By: Judith Hargett
I opened the front door just as the perpetrator was leaving the scene of the crime. Or, more likely the feline perp was leaving because I opened the door. She wore a mangy brindle coat and sported an attitude that reeked of irritation at the interruption of her plan. My guess is that a tasty breakfast was the intended outcome of the chase that had led to the destruction that was now spread out before me. A large wooden birdhouse, built to look like a church, lay atop a plant that had not fared well from this escapade. Pieces of broken coleus were scattered about the crime scene confirming my suspicion that plants find a way to perish under my care with our without my assistance.
I suspect the birdhouse, which sits by our front door, is a sanctuary for the occasional mouse that happens by with a desire for respite from the elements. In fact, it would be a great spot for an entire mouse family to spend the winter; though eviction would be fast and possibly fatal should such presence be detected. I’m not afraid of mice, but the front door is a little too close for comfort; so if not for the broken plant, I would have praised the predacious cat.
Just a few days later yet another feline was making a racket outside our front door. It was snarling and hissing and generally making a terrible fuss. I cautiously opened the door expecting to find a couple of grown tomcats about to engage in mortal combat. Instead, I found one tiny calico kitten sitting on the step as if waiting to come in the house. Apparently she (calicos are usually female) was hungry and very upset that mom wasn’t around to provide breakfast. I went in search of a pan for milk, wondering how husband would react to my provision of organic milk for a stray cat. He thinks cats are put on earth for the primary purpose of keeping the rodent population in check, not for being pets. I knew, however, that he had a soft spot for calico cats and this one had a feisty spirit.
But when I returned with the pan of milk, the kitten was gone. I could hear her in the neighbor’s yard howling for her mother. I threw a sweater over my pajamas and tiptoed out into the morning darkness, a row of curlers scattered across my head like a rooster’s comb, and hoped all our neighbors were in their home sound asleep. I couldn’t find the kitten then, but she came back that night and the next morning again crying loudly. Husband followed the cries to her temporary hiding place under the grill cover on the patio, but she flew past him when discovered…obviously not weak from hunger. Husband had agreed that if we could catch calico kitten, he would be willing to take her to the vet for all the necessary care. I began imagining how comforting it would be to stroke the little creature as she purred contentedly in my lap on a cold, rainy day; but the kitten has not returned. If she survives, she will be wild…never realizing what a pleasant life she might have had under our care.
Husband points out that people who have never been told about Christ and the plan of salvation are much like this cat. They go through life in survival mode never realizing the blessings they are missing. They don’t realize the opportunity they have for eternal salvation and the comfort of knowing they are under God’s protection as is written in Proverbs 1:33: “But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” And in 1Peter 3:13, “And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?”
I am convicted, having shown more concern for the welfare of this kitten than for some of the unsaved around me. Would I be willing to face the possible embarrassment of chasing a lost soul through the neighborhood so I could offer that person the only food that truly satisfies…the living Word of God? So, it would be good for me to remember: cats can’t be discipled but humans can. Oh, and please don’t drop off stray kittens at our house. Husband claims this was a one-time offer, applying only to this little calico kitty.