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Fate, in the form of a lost cat, followed me home

 Fate, in the form of a lost cat, followed me home
(Daniel Zalkus / For The Times)

A year after a devastating breakup, I decided to make a radical change and packed up and relocated to a place where no one knew me.

I moved to Pacific Palisades, two miles up a mountain where the quiet was deafening and I could start over. I adopted a cat and was living a life of quiet contentment. Quite different from my past life, but somehow I found comfort in it.

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I dated a little but never seemed to connect. I was happy in my work as a hypnotherapist/EFT practitioner and was somehow resolved in thinking that it would be me and the cat, together forever.

One afternoon around dusk, as I was clearing out the mental cobwebs with a walk, I became aware of a little kitty following right at my heels. She tracked me all the way home and then just sat outside my front door. After about an hour, I managed to coax her in.

She was a little scrawny, sad and scared. I noticed she had an ID tag burrowed under her somewhat matted fur. Her name was Lily. I just knew she was lost.

I called the number on her ID tag. The male voice on the other end of the phone was frantic with worry over his missing kitty. They lived several miles away, also in Pacific Palisades, and because of all the predatory wildlife around he was very concerned that she had not survived the two days she had been missing from home. He was up in Santa Barbara when I reached him, so he arranged to come over the following morning to retrieve her.

Meanwhile, my cat, Martini, had come downstairs and immediately knew that this little girl was no threat but was in need of some care. The two of them did a little sniffing and then settled in a bit together. I proceeded to fix a grand feast for the two of them. Lily and Martini were just enthralled with each other. After dinner, they slept peacefully together in front of the fire.

Early the next morning, while the two new best friends were napping in the sun, Lily's "dad" came over to take her home.

Thank goodness I wasn't still in my jammies with bed hair and questionable morning breath.

When I opened the door I actually heard a movie soundtrack in my head. You know the one — angels singing, horns blowing and G-d herself whispering in my ear, "You're welcome." There he stood, 6 foot 1 with dreamy blue eyes and a shock of amazing white hair. He introduced himself as Luke. I managed to pull myself together enough to invite him in.

Lily was so excited to see her dad she jumped onto his lap, gave him lots of "kisses" and immediately started telling him all about her recent adventures, in cat, of course!

Over a pot of coffee and my magical homemade zucchini bread, we talked and laughed and talked some more until I looked at the clock. It was 11:30 a.m.

The four of us stayed on my couch for most of the day, a fire in the fireplace, our kitties napping on our laps and Luke and I talking and laughing as if we had known each other a lifetime. And when it came time for lunch and dinner, Luke showed off his prowess in the kitchen and we cooked and cleaned up, in perfect sync with each other.

They left that night around 8 p.m. and I found myself singing and dancing around the house.

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Martini was perplexed, as he had never seen me quite so animated.

As a matter of fact, I couldn't remember the last time I had felt so light and animated.

I found myself thinking, "What a difference a day makes."

Our little family of four remained in sync for 2 1/2 years, until Luke returned to Georgia recently to help care for his mother.

Who knows what the future will bring, but I will leave it in the hands of the universe.

All of the painful emotional lessons of my past led me to this point, and whatever happens, I give thanks on a daily basis for a missing kitty who found her way to my door.

The author has published a children's book about how her family of four came to be. It is called "Noodle and Nugget (A Tale of Two Kitties)" and a sequel is in the works.

L.A. Affairs chronicles the current dating scene in and around Los Angeles. We pay $300 a column. If you have comments or a true story to tell, email us at LAAffairs@latimes.com.

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