Some time afterward, my husband and I visited local humane societies. But going to the animal shelter on the weekends was too crowded with pet-seekers. So, I started to search online instead. In a short period of time, I found an eight-month old, amber-eyed stray named Polo. I felt a connection to him. Mid-week, I drove to the shelter. When I called his name, a little grey-striped paw pushed through the slats of a cage. My heart melted the moment we were face to face. That day, I signed the adoption papers and renamed him Ozzie.
In many ways, Ozzie is Ollie reincarnated. Though he may not look like Ollie, he acts like him. Ozzie rests on the bed when I nap, lounges in front of the computer as I work, and sits near me in the arm chair when I read—just as Ollie had once done. He understands the same words that Ollie had once known: "sit," "stay," and "come here" and "let's go up" and "let's go down" whenever I call him from the stairs.
I will always miss Ollie, but his passing led us to meeting and adopting Ozzie.
I sit at a table with the kitchen door open and Ozzie at my feet. This is where I write.
Ozzie's rumbled purring
a cardinal singing "cheer, cheer, cheer"
Ozzie's fuzzy furry belly
the smooth, slick wooden table
rough woven place mats
chicken cooking in olive oil
clean fresh spring air
a sweet Honey crisp apple
iced tea, slightly sweetened
shadows of tree branches on the deck
a breeze tickling the lime-green leaves of a locust tree
a wisp of a cloud floating across a pale blue sky
Kentucky bluegrass, a deep emerald green
Ozzie stretched out, eyes closed, dreaming