Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Henry, the Hero


John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this:  to lay down one's life for one's friend.

Henry, a cat with a gentle soul and loving disposition, has been a part of granddaughter, Virginia Rose's, life since she was just a toddler.  To her, he's not just a pet, he's family.  And although her mom and dad have always known Henry is a special cat, they discover recently, not in a way they would wish, just how special he is.



John, my son-in-law, routinely takes Virginia and her sisters, Savannah and Alexandra, to a playground at their apartment complex.  Henry, as is his custom, follows faithfully after them, though John doesn't notice it at the time on this particular day.  When they reach the gate, there are no other children playing there, but John sees a young man sitting on a bench some distance away.  He has his pit bull with him.

Apprehensive about this unexpected presence, John hails the man.  "Hey, there!  Is your dog friendly?  I've brought my girls here to play."

The man looks up from his phone, where he has been busy texting.  "Yeah, he's friendly.  Loves kids.  It's fine to bring them in."

John is still unsure of the situation, but Virginia's pleading has him throwing caution to the wind.  He opens the gate, holding Savannah in one arm and Alexandra in the other, as Virginia darts through, making a beeline for the swing set.

That's the only provocation this dog needs.  He flies toward Virginia, barking furiously.  In a flash, he's right on her, snapping at the back of her neck.  Terrified, Virginia screams and starts to run toward her father.  "Don't run, baby, don't run!"  John cries out in a panic as he hurries toward her as fast as he can.  "Cover your neck with your hands!"

Then it happens!  An orange and white bullet leaps out of nowhere, sinking his claws firmly into the dog's back, and hissing with rage.  Henry!  The dog yelps in pain, trying desperately to unseat his unwelcome passenger.  The distraction allows John to reach Virginia, and get her to safety along with her two sisters.  Once outside the playground's confines, John turns around, expecting the worst.  After all, Henry has tackled a predator ten times his size!

He looks just in time to see the dog finally dislodge Henry from his back, but not before the cat inflicts a final blow.  As he's sailing off the dog's back, Henry manages to dig his claws into the dog's face, nearly gouging out his right eye, before he lands on all fours and dashes toward John and the girls.

At this point, the negligent owner runs over to finally take control of his animal, but not before John gives him a scathing earful.  Not that I approve of such language, nor am I thrilled Virginia is standing there to hear it, but I can certainly understand a father's fury and frustration about what has just transpired.

Sadly, the owner doesn't offer an apology.  He simply hooks on the leash and leads the wounded dog away as quickly as he can, while John hastily ushers the girls back to their apartment.

"Where's Henry, Daddy?"  Virginia asks in alarm.  "Where did he go?  Did that mean dog hurt him?"

"I hope not," John says.  "Henry probably ran all the way to the apartment and is there waiting for us."

Tears well up in Virginia's eyes.  "That dog was so huge.  He could have killed Henry."

"And I think Henry knew that, baby, but he risked his life anyway to save you.  He loves you that much."

"And I love him, Daddy.  Henry is my hero!"

"Mine, too, Virginia, mine, too."



Just so none of you worry, Henry came through this ordeal with only a few nicks.  He didn't even have to go to the vet!  He is both our angel and our hero!

34 comments:

  1. Go, Henry, go! Good kitty!

    Bad, bad doggie ...

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  2. I would have called the police about the dog. And, probably employed the same vernacular...

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    1. I left that part out, Roy. John did call the cops, but they couldn't find the guy. Thanks for stopping by!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Cool story. I am not a cat lover but even I am impressed. And that guy and his dog ought to be reported.

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    1. John did call the police, Bill, but by the time they arrived, he'd disappeared, of course.
      Yes, Henry certainly is one impressive feline!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. One more thing: where was that guy when his dog was snapping at her neck? Texting? I'd take the phone and throw it.

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    1. You got it, Bill! He WAS texting, and I'm sure if John could have snatched that phone away, he would have.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. What a precious story about a precious cat! Found you through Deb's blog "Counting My Blessings." Happy to connect!

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    1. I'm so happy you connected with me through Deb's blog, Lauren! I will certainly pay you a visit soon.
      Glad you liked the story! Yes, Henry is on precious cat, indeed, for saving our precious Virginia.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Oh my goodness! What a story...that should be on TV! I am SO thankful your girls were okay. That dog owner should be charged with negligence or something. That is outrageous! But wow! Henry is certainly a hero! Wish someone could have captured that on video, but I know things happened too fast . Just so glad the girls are safe, and Henry is too!

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    1. Yes, Pam, I think had someone been able to catch this on video, it would have gone viral in no time. Poor John literally had his hands, and his heart, full at the time.
      The police were contacted after the incident, but never could locate the man and his renegade dog. I suspect, though, that this could happen again; maybe, he'll be caught then and charged with negligence.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Oh Martha! What a story with an amazingly sweet ending. Henry the cat is clearly special and a hero for sure. I'm happy all are safe though. It's sad that dog owners can be so negligent. It's nice to see a cat protecting loved ones.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, Kim, isn't Henry simply remarkable? The funny thing is, he is normally a very laid-back kitty, friendly toward everyone in the apartment complex, and even likes meeting dogs out walking (responsibly) with their owners. This was a shocking departure from his casual nature, but it sure couldn't have come at a better time! My hero!
      Love and blessings!

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  8. I love this story, Martha. So sweet and filled with love and devotion.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this story, Nells! Henry is one brave kitty, isn't he?
      Love and blessings!

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  9. What a story, pit bulls are not a favourite of mine at all and I'd ask anyone not to take their kids near them -very unpredictable, especially with a careless owner. And what bravery by Henry, really heartwarming. It must have been shocking for everyone involved and hope they are all fine and have put it past them.

