Tomorrow is Cinco De Mayo. It’s a day of festivities and jubilation at my business, Johnny’s Bar & Grill in Hollister, CA. Nevertheless, this year it also brings a bit of sadness. It will be eight months since my precious cat Peaches disappeared. I said I’d given up hope at the six month mark, but I continue to pray that one day she will walk through the cat door . She was different from any other cat I’ve owned and I’ve owned a few. She was very attached to me and followed me around like a dog. When we went camping or I went on one of my writing retreats she stayed in the trailer and took walks with me wearing a harness and a leash. She had many rituals and you could set your watch by her. I loved her so much and without God’s help to get past the sadness, it would certainly have smothered me.
I carried her to bed with me every night, and she would indulge me by lying next to me for about ten minutes. Then she was out the cat door for her nightly prowl. Sometime during the night she’d slink back into the house and snuggle up next to me again. At 5:00 a.m. she’d be ready for her breakfast and wake me by walking all over my belly and chest. She’d mew as if to say, “Time to get up, mama.” If I tried to ignore her and stay in bed she persisted with her traipsing over the top of my body and mewing. She was too cute to resist and I always got up and fed her, only occasionally returning to bed.
When I brushed my teeth she insisted on a drink of water. I would leave the faucet on real low while I brushed my hair and got dressed, all the while telling her how spoiled she was. “We are in the middle of a drought,” I’d retort. I was powerless to say no to anything that little charmer wanted. My heart was thoroughly wrapped around her itty bitty claw.
After feeding Peaches and her adopted brother Dash I went to my chair for God time and journaling. I enjoyed the quiet and used the time to pray and get my head straight for the day ahead. This was also treat time for my baby girl.
If I didn’t get out the Whiskas Temptation Treats, (preferably milk flavor) soon enough for her liking she knocked the bag on the floor. When I didn’t respond quickly enough she let me know she was displeased.
Once she had her treats she’d lay down in my lap for a snooze. Sometimes she’d stretch way out. I couldn’t resist rubbing her little white tummy.
But, most of the time she curled up in a cute little ball and covered her eyes so that my lamp didn’t keep her awake.
We used to call her the bath-time girl. Whenever I turned on the shower she sat on the ledge in front of it and watched the water while I waited for it to get warm. Once I squeezed past her to get into the shower she jumped up on the toilet seat and waited for me to finish my shower.
She hung out with me and waited for me to get dressed before following me to my office. I had to have two office chairs because she liked to get on my lap which made it real hard to get any work done. She enjoyed tossing herself across my keyboard.
I’d move her back to her chair and she’d come right back to my lap again. I kissed her on the head and told her that I needed to get some work done and put her on her chair once more. Sometimes she’d come back to my lap three or four times before giving up. Tommy would say, “Why don’t you just lock her out of your office so you can get some work done?” Like that was ever going to happen!
I have another orange tabby now. His name is Paddy and he’s a terror. He’s all boy and more feisty, and sometimes downright obstinate, than any other cat I’ve ever known. But he is cute as a button when he’s not tearing up the place, and on occasion he’s a real lover.
He likes to bury his head in my hair as he lies on my chest. It warms my heart so much and for a while the pain of the loss of my Peaches dissipates. But I doubt that it will ever go away completely.
The pain of her disappearance may always be a part of me. The not knowing is really hard. I can’t imagine how people whose children disappear or are kidnapped survive it. If a cat can cause my heart to break this much I think having a loved one disappear would just about kill me. Without God’s help to get past the sadness there would be no hope. Thankfully I have Christ to bind up my wounds. Psalms 34:18 says, The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and he saves those who are crushed in spirit. I’m so grateful for the comfort I receive from my Lord and Savior. I can’t imagine my life without Him.