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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My First Answer to Prayer


          “Mom, we can’t leave Kitty behind,” I argued desperately.
          Deryl walked past carrying a heavy box.  The object of our discussion sauntered nonchalantly across the bare kitchen floor, unaware that I was pleading for her.       
The year was 1955.  Our family was moving to the northern part of New Mexico where Deryl would be driving for a new truck company.  We didn’t know where we would be living yet, but we were going anyway.  My only concern, as a twelve-year-old, was my cat!
          “Gloria, that cat is going to have kittens any day.  We can’t take her with us.  I told you to give her to one of your friends,” Mom said impatiently.
          “I did try to find her a home, but no one can take her.”
          “Did you ask Claudia?”
          “Yes, but her mother said their dog is enough of a nuisance.  Besides, when I told Claudia’s mother if we didn’t find a home for Kitty, we might have to leave her here by herself, she said that she would turn us in to the Humane Society for Animals.”
          “She said that?” Mom’s eyes widened and her face flushed.
Whether it was the threat of the Humane Society, or a soft spot in her heart, Mom did allow Kitty to accompany us.  The striped cat lay uncomfortably on the seat between my brother and I, as Mom drove our heavily laden station wagon.  Deryl drove the U Haul truck.
          “Oh no!” Mom exclaimed, as she looked through the station wagon window.  We had stopped for lunch at a restaurant and had just returned to the car.  I peeked through the window.  There, on a pile of clothes, in the back of the station wagon, was Kitty and four newborn kittens.
 After everyone (especially Mom) calmed down, we continued our journey. We arrived in Farmington, New Mexico, and stayed in a motel.  The following days were miserable as we searched for a house to rent.  Kitty’s newborns were sick.
          “They would be better off if we left them at a farm.  Kitty can take care of herself and the kittens.  Besides, farmers love cats,” Mom said convincingly.
          My eyes were blurry as I stared out the back window.  Kitty sat gazing at the parting station wagon.  Her litter was near her by the side of the road.  A driveway of a farmhouse was nearby.
          Two days later we unloaded ourselves and our belongings into a bungalow
 in Kirtland, a small community near Farmington.  As I explored the area, I made a discovery!  Our rented house was in proximity to the farm where we had left the cats.  I wasted no time in finding the farmhouse.  Much to my sorrow, there by the side of the road, where we had left them, were four dead kittens.  I began to cry.
          “What’s wrong, little girl,” the farmer asked, as he walked down the driveway.
          Between sobs, I showed him the kittens and poured out my story.  When I finished, I asked hopefully:
          “Have you seen Kitty?”
          “Well, there has been a new cat hanging around.  She’s yellow striped,” he answered.
          “That’s her!” I exclaimed, swallowing my tears.
          “The last time I saw her, she was in the barn.  I’ll tell you what, you get her and take her home with you.”
I sure did want Kitty, but I remembered Mom.  She had said she’d had enough of cats.
          “I have to ask my mother first,” I replied, as I turned to leave.
          When I got home I told Mom about Kitty, and asked if I could bring her home.
          “The only way you can have Kitty is if she comes here by herself,” Mom said.  I knew she thought it was impossible, because Kitty didn’t even know where we lived.
          I sat on the warm cement step of the bungalow, my chin cupped in my hands as I pondered my dilemma. The only One I knew who could help me with something as big as this was God. I closed my eyes.
          “Oh God, please send Kitty home to me.”  Then I remembered what Mom had told me a long time ago...every prayer should be prayed in Jesus’ name. “In Jesus’ Name.  Amen, and thank You.”
          “Hey Gloria, what ya doing?”
          The voice startled me, and I opened my eyes to see Sally walking up the sidewalk.  She lived two houses away and we had met shortly after I moved in.
          “Would you like to stay over at my house tonight?” Sally asked. “My mother said it’s okay with her.”
          I asked Mom, and she agreed that I could.  As we walked to Sally’s, I told her about Kitty and my prayer.
          “Kitty will be coming, Sally, so we’ll have to watch for her.”
          The summer evening was warm and pleasant as we played in my friend’s front yard.  My eyes kept returning to our rented cottage.  My family was gone for the evening, and the windows were dark.  In my heart I had an expectation.
          “Sally look!” I shouted as I motioned toward a low shadow sleeking across the street and up our driveway.
          Sally and I ran to the shadow, and the yellow striped cat stared up at me as if to say, “I don’t know what this is about, but here I am.”
          “Kitty, oh Kitty!” I squealed as I picked her up.
          After I had just about hugged off all of Kitty’s fur, Sally and I put her into a shed behind our house.  I shut the door.  I knew God had brought her to me, but I felt it was my responsibility to keep her.
          The next morning, bright and early, I ran home from Sally’s.
          “Mom, come here.  I have something to show you,” I said, as I took her hand and pulled her out the back door to the shed.
          Kitty stretched and sauntered into the sunlight when I opened the shed door.  Mom stared at Kitty and then at me, and then at Kitty again.
          “See, Mom, Kitty came home all by herself!”
          “Are you sure she came all by herself?” Mom asked, suppressing a smile.
          “Yes, she did.” I said honestly.
          “Well then, I guess you can keep her.”  Mom walked back into the house smiling to herself.
          “Mom probably thinks I  brought you home,” I said to the furry animal purring in my arms, “But God, you, and I know better, don’t we Kitty?”
          Her big eyes were full of confirmation.
          “Thank you, God,” I said out loud.  I looked up at the blue sky, to the invisible God, who had answered the prayer I had prayed in “Jesus’Name.”
          I left the shed door open and watched Kitty to see if she would stay.  She settled right in and eventually, much to Mom’s chagrin had another litter of kittens.

Post: I changed schools 14 times....Cats were very important to me because in all moves they went with me. and when I felt lonely they were there. (Deryl, in this story is my stepdad.)

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