“BECKY, come in here!” My husband, Hank, sounded alarmed as he called from the living room to wake me up at a dark 6:20 in the morning. I jumped out of bed, almost in a panic, fearing something must be wrong.
“Where’d this kitty come from??” Hank asked whimsically, hands on his hips. My sleepy eyes caught the flutter of a furry figure running by. It was a small kitten, maybe eight weeks old. It was beautiful: mostly white, with gray ears and a ringed tail, obviously part Siamese.
“I don’t know. Maybe Nathan brought it home,” I surmised. Our eighteen-year-old son was known for rescuing animals. He had a cat, Pandora, and a mouse named Cow (because of it’s coloring like a cow) already. Nathan also had his friend, Noah, spending the night, so the kitten probably belonged to him, if it wasn’t another “Nathan rescue”.
This unexpected visitor was obviously hungry, surprisingly very friendly, and acted unafraid of us. We figured that Nathan and Noah had put the meowing, hungry kitty out of their room so they could sleep a while longer. Hank offered to feed the kitten, so I went back to lie down myself, hoping for another hour to sleep.
A few hours later that Tuesday (only four days ago, as I write this), I was working in my home office when Nathan came running in — holding the new kitten. “Mom, this kitten isn’t Noah’s cat! We’ve both never seen it before! It’s so sweet and loving! It must have come down from Heaven!” Nathan had happy tears in his eyes as he cooed over the contented kitty in his arms. His expression reminded me of when he was much younger, when his life was simpler. Nathan has been under so much stress lately, it made my heart happy to see our son so giddy — and obviously in love!
All of the sudden, we each realized what an extraordinary thing had happened! How did a strange kitten get into our dining room in the middle of the night? Had it been dumped in the neighborhood and come up to our porch to find the cat food we have out there for our other cats? Had it run into the house when Nathan and Noah came in, late after midnight? We had so many questions.
I immediately began posting photos of the kitty on Facebook and trying to find it’s owners. I even had our veterinarian post it on his page, in hopes of making sure this very affectionate kitten found it’s way back to the family who must love and miss it so much. I contacted several neighbors within three blocks of us, and asked friends to spread the word. We figured out the kitten was a male, and Nathan and our ten-year-old daughter, Jaycie, each came up with names to call it. I knew that we’d better get it back to it’s owner soon, or it would be too late… we were falling in love with the little guy!
That evening at dinner, Jaycie volunteered to lead our prayer.
“Lord, thank You for this day, and for all You do. Please help us find the owner of the cute little kitty…. NOT!”
Yes, my daughter actually prayed that prayer. I couldn’t help but giggle, as I gently chided Jaycie for praying like that. Were we being selfish?
The next morning, we had to leave the kitten alone with our old dog at home. Incidentally, we were also dog-sitting for my parents and niece, who were on vacation. Kikka, a long-haired dachshund mix, was missing her owners and bored with our very old Cocker Spaniel, Buddy. At fourteen years old, he just didn’t have the energy or desire to romp and play with a young dog like Kikka wanted to.
We were a bit concerned leaving the little kitten here with the two dogs, but Kikka and “Skippy” (as Jaycie had begun to call the kitten) hit it off as great playmates almost immediately. Still, we texted Nathan (who’d spent the night at another friend’s house) to come home as quickly as he could, to make sure the kitten was okay.
“Mom, I can’t find the kitty anywhere!” Nathan’s frantic text read. Upon further searching, he texted back that he’d found the little one asleep on a stack of folded towels in the upstairs bathroom. We were all relieved! Nathan was attaching quickly to this sweet little ball of fur, as soft as a rabbit’s fur, and who loved to cuddle. “Sebastian” (as Nathan wanted to name him) was conditioned to and very happy to curl up on your shoulder and take a nap. How and why did he end up away from wherever he’d obviously been loved and cared for? We were truly baffled, and no one had responded as owning him or having ever seen him in their neighborhood. He was our “mystery kitty from Heaven”.
Nathan’s very next text was heartbreaking, however.
“Cow died.” That was Nathan’s mouse. He’d found him lifeless in his cage, in the closet where he kept him, to protect the long-haired little pet from Pandora the cat, who’d love to have eaten him for lunch.
Nathan tearfully took Cow’s cage outside, leaving it on the back porch, until we got home and his dad could tell him where to bury it. I think it was more for moral support, since Nathan was understandably upset by the mouse’s death. When we got home from shopping, Nathan was rocking in my recliner, with the new kitten in his arms. He sat there for probably an hour, stroking the new little one. He was so happy to have little “Sebastian”, and begged to keep him. He bragged on the little feline, that he’d witnessed him even using the litter box. How could such a young kitten already know how to use a litter box? And love affection? And not be afraid of us — strangers?? He even ran up and down our stairs, as if he’d done it a thousand times. Where did this little angel come from?
This little guy — Skippy or Sebastian — depending on which child you ask — was and is definitely a gift from God. We weren’t expecting him, but we are all SO thrilled he’s here! My husband, Hank, used to hate cats! He’s softened over the years and changed his opinion, but THIS cat has put him over the top! He’s definitely, like the rest of us, “smitten by the kitten”. He’s our little Thanksgiving blessing!! (Oh– and he LOVES “human food”, and is apparently accustomed to being fed whatever the humans are eating.)
Our great niece and nephew were also very comforted by little Skippy, especially with their parents going through a divorce right now. Pets are such a therapeutic comfort — a gift from God that bring so much healing and stress – relief, as science has also confirmed in recent years. Our son Aaron and wife Michaela also fell in love with our newest family member. Aaron recently lost his job and has been battling depression, and holds little Skippy as much as possible when they’re here visiting. It’s impossible to quantify the healing virtue and value of a loving pet. God, our loving Creator, knew this, and planned it all along. He gave Adam the responsibility, joy and privilege of naming and caring for all the animals God had created. What a gift!