Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Family Pet (05/15/08)
TITLE: Of Stray Cats and Broken People
By Allan Morelos
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“Dad, something’s got in through the kitchen door,” screamed Grace who never tried to touch anything unclean or unwashed in her life.
“It’s black, white and dirty!” yelled John as he pointed to the pitiful-looking thing scampering to Grace’s room.
All three of us crowded our way into the room as the tiny four-legged fluffy dirt tried to hide under the corner bookstand. I hurriedly grabbed a pair of clean socks to use as gloves and carefully felt my way under the bookstand to catch this fur ball of mess.
“Whooow, a tinny tiny kitten it is,” I bellowed as I managed to grab its neck, hold it up and let it dangle for the children to see.
“Can we keep it?” The kids begged without end.
“See? It’s horrible and stinky and scared,” I protested as we put this roughly-a-month old kitten in a small box for us to closely examine.
It truly was a pitiful kitten whose stray-cat mom drowned in the neighborhood’s drainage weeks earlier. Though miserable-looking, its face reflected hidden beauty. Its eyes possessed an aura of a lost precious jewel.
“Meeeeeeooow!” The kitten seemed to beg to be adopted.
“Meeeoow,” it pleaded some more, asking for kindness and heartfelt compassion.
“Meeow,” it calmed down as it looked at us in the eyes. It’s white in the sides with one black golf-ball spot on its left belly. Starting from above its eyes and covering its head was an inch-wide streak of deep black fur flowing like a river of black oil running to the tip of its tail.
“A he or a she?” asked Grace as she thought of giving it a name.
“A she,” replied John as he clasped the kitten and gently placed it in his palm. He held it up high to look more closely.
“Fluer, that’s her name,” Grace announced it excitedly as John cheered while my wife, Mildred, and I accepted this smelly cat as part of our family.
“Fluer is getting more beautiful each time I’d come here,” said Chen-Chen, a dear friend who’d talk to me and Mildred about her kids, her husband and about everything that troubles and worries her heart.
“Yeah,” agreed Mildred as she let her sit in the yellow sofa. Mildred walked to the kitchen, opened the fridge, took out a bottle of juice, poured some in three crystal-clear glasses and served Chen-Chen and me. She sat and sipped her glass of a refreshingly cold orange juice on this one hottest of afternoons.
“This kitten taught us of God’s grace,” I said as we’re all now comfortably seated. Chen-Chen sadly smiled with a puzzled look on her face. You can tell she has no clue about the grace of God or His love and commitment and care for each of our lives. She comes from an atheistic country and is raised in a society where the concept of a gracious and loving God has not been demonstrated. Hopefully, she can experience it here in this country.
“How’s Fleur and God’s grace related?” She asked still confused.
“Fleur was a mess when we found her,” I explained. “What if Grace or John hadn’t shown her some kindness?”
“Look at her now. In seven short months, she has turned into a glowingly robust black-and-white cat with a foot-long smooth-feather-like fan tail,” Mildred commented as she petted Fleur who’s majestically sitting at her side with its tail waving gently.
“The grace of…,” added Mildred who’s now looking at Chen-Chen’s troubled eyes.
Chen-Chen covered her face with her hands and began to sob. Fleur jumped off the sofa and walked away as Mildred moved nearer to comfort Chen-Chen.
“I’m leaving him,” Chen-Chen cried as she related how mean her husband was. She turned to her side to show us some bruises on her back and her neck. She stayed till late afternoon and poured her heart till evening.
“Give me grace to extend grace, Lord,” I whispered.
“It’s been a month now since Fleur’s gone,” recalled Grace as she told John of another stray-cat she just found.
“I miss her,” John quipped.
“It’s a month, too, that Chen-Chen’s gone,” reminded Mildred as she remembered Chen-Chen’s daughter who she talked with yesterday.
“Fleur exchanged her loved-pet status with a stray-cat’s life of scavenging,” I philosophized. “Chen-Chen left an unloving hubby for another man.”
“As life’s mess increases, God’s grace abounds the more,” I cried.
“My grace is sufficient still,” God whispered.
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