An answer to prayer named Josie

This past August, my sister and her husband lost their beloved black lab, Raven. He had passed away very unexpectedly. Their hearts were broken, inconsolable. No children of their own, this boy was their baby, an ever-present companion that obeyed them without question and gave them bountiful, unconditional love.

The only drawback to Raven was that when they left the house for anything other than church, he’d find some mischief to get into. It seemed to me he was punishing them for having the audacity not to take him along. They had taken him with them everywhere, but occasionally there were situations where he simply had to stay home.

Before going away, they had dog-proofed their home as best they could. Still, somehow Raven found a way, in his mind, to get even. It was astounding that church he could understand; he was the perfect saint while they were away at church. Anywhere else? Game on.

One day they came home to the garbage strewn all over. Once he ate a banana. On another occasion, he had managed to get up on the cupboard and tear into his treats jar, knocking it to the floor, the treats spilling out. When they got home they found the glass treat jar unbroken and completely empty.

He was a very intelligent dog, completely in tune with the routine of their lives, and integrated himself like an offspring. So when he passed away, they were beside themselves with grief, bereft at the gaping hole his absence left, and prayed to the Father to please help them cope somehow.

The day after Raven died, a feral kitty and her momma just showed up on their deck, off their living room. It seemed as if God, hearing their heartfelt cries, had reached down, giving them a small reprieve from their anguish.

They began leaving food for them. Soon it was a date. The food was left on the patio and the little cat family showed up. My sister put up a small toy on a rope just outside the door to entice them to stick around. Mom would eat and run, kitty stayed for recess. A laser light was discovered in a desk drawer, and soon kitty was chasing a little red dot all over the deck.

Month after month, week after week, day after day, this went on, feeding, watching the little one play. As soon as my brother-in-law or sister would move about inside the house, the kitten and mother would bolt like lightning, disappearing until the next feeding.

My sister, with a heart of gold, fretted over the cold weather bearing down, because by this time, the fall leaves had disappeared, and winter was just around the corner. Thinking of our barn cats I consoled her, “They adapt. They’ll grow a coat. You’re feeding them. They have fuel in their bellies for warmth.” She was unconvinced.

Presently, it was just the kitten coming and she was growing. Naming her Josie, they had no idea where she went when she wasn’t with them, but she was definitely spending more and more time just hanging around.

One day my sister left the patio door open and the kitty cautiously stepped inside. At that moment, my sister shut the door. The kitty was inside, but oh, not happy. She cried and cried, hiding in spots that seemed impossible to crawl into.

One day I received a text, “We should have named her Houdini! She keeps disappearing. She was in back of the washer yesterday. Today, we found her inside the desk drawer in the office, lying flat as a pancake. The other day she was on top of the mantle!”

By and by, Josie settled in. My sister and her husband made a cozy little kitten haven in their office area, complete with an open-sided box of toys high on a shelf, a litter box and a food dish. They are enjoying her antics. One day, she pulled a roll of toilet paper, running and sliding, across the expanse of the house. She has her own kitty language, with soft rumbling and singing. She also purrs when my sister talks to her, giving my sis kitty kisses by licking her hand with her little bitty pink sandpaper tongue. Googling that response, my sister discovered this shows that she trusts her people and is happy!

An answer to prayer; after painstaking patience, much love and a little food, this feral cat named Josie has taken over their hearts, purring contentedly in their laps as she enjoys her new forever home.

Personally, I think Josie had her own prayers answered!

(“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4)