“Meow! Meow!” was the cry of Pat the Cat. What had been her worst night, thankfully, became an answer to a prayer and a dream for us.
Pat was probably no more than 2 years old when we found her or, rather, she found us. Stray and skinny, this rescued kitty was still a beautiful wild thing. Her nightly ritual of prowling was ending. We had sold our house and moved to camp to work for the summer.
Our greatest concern for the feline was that she would attempt to escape the comforts and safety of the camp cabin. We had taken precautionary measures to ensure she would have a great summer. The cabin was like most summer camps: no air conditioning. We had tacked up screens on the window to keep critters from getting in and Pat from getting out.
Two nights after our arrival, around 3:00 a.m., I heard a scratching at the screen. In a groggy state, I awakened in time to see Patty jumping out the window. I woke up my sister and yelled, “Patty Cat has escaped!” With no streetlights at the cabin, we did the best we could to round her up. Not wanting to wake all the campers, over and over, we whispered her name and shown a flashlight around, trying to find her. After much searching, we finally decided we would have to try again in the morning. Our hearts were broken. Our hope was she would return the next day.
That night, my sister Bev and I prayed and asked the Lord to keep her safe from all the many animals that lived in that area. Neither of us would even speak the words that were running through our minds concerning her safety.
Bev and I had dreams about Pat. In both dreams, she came back but she was in rough shape. In mine, she had torn her front leg badly. In Bev’s, she had broken her front leg.
Later that morning, I called several friends that loved animals as we do and asked them to pray. One friend asked, “Why do you think she escaped?’ Kiddingly, I said, “She does not understand that she is adopted. She thinks she is still wild!”
The search continued this time with more folks joining us. NO Patty to be found.
The next day, I kept checking out the back window where she had escaped to see if she was standing there waiting to get back into the cabin. No Patty.
The following day was the same routine with the same results. This went on for another four days. It was day six after Pat the Cat had decided to take a stroll into territory that she was very unfamiliar with. I was beginning to think this story was not going to have a happy ending, but I kept remembering the two dreams. In the dreams, she had come HOME!
I had a speaking engagement the following day, so I left town. My sis continued to watch and pray.
Sunday morning at 6:34 a.m., I heard a “ding” on my cell phone. I had received a text from my sister. Not being a morning person, if I receive a text that early, it better be IMPORTANT! It was! Bev had sent a text with a picture of Pat the Cat gobblin’ down her Fancy Feast. The only caption was, “Guess who decided to come home?”
I just screamed. I was amazed. Bev said she was lying in bed and suddenly heard, “MEOW. MEOW.” Loud and so proud was the call of Pat the Cat to her master. It was a pitiful little cry. One day before this, Bev decided it was time to nail the screen back around the window. She had left it open for almost a week “just in case.” Patty was now at the same place she had departed from and couldn’t figure out how to get back in. She stood there looking up at the window crying. Bev walked out the front door and went around to the back of the house, picked up Pat, and carried her back into the cabin.
She was skinny! We will never know what she ate or if she ate while she was on her expedition. But one thing is for sure, she wasn’t feasting fancy that past week. Li’l ole Pat had decided to leave the comforts of home and venture out into the great unknown. From the looks of the picture Bev sent me, she was a mess. Her hair was crazy looking. I guess when you’re in the wild, you don’t have as much time to primp. You’re on the run from predators.
What a fine welcome home this cat got. Even though she left out the back window, she was issued in grand style through the front door. A Fancy Feast meal was set before her.
About 30 minutes later, my sis sent an updated picture. This wild feline had perched herself on grandma’s handmade quilt. As most cats do, her pose was quite regal even though her hair showed the trauma of the week. Thankfully, she was injury free!
It’s an interesting thing about ole Patty. She doesn’t have much a hankering to go outside anymore. Isn’t this the way it is with us and God? The more we run away and go hungry and do whatever we have to in order to survive in the wild, the more we should long to cry out to our Master, let Him welcome us back inside, eat a feast placed in front of us, and then rest comfortably in His arms. No one was mad at Patty when she came home. I think God is also glad when His children return to his safe arms.
Featured Image By Timothy Meinberg