer did I feel lonely.
Clio not only provided me unconditional love but helped me realize my self-worth. Nothing was wrong with me being me! Moreover, she and the stray cat I adopted a year later (Dickens) allowed me to trust and love again.
Clio would act silly at times. She would run around the house chasing glitter balls and occasionally run into a wall or a door. She would walk along the footboard of my bed and accidentally fall off and look at me as if to say, “I meant to do that.”
Once she tied herself to the bedpost while playing with a ball of yarn. She would chase a fly through the house for hours on end, knock off everything on the kitchen counter, and yet still not catch the fly but continue her quest until the wee hours of the morning.
In short, she provided me with endless hours of entertainment. And when I did something silly or was a bit clumsy, I realized that was okay and there was no need to beat myself up over it, and there was no one who was going to scream at me for those actions.
Clio and Dickens restored my self-esteem and self-confidence. They brought joy to my life, and they taught me that I could trust and love again.
After my abusive marriage and divorce, I was single for several years before dating again. Clio “screened” my dates. If my dates would not fawn over Clio and Dickens, were allergic to cats, or just did not like cats, they were a “one date wonder.”
Until I had Clio and Dickens, I was never able to pick up on controlling behavior, but now suddenly I could. When Clio took a liking my boyfriend Jeff, I knew that he was the right person for me (and he is now my husband).
While Clio’s companionship and unconditional love after my abusive marriage and divorce played an important role in my recovery, she continued to provide inspiration and hope throughout her life.
Clio survived two bouts with cancer (eye cancer and proliferate fibrosarcoma in her back leg) that left her with one eye and three legs.
However, that never dampened her spirit or her love for me. Looks did not affect her attitude nor did the disability of having three legs. She developed muscles in her tail to help with balance and eventually was able to outrun me.
When my mother became extremely ill and I had to place her in a nursing home, regular visits from Clio helped brighten her day. When I had a cancer scare, she gave me hope that if indeed the diagnosis were cancer, I could beat it.
I am deeply indebted to Clio for the “trip of a lifetime” we embarked upon together. Without her I would never have regained by self-esteem and self-confidence.
Through my travels with Clio, I discovered that animals can be your superpower, and there is nothing like taking that journey with your superhero.Need a pick me up story to brighten your day? You don't want to miss this heartwarming story of a one-eyed and three-legged cat who helped heal her Mama! #cats #catlovers #catpeople #uplifting #inspirational Click To Tweet
About Today’s Author
Kathy M. Finley has been a lifelong animal lover and feels a special bond to cats. She grew up in poverty, was bullied as a child, and endured an abusive marriage followed by a bitter divorce. She has worked in the nonprofit sector all of her professional life and ran several national nonprofit organizations, but has entered into a new phase of her life where she hopes she can combine her love for storytelling and writing to show how animals can provide unconditional love, acceptance, and insight into one’s self. She is currently working on a book on how her one-eyed, three-legged cat helped her face many of life’s challenges. For more information, visit her website at kathyfinley.com.
Did this story touch your heart?
Kathy and I would love to hear from you in the comments below! I believe we all need a great pick-me-up story at least once a day, especially nowadays. What do y’all think?
And please, if you enjoyed reading the story of Kathy and Clio, will you share this post with your friends, family, and social media family? We thank you!
What a lovely journey from darkness to light because of this precious baby. I do believe they teach us more than we know. We just need to pay attention.
Have a fabulous day and week. ♥
Wasn’t this a joy to read? I love how Kathy wrote with such love and emotion. It’s as if we were experiencing it with her. 🙂 And I couldn’t agree with you more about the lessons they teach us! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Sandee! It’s always wonderful to hear from you!
Wishing you a fantastic week ahead ♥️
So glad you liked my post about Clio. She was a remarkable cat. And yes, we learn so much from our precious cats (and dogs).
Aww what a sweetie little Clio is. She’s lucky to have you and a home of love. It’s so painfully to sad to think the ‘runts of the litter’ or the ‘imperfect’ animals get left behind. You did a wonderful thing. She sounds like such a character with that spunkiness and silliness, I bet she would have got on well with my cat Virgil.
Sounds like he came into your life at just the right time. I’m so sorry for what you had to go through with your abusive husband, not to mention the loss in your life from early on. Furbabies are far more than pets. It’s wonderful to hear how Clio gave you not just companionship but comfort and hope, too. This is such a sweet, lovely post. It’s brought tears to my eyes!! Thank you for sharing your story with us, Kathy, and introducing us to Clio.
Isn’t Clio absolutely adorable? I agree with you, Caz! And I definitely nod my head in agreement that Clio was blessed to have had such a home of love with Kathy!
I smiled when you said, “I bet she would have got on well with my cat Virgil.” I’m betting you’re right! 🙂 Virgil is so adorable and laid back. You can’t help but love that guy, right?
Furbabies are definitely more than pets, you’re right. It’s one of the reasons I hate to use that terminology to describe them. They really do become family.
Thank you Caz for your incredibly kind words for Kathy and I. I’m glad this story touched your heart, and I know Kathy feels the same! Thank you for sharing it on social media too! ♥
Thanks for your nice comments about Clio. Clio is no longer with me (physically), and probably is with sweet Virgil in cat heaven. However, she so influenced my life that I felt it was important to share her story so others realize how wonderful cats are and how they are such positive influences on our lives. I can’t imagine having gone through what I did without her. Now, I have several more cats who I’m learning lessons from! I hope that my book will be published because there really is a happy ending to the story and one that I believe is full of hope that we will set our precious pets again one day.
What a heart-tugging post and one that I can definitely relate to. And what a wonderful surprise from your staff! It sounds like Clio came into your life at just the right time and was an amazing friend!
It’s so interesting how much cats can actually teach us. And the way they touch our hearts is like nothing else in this world. Great guest post!!
Wasn’t this such a precious story, Michelle? I agree with you – it is very relatable, isn’t it? Even though we may not go through identical situations in our lives, we often learn many of the same lessons in different ways.
You’re absolutely right about how they teach us far more than we realize and grab our hearts in ways we never dreamed possible. They really do become family. Thank you so much, my friend, for your heartfelt words of encouragement for both Kathy & I! ♥
Thank you for liking my post. And yes, cats are wonderful teachers and Clio was definitely one of the best.