My eyes scan the freshly plowed brown furrows of our spring garden. Nothing. My sight darts across the yard and toward the sloping hillside. I still don’t see her. Is she o.k.? Is she coming to visit this evening?
I have her food and bowl of milk already in place.
I realize that she’s not mine, but I love her anyway. Where is she?
I just enjoy her companionship, and being able to help her. But I do wish that she didn't have to live in so much fear.
Back inside the house, I continue my watch through the kitchen window. Surely she’ll come.
Wait... I think I spot her! Yes, there she comes! Thank you Lord. She is safe.
I watch as she hesitantly approaches the awaiting vittles. She looks so scared!
Kitty, as I call her, is the neighbor’s calico cat from two houses over the hill. They aren’t at home much, so Kitty began venturing to my house once daily to find food. Since my faithful little Maltese, Franco, died last December from age related illnesses, Kitty has been a source of comfort.
On her way over, Kitty has to dodge another neighbor’s dogs as they make their rounds. They have chased her up a tree several times.
Now, back to my story...
I open the back door all the while talking to her in a soft, soothing voice. Instantly, she runs a few feet away, just out of my reach. I sit down on the steps.
“It’s o.k. Kitty. You’re safe here with me. Come back and eat.”
Slowly she returns. As she eats, she raises her head, listens for the dogs, with her ears perked high, and she watches.
I can’t get any closer or touch her. So I sit still and talk. Yet this is a vast improvement from a few days ago.
Eventually, she begins to “scratch, scratch, scratch” on the back door facing. Out I go and sit on the steps. This set-up lasts almost five months.
Then one night I hear the now familiar scratching. I take a small can of Friskies out with me. As I kneel down and spoon the extra food into her bowl, I feel a brushing against my body. Kitty is initiating contact! I ever so gently venture a hand down and slightly rub her back.
A big smile crosses my face. Five months of love and patience is paying off...for both of us.
This trust and contact gradually increases during the next three weeks.
Now, believe it or not, Kitty wants the petting before she even takes time to eat! She wants my love, and gives me love first, before accepting what I have provided for her.
This experience reminds me of how God cares for us in similar fashion. All the while desiring that we love him first, and above just getting our needs met. And when this happens, we see and experience the power of love and patience.
Now...oh, please excuse me. There is more to this story, but for now, the article must end.
I’m sitting at the kitchen table writing , but I hear “scratching” at the back door...
Footnote: To quote a line from an older well-known song - Harper Valley P. T. A. -
“It happened just this way.”
(Including the ending to my article...)
Copyright 2004 Martha J. Currington
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