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The white cat, Boots, drifted around the store, a skinny wraith of a senior with an slightly bulging ribcage and a sad countenance.  He seemed distant but when you knelt and offered your hand, he radiated kindness.  I knew right away he was a special cat.   I asked the owner, would she mind if I read Boots free of charge?  He interests me, I said.

Now, Boots had been diagnosed with lung cancer; it was intractable and he’d been given just months to live, but by the time we met the months had stretched into two or three years.  He was 17 at the time of the reading.

Due to this or that circumstance I mailed the reading instead of delivering it in person, and some time passed before I entered the store again.  This time I found the store owner chatting with a customer, and they were talking about Boots.  “Is he sick?”  the customer asked.  Oh no!  Surely he was finally failing.

”   .   .   .  lung cancer,”  I couldn’t quite hear, but I caught snippets, ”  .   .   .   gained weight.  .  .  ”  Gained weight? Did I hear right?  I approached the counter.  “Is Boots better?”  I asked.  How could that be?

“Yes,”  the owner was saying.  She waved her hand at me.  “I think it’s because Katie did a reading .   .   .   ”

I was dumbfounded.   Cancer, that should have killed this cat years ago.  I couldn’t think what to ask, but finally I managed to inquire if he was cheerful. Oh, brother.  I could have wondered if his bloodwork had improved, did he have more energy, anything.  And yet, hmm.  A cheerful cat is a cat that feels better, isn’t it, and there was more:  “he sleeps with me now, that’s new,”  she reported.

I asked to see him.  The owner directed me to the office, to one of those big carpet trees.   He looked me over, I offered my hand.  He took a sniff or two and then leaned into me and began to purr.

He didn’t look like the same cat.  He was much, much brighter.   His fur looked better, his eyes were clear and peaceful and he looked younger.   When I turned to go, he reached out and clutched at my hand with his paw.

“He grabbed you?” she asked?  “Oh, he likes to be petted, but he doesn’t do that,” she told me.   We smiled at each other.   It made my whole month.

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