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   My job, my home, my savings and sixty pounds. My boss couldn’t hold my job, the bank couldn’t hold my home without payments and the pharmacy sucked up my savings with a giggle. My insurance company paid a lot, not nearly enough, and was so happy I survived they dropped me.
   I was assured the weight would return, with my hair, and encouraged to eat lots of protein. I was also warned that the cancer could return at any time. The time between my doctor’s appointments would gradually decrease. The threat of a return was my little gift.
   Underweight and destitute but, by golly, alive.
   An aunt stepped in and gave me a place to live. She owned a property here in town, with three rental houses on one lot. She installed me in one and charged me with keeping the others rented, the property clean and in good repair.
   Included in my duties was the care and feeding of two cats, Cletus and Dave, left behind by a previous tenant. My aunt was a dog person. Didn’t like cats.
   She didn’t like animal abuse more.
   When the abused and abandoned animals were discovered, she had them vet checked, neutered, shot, chipped, bathed and fed.
   Once deemed healthy they moved into the house with me and under my care.
   I’m okay with them. It took days for them to come out from under the bed, even longer for them to stay in a room with me but since I was also the giver of cat food, they gradually accepted me.
   Now they sleep on the bed with me, Cletus curled behind my knees, Dave snuggled against my feet.
   They are not allowed outside so they depend on me for food, water and a clean cat box.
   In turn, I’ve become attached to both of them. It’s comforting to curl up with them, to drift to sleep to the sound of their purring.
   And there you have it.
   Neighborhood cat lady? Yes.
   Survivor? Yes.
   Crazy? No.
   A little off the mark, but you can’t prove it.