Animal lovers will get where I’m coming from, and a cat person will completely understand my plight. It has been five days since my cat was last seen at home. I left for my trip to Fort Bragg California on Friday, September 4th, and Peaches was not happy to see me go. She never is. She didn’t sleep with her dad that night but she was home on Saturday morning, insisting that he get up at 5:30 a.m., her usual breakfast time. She has many rituals and she wants them adhered to, no matter what. My husband calls her my Mini-Me. She is headstrong like her mama. She follows me everywhere I go, more like a dog than a cat.
Her disappearance has been sheer torture. I was worried when I was out of town and Tommy said that she hadn’t come home. I prayed that once she heard my voice, she would return. Now that I am home and she’s still not here I’ve been a basket case. She wasn’t there to snuggle up to me last night or the night before. She didn’t walk all over my chest mewing for me to get up at 5:30 this morning. She didn’t do any circles on top of me and plop her butt in my face or pull on my blankets when I felt like staying in bed. She wasn’t with me in the bathroom chewing on her favorite plant while I brushed my teeth. She didn’t rub all over my legs while I put the cat food in the bowl for her brother. Dash is twice her size and she usually finishes his canned food when she’s done with her own. There was food left in his bowl this morning. She wasn’t sitting on the arm of my chair in the living room, waiting for me to give her treats before I settled in to journal. As I wrote in my journal this morning, (my conversation with God on a regular basis) tears flowed down my cheeks. Peaches would normally be settling in for her happy-tummy-nap on her mama’s lap.
Today my daily musings were more of a cry for help, as they have been since she went missing. I asked God to PLEASE bring my baby girl home. I’ve had many cats in my lifetime, but I’ve never had as strong a connection to one as I have to my Peaches. I’ve said many times that God hand-picked her for me. After we had to put my previous cat Rocky Socks to sleep, my husband and I went to Pet Friends Animal Adoption. I was looking for another boy kitty for me and a girl kitty for Tommy. We lost his Baby Girl to cancer about a year before Rocky passed. I wanted a boy but I wanted an orange tabby. There was Peaches, an orange tabby with the sweetest face. When we got her out of her cage she was one of the most playful kittens I had ever seen. I took to her right away having no idea that she was a girl. Then we got Dash out of his cage. Tommy wanted to call him Sylvester because of his markings but his personality just didn’t match the name. When we brought our new family home he ran around our house with Peaches at breakneck speed, and I named him Dash.
In the beginning our new kids loved each other and played and slept together. It was one of the cutest things I had ever seen. After about six months Peaches decided that she didn’t want to be friends with Dash anymore. She would tolerate him but there would be no more snuggling. And she became very possessive of me. I was her mama and she had no intention of sharing me. If he jumped on my lap and she was there she swatted him. She may have been the girl and half his size but she ruled the roost, another trait that lent itself to my husband calling her my Mini-Me.
She and I do have an awful lot in common. She drinks water incessantly as I do. You can’t turn on a water faucet without her wanting to take a drink.
She is headstrong. She has her own desk chair next to mine in my office. When I write she likes to get on my lap which makes it hard to get any work done. She’s so darn cute that I have a hard time moving her. I pick her up and move her to her chair but she comes right back and gets on my lap again. I rub her on her little head, tell her that I love her but that I need to get some work done and scoot her back to her chair. She gets right back on my lap again. It’s taken as many as five times for her to give up and stay on her chair. Tommy has also referred to her as a bulldog like her mother. He may have something there.
Her chair sits empty next to me now. I will, however, trust God to bring her home. The first couple of days at home without her I failed miserably at trusting her to God. I was overcome with a desperate sense of loss that debilitated me. I can only compare it to how I felt when Tommy and I were separated. The pain is indescribable. It felt as if my life was over. I tried to shake it off with prayer. My mouth said, “I trust you Lord” but I couldn’t get my feelings to line up. I screamed out loud, “You gave her to me Lord. I know you would never take her away.” And yet, I couldn’t come to the place of believing, a knowing that God had things under control and that no matter what happened I would be okay and life would go on. I cried at every turn and couldn’t stop. Then I got mad at myself. I wondered how I could say I trusted my loving God and still expect to find out the worst. I had a terrible nightmare in which I found Peaches in the creek, mangled and dead. It was horrific and I couldn’t get the picture out of my head. Tommy told me to stop thinking like that and I told him that I couldn’t help it.
A couple of things happened today to change those terrible thoughts and feelings. For starters, those fervent prayers I wrote to God this morning included asking Him to help me get a hold on my negative thoughts. I asked Him to forgive me for my doubts and fears. We turned on Joyce Meyer this morning and as usual, her message was aimed right at me. At least that’s the way it feels a lot of the time. The title was. “How the way you think will affect the way you feel.” If you aren’t familiar with Joyce or her show you should check her out. She is a fabulous preacher and teacher and she always tells me what I need to hear. I already felt a little of the heaviness lifting off of me after my prayer but her message brought me even more peace.
My friend Wendy went with me to look for Peaches again today. We went down into the creek and although the bushes are very dense in places, I’m sure that my baby girl is not there. I’m praying that someone picked her up not knowing that she had a home. I never put collars on our babies because I didn’t want them to get them stuck on something and be choked to death. I’m also claustrophobic and the thought of having something around my neck that I couldn’t take off is dreadful. Peaches is my Mini-Me after all, I’m sure she wouldn’t like it either.
I’m having my faith tested beyond belief but it’s not the first time I’ve been here. As I share in my memoir, my marriage was saved and is flourishing and my husband has been sober for almost ten years. Many people said it was impossible, but here we are. We are living proof that God works miracles.
I will trust my life and my cat into His hands and I will expect the best. I managed to write this piece without crying. I’m seeing the empty chair as full because my girl will be returned. If it isn’t God’s will that things turn out the way I want them to, He will get me through that also. In the meantime I will pray and share Peaches stories. This awful situation has forced my butt back into my chair and I am writing. There is already a positive coming out of this negative experience.