It showed up out of nowhere…a snowy, white fur ball, pawing playfully at the frayed strings of the sheets covering my back porch plants. I resisted the urge to open the door–partly out of fear, preferring instead to observe the cat’s antics from afar. The last time I’d tried to befriend a “cute” feline, the experience proved less than “angelic.” (Read “The Perfect Storm,” the first story excerpt in Day-votions™ for Women to see what I mean.)
The small cat adopted our back yard and porch, coming and going as it pleased. Every morning I spread the sheets over my plants to protect them from the cold winter temperatures. But by morning the sheets lay in a crumpled heap on the patio floor, where the cat had pulled them loose. After a day or two I ventured out to see the cat a little closer. As soon as I came within three feet of it, it ran away.
It was a sweet cat, but with no collar, it seemed like an obvious stray–or at least a stranger to our neighborhood. I questioned neighbors, but no one claimed it. After bird feathers started appearing on the sheets and back porch, I began calling the cat, “Hunter”. We watched it stalking assorted prey. One day we caught it perched on top of our tool shed, as if it were preparing to pounce on the compost bin below that we had constructed a few months earlier for a spring and summer garden.
Feed It…and They Will Come
At one point the kitty began curling up on our porch swing to sleep at night after making its rounds daily through the neighborhood. When winter temperatures plunged, we created a “cave” for it under the patio table in one of the chairs, draping part of the sheet over the chair. From the beginning I left fresh water each day, but hesitated to feed the cat. Friends and internet searches offered conflicting advice: “It’s inhumane not to feed a stray cat. They can’t survive on hunting alone.” Others said, “No. Feed it–and they will come (more cats).” My friend Leora, who houses and feeds ten stray cats, can vouch for that second truth.
I’m not a “cat person,” but I love animals of all kinds and can’t stand to see any hurt (except maybe mice). But I also knew we didn’t need pets at this particular time in our lives. More cats did come–big cats–even without my feeding them. I protected the little cat from the others that stalked it, chasing them away just before they pounced on it. One time I heard the familiar cat fight sounds and watched out the window as another huge stray chased the little fur ball straight up to the top of a narrow tree about fifteen feet tall.
Please Find a Home for It
We left for the Christmas holidays, and when I heard about the arrival of winter snow back home, I worried about the cat starving or freezing. “Lord, please protect it,” I whispered daily. “And please find a home for it,” I added.
But when we returned, there sat the little white cat on the back doorstep. As always, it ran away when I tried to draw close. Two days later it disappeared–just as mysteriously as it had arrived.
Answer to Prayer?
I’ m still not sure why this little feline picked our back yard and porch as its temporary home–unless it truly was a heavenly answer to my unspoken prayer. You see, the day before the cat first showed up in our yard, I had gone out to the compost bin to staighten the plastic tarp that had loosened at the top. But when I moved the plastic, out jumped two huge mice (more like rats). Ever read about “crying out to the Lord?” Actually, it was more like a scream than a prayer. Hmm.
Can angels have four legs? I really don’t know. But I do know that the Bible promises this:
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19 NIV).
And His timing is always perfect.
Does this cat and mouse story sound too trivial? Does a holy God care about the small stuff in his children’s lives? Absolutely!
You might enjoy one of several blogs I’ve written concerning God’s care, like this one, called Promise for Today: God’s Care for Us. Also, check out this one on answers to prayer, called 5 Prayers God Loves to Hear.
What’s your need? God already knows it. Big? Small? Medium sized? He cares about it all. Why? Because He cares about you. What big or small need (s) has God met for you lately?