Pardon the title. It’s just that I am not a “cat person”. I come from a family of cat haters. I know that “hate” is a strong word, but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if my mother refuses to visit my house anymore because we now have a cat. So for us to have a cat is big, I mean BIG, news. Why then, you ask, do we have a cat? The thing is, it is quite possible God sent us the cat.
Just over three years ago, we had to have our beloved German Shorthaired Pointer put to sleep. Helga had been with us just about 10 years, and she was getting old. Then one day shortly after Christmas she started having seizures. We spent two weeks trying to control seizures we didn’t know the cause of, and came to the realization we were not doing her or ourselves any favors. Our kids, however, had always had Helga. She was our first born, and the girls knew nothing of life without her.
So, last summer the kids started the quest for a dog. They begged and pleaded. My husband, however, still had a broken heart from Helga, and there was also the matter of dog poo. He just couldn’t bring himself to say yes to the girls. But he did tell them they could pray for a dog, and that if God sent one to our doorstep then we would have a dog. I warned him about this. I had read a book where the author had told his kids the very same thing and two days later he came home to find a stray had wandered onto their property. I told my husband to be prepared. You never know what God will do.
Yep, you never know what God will do.
About 10 days ago, the middle child was playing outside and informed us there was a cat in our back yard. We assured her it probably belonged to one of the neighbors and that it would wander home. It was still sitting at our back door mewing the next morning. And that afternoon. And the next morning. And the next afternoon. I told the kids no way, no how were we keeping this cat. I don’t like cats. Uh uh.
And then, as I waited for animal control to come and get the cat, I watched it follow my girls around the yard and lay close by them in the shade of their playhouse as they played in the sandbox. (Yes, I know what cats use sandboxes for. Our neighbor has a cat that frequents our yard.) I realized that this was no ordinary cat and that my girls needed a pet. So, I told the kids that if the cat’s owner didn’t claim it from the shelter, we would consider adopting her. A week went by and sure enough, the cat was still at the shelter. By that time, my husband had caved on his “No Pets” policy, and I was dispatched to the shelter first thing on the morning of my day off. Fifteen minutes later, I was back in my minivan with a borrowed pet taxi and a cat, whose name, I decided, was Sophie.
The thing about this whole story is that, while you may think I’m being dramatic saying God sent us this cat, I’m pretty convinced He did just that. There were too many “coincidences” to ignore that very real possibility.
While I was sitting in the shelter office finalizing our adoption, the shelter director mentioned a refund we would be able to get once we had the cat spayed. I told her I was going to make sure the cat saw the veterinarian for a checkup in the next few days, and the director said, “Say, someone donated this certificate for a pet exam at a local vet. Why don’t you take it and use it.” She handed me an envelope from the vet we used to take our dog to and intended to use for the cat as well. I opened it to find a certificate for not only an annual pet exam but about $150 worth of other services like blood tests and vaccinations. When the math of certificate value minus adoption fees and pet supplies was all said and done, we basically ended up being paid $50 to take this cat.
Being a “stray”, it was likely Sophie would have fleas so I stopped at the local farm supply store and picked up a supply of Frontline. I put a dose on her before I let her loose in the house. Later that same afternoon, when I took her for her vet appointment, the vet combed her to check for fleas and didn’t find any. The next day I dropped off a “poo” sample to check for parasites. None of those either.
Sophie found the litter box with no problems. I know that cats just kind of come programmed to use a litter box, but I expected a little bit of an adjustment to its location if nothing else.
She is very much a “people cat” and prefers to be where we are so she follows us around like a faithful dog. Even the vet commented on how “personable” she is. If I have to have a cat, this is the kind I want.
Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t like cats. And if it were up to me, we wouldn’t have one. But, when God sends you a miracle it’s best not to ignore it. The girls love Sophie. Sophie loves the girls. And, I love the girls, so when their prayers are answered, I’d be a fool to stand in the way.