According to legend, cats have nine (or sometimes seven) lives.

According to legend, cats have nine (or sometimes seven) lives.

To the relief of dogs everywhere, cats have but one life to live.

Although if that legend holds any truth, Hubby’s cat, Roo, used the fourth of his nine lives this past weekend.

Last Friday evening Roo had been outside strutting around and marking his territory lines like male cats do this time of year. Shortly after dark I went outside to find that crazy cat who usually doesn’t stay out after dark. When I called for him he ran to me like normal, but once inside the house I knew something had gone terribly wrong outside.

The fur on his neck was matted and bloody causing me instant panic. I called for my sister and my son, Mason, who were staying at our house, and we spent the next hour chasing the poor cat around the house trying to clean and bandage his neck.

Eventually Roo was exhausted and settled down enough to let us clean up what we could of the wound.

What we could deduce (and later the vet confirmed) is that Roo appeared to have tangled with a much larger, more dominate animal. For the remainder of Easter weekend, while activity buzzed around the house with houseguests and a visiting lap dog, Roo curled up in his bed in a quiet corner and slept.

Our normally chatty, spunky cat had lost his voice and we feared his will to live.

Hubby gathered up his cat on Monday and took him for a visit to the doctor. After a dose of antibiotics and pain killers (for Roo, not Hubby) it turns out Roo is on the mend.

The life Roo has led is sad, really. Most of the veterinarians in the region know him on a first name basis. At his last doctor visit on Monday, we learned what Roo has had to overcome in his short life.

If he were a human he would be an inspirational speaker about making lemonade out of the lemons life throws at you.

As an early spring kitten in 2012, Roo was brought back to life after suffering life-threatening starvation and frostbite. He was on the mend when he had what was described as a “playful scuffle” with a dog that resulted in the loss of his left front leg.

The next part is where Hubby comes into the picture. We moved to a new house in November and Roo began showing up at our door. Hubby, a self-proclaimed dog-lover, felt pity for the three-legged cat and began letting him in the house. It didn’t take long before Roo had carved out a spot in Hubby’s “dog’s only” heart.

Shortly thereafter we noticed Roo would be overcome with coughing and wheezing fits. A trip to the vet revealed this was not a new problem for Roo. He had been battling a respiratory infection for nearly six months. He was given 10 days of antibiotics and the “lovely cat that sleeps all the time” became a holy terror–running, jumping and climbing like we’ve never seen a three-legged cat do.

All the same we fell in love with our quirky little three-legged Roo.

The ancient Egyptians worshiped cats. I suppose in some ways Hubby and I follow their lead. We get lots of pleasure and affection from Roo, and he’s also taught us some valuable lessons about life.

Here are nine life lessons we’ve learned from Roo:

Lesson 1: Never underestimate the value of a good nap.

Lesson 2: Be appreciative when someone does something nice for you.

Lesson 3: Always look your best.

Lesson 4: Happiness is living in love, grace and gratitude.

Lesson 5: Be playful.

Lesson 6: Explore your world.

Lesson 7: Good things come to those who are patient.

Lesson 8: Be flexible and learn to stretch.

Lesson 9: Cuddle often