SNIFF NOTES: Someting is missing


She has a nice house. A reliable car. A steady job. She knows she’s got a great life. Yet, still. She feels as though something is missing.

She watches Dr. Phil and checks out the dating websites, but somehow, in her heart, she knows that isn’t it.

It’s something else.

It bugs her sometimes at night when she’s trying to sleep. She watches out the window as the moon passes by, clocking the hours she’s not at rest, and she feels somehow incomplete. It’s an intangible thing and it drives her crazy.

She’s always been told she’s too analytical. She has trouble shutting her mind off enough to get a good night’s sleep. She dreams, sometimes vividly, of odd situations and happenings.

Despite all the thinking and tossing and turning, she still feels it.

Something is missing.

She’s driving home a few weeks later and is detoured off her usual path. She’s irritated. Why should road construction mean a detour? She wanted to get home in time to see her favorite show.

She blinks a little as she comes upon the building. She has seen signs for it in her travels, but has never passed by before. It’s the animal shelter.

If asked, she won’t be able to answer what it is that makes her turn in. Animals? Really? Sure, she’d had pets growing up and she loved them a lot, but when she graduated from high school, she’d been so focused on making something of herself, she had no time to even consider a pet.

She pulls into a parking space and sees him in the window. A black-and-white cat with the most shrewd, green-eyed expression she’d ever witnessed on another being. She feels an odd kinship with the animal, as though they both have the ability to think alike and analyze all options. She knows it’s insane, but she swears they make eye contact as she puts her car in park and enters the building.

She tells the people she meets that she’d like to see the cat in the window. She’s told he’s a boy and relatively young and hasn’t been at the shelter long.

When he’s brought into the bonding room, she shivers. It’s not from cold.

He stretches his front paws toward her feet and never takes his eyes off hers. He ignores the toys in the room for the comfort of her lap and the purring begins immediately.

He’s soft and sweet and it only takes ten minutes to know he’s hers. Innately. Naturally. Undeniably.

She’s approved to adopt him that night and promptly flips out because she has nothing – literally nothing – in her home for a cat. The people at the shelter help calm her down and suggest where she can go and what she needs to buy.

She returns an hour later and he’s ready to come home with her.

She’s been told there are no accidents in life and that everything happens for a reason. She wonders about that detour on this seemingly random Tuesday and what it was that made her stop at the animal shelter. 

She dozes off that night with a white paw against her cheek and purring in her ear. The moon passes by over their heads, but she doesn’t see it because for the first time in a long time, she falls asleep quickly and doesn’t dream.

The next morning she’s awakened with a small meow and a feeling of something clicking into place and she thinks she just may have found the missing piece of her life at the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter.

The question is, can you?

Jennifer Vanderau is the Publications and Promotions Consultant for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter and can be reached at [email protected] The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at 263-5791 or visit the website CVAS also operates a thrift store in Chambersburg. Help support the animals at the shelter by donating to or shopping at the store.

Are you enjoying local news?

First Month 99¢