Six months ago my neighbor’s cat crossed over two hills to my house in search of food. She was scrawny, so I fed her. I later learned that her owner comes home only during the weekends. So the cat, which I dubbed “ Kitty”, continues visiting daily. And now, here’s the rest of the story.
“I am feeding her well.” I think, as I notice she is beginning to appear healthier. She is so loving toward me finally. Her thin frame is filling out, and her fur is looking much nicer. I feel good about this.
But she continues to fill out. “Oh no, I’m making my neighbor’s cat fat!”
As I stoop down to pet Kitty, I rub her side. Uh oh! She’s expecting babies.
I continue to enjoy her visits, and the showering of affection. But now I have a new worry. What if she gets too big to outrun the dogs that chase her on her way over. I begin to feel guilty.
I don’t want to put her in harm’s way. Yet, it’s a little too late. She likes coming to see me. Needless to say, the feeling is mutual. So I just continue to pray for her safety. I say, “Thank you, Lord.” each time Kitty walks into the yard.
April 30: It’s getting very late. No Kitty tonight.
May 1: No Kitty before dark.
At ten o’clock I hear “scratch, scratch, scratch” at the back door. With cat food, milk, and flash light in hand, I open the door. There she sits, waiting. She meows. As I stroke her, I realize that she has given birth, but where her babies are, I don’t know.
I do know that she needs extra nourishment while nursing her kittens.
She doesn’t miss a day coming to eat. Often it’s twice daily. The days turn into weeks.. She still shows signs of fear...fear of the dogs. She doesn’t stay as long per visit, but we do have our “petting time”.
May 23, Sunday night: A severe thunderstorm with strong gusty wind and heavy rainfall is passing through our area. I wonder about Kitty and the safety of her offspring.
Monday and Tuesday come and go, but Kitty’s a no-show.
Midday Wednesday she appears, but it’s not good. She’s sneezing and coughing...and seems weak. Her physical appearance is awful. So I add pink liquid Amoxil antibiotics to her supper. I’m unsure if the kittens survived the heavy downpour.
The next day, Kitty is feeling and looking much better.
“Thank you, Lord.”
Then for several weeks she begins to visit twice daily and stays longer.
June 17: I awake earlier than usual, just after dawn. I open the back door and Kitty is already waiting. As I step outside I catch a glimpse of movement near the house close to the underpinning blocks. I am amazed at what I see. Four kittens are scrambling toward a narrow opening that I hadn’t even noticed being there! Only one kitten can slip through at a time.
I turn around and look at Kitty. She has a pleading look in her eyes as if to ask, “Is it alright? Can they stay?”
I gently pet her, and say “What beautiful, healthy babies. You did a good job Kitty! Yes, they can stay.” And stay, they have. Now, I am feeding five, and know they are all safe.
Kitty has found a place to rest. She no longer looks haggard and fearful. She came to trust me enough that she felt secure in bringing her babies into my care too. What a wonderful thought!
But what am I going to tell my neighbor?
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.(KJV)
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