When I look just beyond my computer screen, I see tiny holes in my curtains. The curtains have hung in that window since we moved into our house several years ago, but these holes are new. They are the evidence of our cat. Our newest cat.
Jon and I had no plans to get a cat of any kind. At least not any time soon. Three kids, two dogs, four hermit crabs, and we were good. We like cats, but why add more trouble to the mix?
Good, solid reasoning, and yet, here we are. In the span of four months, two cats claimed us as their own, and changed our lives. We have put up and taken down baby gates in multiple areas of the house, rearranged the bathroom, temporarily lived with our garage door open, and inconvenienced ourselves and our dogs.
Not to mention the new chores we’ve added to our life: giving the cats food and water, cleaning out the litter boxes, and making time to play with our feline friends. All this for two homeless cats who decided to camp out at our place, and wouldn’t leave.
Maybe we’re too soft. We could have sent them to Animal Control and wished them well. Maybe we’re too compassionate, concerned about what might happen to them in the midst of so many other unwanted cats. Maybe it’s simply a God thing. A surprise in our life, perhaps unplanned and unwanted, that turns out as a blessing with a purpose.
Our first cat was Twinkle. In my mind I call her Grace. She was a scraggly, wary little cat who sneaked into our garage in search of a safe refuge. A skinny ragamuffin looking for mercy, she had little to offer. Yet we reached out to her in kindness, cared for her, and took her in. We showed her grace, as God does us.
Our second cat was Brownie. In my mind her name is Faith. She made her debut on our rooftop, and soon adopted our front yard as her home. Friendly and fun, she easily won us over with her feline charm. She was our “outdoor cat” for three weeks.
And then she disappeared. Gone for two days, which was not like her at all. We worried and searched. On the second day, not knowing what might have happened to the little brown cat, this popped into my head: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Instead of sorrow and hopelessness, I deliberately trusted for the best outcome. I exercised faith, and that afternoon, amazingly, we were reunited with the cat. She had walked into a woman’s house several streets away, and the kind woman posted about her on Craigslist in hopes of returning her to her home.
So we have holes in our curtains and two cats, furry reminders of grace and faith. Funny how God likes to use tangible things in our lives to remind us of the spiritual. Like water. And bread and wine. And sometimes cats.