    Greetings!

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    1. Yes, thank goodness, that everyone is okay after his harrowing incident. Pit bulls can, unfortunately, be unpredictable; and this would have probably had a horrible ending had Henry not come to the rescue.
      Thanks so much for stopping be for the first time!
      Love and blessings!

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    2. Oh yes, first timer and you are welcome! Thanks for having me, and for popping over to mine too. Best wishes!

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    3. I've subscribed! Looking forward to reading your posts in the future, new friend!

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  10. Oh man, that's so scary! Glad it turned out well and Henry was there to save the day. Good reminder that our salvation can often catch us by surprise. Blessings to you, Martha!

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    1. Yes, Jason, scary indeed! But all's well that end's well, right?
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Good grief, Martha--your family has been through enough lately! How horrible for people to be so careless with their pets. I have a little dog who is very well trained. Even so, I always keep her on a leash around other people. My thinking is that people should not even be subjected to the approach of a friendly dog if they don't want it. And even though my dog has always been great with kids, I am always cautious and have her under control when children are interacting with her.

    Henry is a hero indeed!!!!! So glad he's all right. Animals are just truly amazing. I saw a video once of a similar incident. A big dog attacked a little boy right in the boy's own front yard. The family cat blazed across the yard like a bullet and flew at the dog, distracting it and saving the little boy. We usually think of dogs doing this sort of thing--Cats are the unsung heroes!

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    1. I've seen that video, too, Galen, and was so amazed at that cat's courage and, shall we say, devotion in this child's time of need. That Henry did exactly the same thing in Virginia's situation was a God-send, that's for sure! Yes, we have been through so much as a family lately, but we are all so grateful for God's presence and comfort through it all.
      When I had a dog, I did exactly the same as you do with yours. I was always cautious with her around others, even though she was a gentle soul (except when other dogs were around). Maggie, and our cat, Jordan, got along famously; something which always made my heart glad.
      Love and blessings!

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  12. wow that is a great story. Henry is one brave and protective kitty! amazing

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    1. Oh, yes, Jean! This amazing cat was willing to lay down his life for Virginia's sake, of that, I am sure. He loves her unconditionally, mirroring the way that Jesus loves us. Wow!
      When we stop to think about Paul's words that all creation had groaned until the appearance of our Lord, this certainly gives us reason to pause and consider the love and loyalty He has placed in the hearts of animals.
      Love and blessings!

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  13. WonderCat, SuperCAT Martha!

    I was looking for the spiritual tie in, in your story but you don't even have to go there :) I got the message loud and clear.

    This line said it all: "And I think Henry knew that, baby, but he risked his life anyway to save you. He loves you that much."

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    1. Oh, yes, Vishnu! You nailed it! That is the sentence that ties in with the Scripture quoted at the start.
      Henry is definitely Super Cat and Wonder Cat. Maybe we'll add Angel Cat to that list, too!
      Love and blessings!

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  14. Martha, Oh my goodness! Hooray and praise God for Henry. Boo for the owner of the pit bull. I have had two experiences where a bit bull attacked our little dog and another when I was attacked out jogging. Both of them were frightening! And just two days ago, my daughter's boyfriend's sweet dog was attacked by his roommate's pit bull. The vet bill is over $2,000. It looks as though Jasper (dog attacked) will pull through, but the damage almost took his life.

    I'm so sorry this happened to your beautiful granddaughter, Virginia.
    This is one of those stories for 'Chicken Soup For the Pet Lovers Soul'. I hope you will consider submitting. You are an excellent writer after all :)
    I'm a cat lover, as I have shared with you before. I have two of my own kitties.
    Hugs to your family and lots of pets to Henry the Hero!

    Grace and peace,
    Beckie

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    1. Oh, Beckie, I can't believe you have had to go though a similar experience with a pit bull, as did your daughter's boyfriend! I have friends who swear that pit bulls are gentle if they are treated with love and kindness, but after all this, I'm not so sure whatsoever. I sure hope the boyfriend's roommate offer to pay at least some of that enormous vet expense!
      Thanks for the suggestion about "Chicken Soup;" I never would have thought of that. I'll definitely look into it and revise this to be a bit longer of a story.
      Yes, you have mentioned how much you love cats. I do, too, and would love to have one (ours both died a few years back), but Danny is not keen on pets now that he's looking toward retirement. I completely understand that!
      Love and blessings, and I'll give Henry a hug from you!

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  15. Wow! My goodness, what a story!! So thankful Henry decided to follow that day, and for his bravery, for what could have been a very different situation! It seems like time stands still in moments like that. I'm so thankful that it all ended well, yeah for Mr. Henry!

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    1. Time does stand still, or move in slow motion at best, when crises like this one occur so suddenly, Marilyn, I so agree. That's really what it felt like for John, though in reality, the time was brief. And you know I'm so thankful for heroic Henry, too! I hate to even think what might have happened had he not been there.
      Love and blessings!

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  16. Oh my, thank you for writing that last line - I was so worried! (Sometimes I wonder if something's wrong with me that I always feel tremendous compassion towards cats and dogs and don't always feel the same towards people....)

    But mainly, I am glad that your granddaughter is safe - I got bit by a random stray dog last year and it was an ordeal to track down the vaccine for a tetanus shot (as it turned out, it's practically not available in Kyiv, Ukraine where I live - even though it's a 5 million+ people and the capital of the country)... Thank God I didn't need the rabies shot. That vaccine is even harder to get.

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    1. *granddaughters, not granddaughter :)

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