In my area, the mice are bold – they’ll moonwalk right across your living room floor and do the cabbage patch right in front of you. That being said, I have a crippling fear of mice. This summer our cat slipped out and sadly, we never saw him again. We were without a cat for a month before the mice realized what had happened. It was a free-for-all and I knew something had to be done. I connected with someone online who was giving away a kitten, and we went to get him. We argued through various names that night after seeing him for the first time. Initially, we dubbed him Greystar Ashes Tchalla Davis, since we couldn’t agree on a name. Fast forward a few weeks, and we started calling him “Rasputin”. The children dubbed him “Lil Ras X” after seeing some of his shenanigans. Here is the story of our first night with Rasputin and his rescue.
I knew that Rasputin needed veterinary care, so after picking him up, we went straight to the clinic. We were told that he was underweight, had conjunctivitis, and a “decent” infestation of fleas. I started rethinking things. Alarmed, I told the vet to do whatever was necessary to keep us from bringing fleas into our home. After getting shots, a microchip, a prescription for erythromycin and TWO flea treatments, we hightailed it across the parking lot to grab some cat food. My son sat in the car holding the cat, watching the fleas fall off his body as they died. Needless to say, the treatments were efficient.
Clutching my pearls, I decided that we would need to use the newly purchased flea comb before bringing him into the house, just as an added precaution. I spread a blanket out on the ground and sat the kitten down in front of his food and gently combed his fur as he ate. He seemed calm, so I reached into the bag to get some gum, spooking the cat and setting off a chain of events that I still regret TO THIS DAY.
The cat ran underneath my husband’s car, and we tried everything possible to get him out. He was so scared that he jumped on top of the tire and subsequently wriggled his way into the undercarriage of the car.
As the kids say these days, “Bruhhh!”
I spent five hours outside trying to lure this cat from the car. We tried everything – Google, blasting music, smelly food, calm tones. reassurance. Nothing worked. He yowled the entire time but could not figure out how to get out. I called a friend asking for a car jack, and she recommended I call the fire department. Frustrated, I thought to myself at one point, I don’t even know this cat like that. I eventually went inside around midnight, exhausted. I said a prayer to God to protect the cat just in case he found his way out in the middle of the night. Cars speed through our alleyway and we get some interesting creatures out there. I was incredibly anxious. I mean, we just got this kitten…can you imagine taking it right back to the vet because he got injured on the first night with us?
A little after dawn, I went out to check on the kitten. Again, I consulted Google, searching for something along the lines of, “How to get your cat out of the undercarriage of a car.”YouTube came through. As soon as I began to play the video, I could hear the cat in the video yelling for help. Our kitten responded as though the video cat was singing the song of his people and joined in the meowing. So, I held the phone next to the tire and tried to coax the cat out. He eventually fell on top of the tire and then onto the ground, where I was finally able to retrieve him after nearly twelve hours.
I held him to my chest and reintroduced myself as his new human. Again, I didn’t know this cat like that, but we had been through quite a night together. As I think about the moment I clutched this cat to my chest, I remember an image of Jesus as a shepherd. We often see him depicted holding a sheep to his chest and looking at it tenderly. There are GIFs floating around that show shepherds pulling sheep out of precarious situations and Christians identifying with the endangered animal. Our kitten definitely reminded me of this.
While I had originally procured this cat for his potential mouse hunting abilities, the time we spent together with me sprawled out on my driveway trying to convince him that I’m his new, safe human while channeling my inner MacGuyver-like creativity, allowed me to develop some sort of affection and protectiveness over this animal. I wanted to see him safe, fattened up, healthy, comfortable and happy dwelling in the place we had prepared for him. I know that my affection for this creature pales in comparison to the love that Jesus has for us as the Good Shepherd. I can think of so many times in which He rescued me from many a dangerous situation, after various attempts at convincing me of His safety…finally clutching me to His chest to profess love for me and concern for my well-being. That first night with Lil Ras X allowed me to think on my personal “car undercarriages”; it gave me a new appreciation for His willingness to look past and wash away our filth, infestation, and disease in order to provide us with the safety and comfort of His bosom.
Over the summer, I lost a friend to old age. Thinking about
it, we were 48 years apart. I have friends my age, but there was something
about Miss Betty that kept our friendship going for many years. She lived next
door to me for years. Un-married. No children. Devout Catholic. Miss Betty was
an independent person. She loved her home and all her possessions. After her
stroke and a weak heart, she had no choice but to move into a senior living
facility. First an apartment to herself and then hospice care in her last
years. When I went to visit at the facility, we talked about her health, my
family, work, money, you name it. At every ending of our time together, we
prayed. She said she loved my prayers. I mean Pentecostals pray a prayer! I
knew she would not make it for long. Every time I left her place, I would say,
“I’ll see you again.” I never knew the day before she passed, that would be the
last time I said those words.
Prior to Miss Betty’s passing, I told my good friend about our
wonderful conversations and how we talked about God. My spiritual friend asked,
“Have you ever led her into the sinner’s prayer?” I responded, “We prayed, but
I never ask her to invite Christ into her life.” My friend told me to start
your prayer and say repeat after me. I mean hearing those simple words gave me
the confidence to do it. And the week before Miss Betty passed, she accepted
Christ. It came from my mouth, but it was Holy Spirit guiding me. In my
lifetime, I have always asked those I encountered, “Do you want to accept
Christ as your Savior?” Some said yes, while others said not at this time.
Jesus talked a lot about seed planting. Even if the person
you share the Word with says, not this time, you are still planting the seed!
As God works through us and we share our faith with others, we never know if
the Word we share will take root or when. I’ve known Miss Betty for many years,
but the moment she received Christ as her personal Savior it was God’s time! I
miss my friend but I know she’s in glory with our Heavenly Father. We
Be encouraged that our sowing of the Good News might, even
after many years, be received by someone who will “accept it, and produce a