A semicolon is a small bit of punctuation that separates two related ideas.
It’s a clause.
A semicolon says, “Wait! This is not the end; there is more to come.”
The news today tells us that some people are tattooing semicolons on their wrists to symbolize that there is more to their life story. They are people who have fought with death or trauma or attempts at suicide, but they have won the battle. Even though they walked through a very dark valley, and their world and situation seemed hopeless, they made it through. People with semicolon tattoos are survivors with a backstory.
And they chose hope.
So, I'd like to introduce my friend. I like to call him Semicolon Cat. He has a backstory.
Someone didn’t want him when he was a baby. He was thrown away. Abandoned in the darkness of a Minnesota winter. He was unloved and left to die.
Semicolon Cat appeared on the edge of a woods where my friend lives. He was tiny, hungry, and matted. Just a kitten, he had battle scars from facing a mean world on his own. One ear was wounded; probably frozen in the winter winds. It bent over, cartilage broken, and just stayed that way, folded in half. His tail was bent, too. It dangled and dragged along as he walked, hanging by a thread. His abdomen was caked in matted blood.
He stayed on the periphery of the woods, watching my friend’s cat daintily lap up her cream on the sunny porch in the mornings. She slept in an igloo dog house with a heated floor pad, dining twice a day. She was petted and fluffy and beloved. He stayed on the edge of the yard, watching. Suffering. Afraid. Wounded.
The family asked around, but no one admitted to losing a little ragged calico cat. Not a cat whose half a tail just fell off. The family put out a little extra cat food at night, and left a warm quilt out on the porch.
The kitten stayed.
The female cat wouldn’t let him in her house. “It’s too cold for him!” the children said. “The little kitty needs a place to sleep!” They left him treats, and my friends cut a hole in their garage door, just the size for a stray feral cat. He curled up in the warm garage, and began to heal. Days and weeks and months passed. Spring came, and Semicolon Cat fattened up on the love of the children, on the pets and caresses and the joy of strings tied to sticks that he chased around the yard.
He chose this family, and they all love him, just the way he is. He came out of the woods and right into their hearts, to stay. He likes to keep close by, following them around, purring and marking their legs with his scent of ownership. He is a good hunter, and leaves his people special gifts of dead frogs and moles. He lounges around, right at their front door, rolling over to expose his belly for pets, because he trusts them so implicitly. He is the most affectionate and loving cat I have ever met. He is beloved.
Someday if you find yourself in a dark place, feeling unloved and alone, please remember Semicolon Cat.
Make it through for the Love and Joy that is waiting for you, on the other side of the woods.
Because someday, today will only be your backstory… and you can fill the rest of your story with love.