Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Meet Hannah Grace! Hannah's a one year old tabby cat who came to live with us when she was about 6 months old. We got her from Animal Control the Sunday after Thanksgiving, 2005. The day after we brought her home, she got a very nasty upper respiratory infection and stayed in isolation in a spare bedroom for about 5 weeks recovering. She spent the first week of her life with as at the animal hospital, she was so sick. I made daily trips to visit her and love on her. During our visits she mainly slept, but she would also eat for me and she'd drink some water. After she completely recovered, one of the ladies at the vet's office told me she didn't think Hannah would live through the first night she was there. (I'm so glad she didn't tell me that at the time!) Hannah's a fighter and a survivor.
Hannah's also 100% cat! She loves to play with her 'Da Bird toy and begs for us to get it out and play with her all the time. If she had her way, she'd play with it all day long, everyday! She's rough and tumble when she plays, but dainty and prissy the rest of the time. She's also a little purring machine! She loves to be near her humans and enjoys a good snuggle, usually up on my chest like you'd hold a baby. She'll just nap and purr while I hold her. Such a little snuggle-bug! She also likes to sleep with me, but DH doesn't approve of that, so she spends her nights either in her bed or on the couch.
Hannah has absolute trust in us. She's never known fear, abuse, or mistreatment. She is the happiest cat I've ever known, inquisitive and very outgoing. She's a somewhat vocal kitty, purring, meowing, "peep-ing" and trilling. She has lots of different sounds and I'm still learning what they mean.
Hannah is a testament to the healing power of TLC, patience, time spent together hanging out, and trust. Often we want results immediately, but sometimes it just takes time to get well, to get through a situation, or to get over a disappointment. We can take medication to cure illnesses and we can read books to learn how to deal with situations in our lives, but in the end, time and God's TLC is the real key to recovery.
Trusting God to bring us through rocky and difficult times is hard, but so rewarding. It's during those difficult times when we lean on God to take care of us that we develop a real relationship with Him and He develops us into the men & women He needs for us to be to reach a dying world. Sitting in God's lap, listening to His voice, bending our will to His, and just being in His presence all help mold us and shape us into better believers. Let God love on you today and heal your hurts.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Callie is the first part of "the girls" Callie's a beautiful 10 year old tortie (tortoiseshell) cat. She's my love-bug, my purr-baby, and my Callie-boo. She's got excellent manners, is relatively quiet, and low-maintenance. She's content sleeping out in the sunroom or under the big bay window in the living room. As long as she's got food, water, and a clean box, she's a happy camper.
Callie came to me on a cool, drizzly October day in 1998. I'd recently graduated seminary and had moved into a new apartment. She showed up on the back patio starving, thirsty, and very thin. She then moved into the empty boxes we had stored on the patio. Then she moved into my heart. Since she was a stray for who knows how long, she'd developed some feral cat behaviors and is a very timid and shy kitty who doesn't like loud noises, strangers, or a stressful household. Over the years she's come out of her shell and totally flourished. She's definitely a momma's cat, too!
We've had a rough start to the year with the Callie-bug. She had an upper respiratory infection...twice, which is very unusual since she's never had any kind of illness since I've had her. She's been diagnosed with arthritis. (It's tough getting old!) We now have her on a glucosamine-chondroitin supplement that she gets twice a day and is responding very well to that. Most recently, she had a bladder infection. I've learned the easiest way to collect a urine specimen from a cat is to put them in kitty daycare at the vet and let them collect it! She's over that now and has gotten a clean bill of health from the vet.
With all the change and stress in the house of adding a second kitty, I'm sure that most of Callie's problems except for the arthritis, were due to stress. During all of this, she'd started showing some of her stray/feral behaviors, so I began the very long, slow process of bringing her out of her shell once again. Over the past 2 months or so, Callie's learned to trust again and we're starting to see glimpses of her former self. For example, this morning she was on the perch by the window in our bedroom playing with the blinds. She used to do this every morning to wake me up, but hasn't done it once in the past 4 months. Then, she jumped up on the bed next to me and laid down. She wasn't touching me, but she was laying down by me, purring contentedly. Again, this is something else she's not done in months. I was so happy to awake to her on the perch, playing in the blinds, and purring on the bed next to me. Sometimes it's the small things in life that bring us much joy.
As I sit and reflect on all that Callie's been through these past 5 months and how I've longed to see her wonderful personality and trust in me return, I get a glimpse of how God must feel. Just like I patiently wait for Callie to come out of her shell and into her own again, I am reminded of how patiently God waits for me to turn to Him and to trust Him fully. Just as I celebrate each small accomplishment of Callie in her progress, I am reminded how God celebrates each small step I take back towards Him and the life He has planned for me. As I recall the many times I laid beside Callie over the months, petting her and talking to her, reassuring her of my love, I cannot help but think of the many times God has held me close, reassuring me of His love for me, reminding me that His plan for me is bigger than my immediate situation, His plan is perfect, and I am His.