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     Apparently, my cat had been so freaked by the fire that she ran over a mile away. Her collar had our phone number on it, but our phones had been destroyed and disconnected. This wonderful woman took her in and worked hard to find out whose cat it was. Somehow, she knew this cat was loved and sorely missed.
     As I sat there with my friends and my cat curled up in my lap, all the overwhelming feelings of loss and tragedy seemed to diminish. I felt gratitude for my life, my new friends, the kindness of a stranger and the loud purr of my beloved cat. My cat was back and so was I.
The narrator understood what had happened during the fire disaster and how the cat had gotten away. The narrator's pet cat could have been scared by the fire and fled almost a mile away from his home during the fire accident. Despite the fact that their phone number was printed on her collar, their phone had been destroyed in the fire, and the lady was unable to reach them for the past one month. She used the phone number to track down their address and eventually found them. Her tremendous effort made the narrator's cat reach him finally. Since the woman recognised that the cat was missing its master and was sad, she made an attempt to take it to the narrator, believing that the cat's master would also be concerned about the cat. Thankfully, the narrator's family had left a phone number on the cat's body, which came handy.
Earlier, the narrator had begun to believe that he was encountering bad luck one by one, but things had changed significantly following the fire disaster. His cat had also returned to him after a long absence, which was the ultimate cause of his grief and that had been changed. He was grateful for a new life that had brought him new friends, as well as a kind woman who had returned his pet cat. He was given a fresh start in his life. When his house caught fire, the narrator did worry more about his cat than his house since he believed it was only the concrete structure that had caught fire and could be constructed again.
The title "A House Is Not a Home" was now understandable to the readers. A 'house' is a place where people live, but a 'home' is a place where people dwell with love and care for one another. When the narrator's house burned down, it was only a concrete structure (residence) that was destroyed, but the love he had for his mother, cat, and his old school friends remained. And no amount of flames could put out that love. His hope and compassion for his cat finally brought him back to the narrator. With the return of his cat and new schoolmates, the narrator realised his house was no longer a house but rather a home.
Meaning of difficult words:
FreakRefers to someone or something strange or unusual
Gratitude The state of being grateful to someone
DiminishTo become smaller, fewer or less
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. A House Is Not a Home - Zan Gaudioso (pp.49-54). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.