My husband was clear. I was not allowed to feed the cats that came to visit in the yard because they would quickly become part of your family!
One day, Mike and I were having a small BBQ, just a few hot dogs. There was this one small cat who had been visiting us occasionally. She looked very young. Well, to my surprise, Mike threw her a piece of hotdog! From that day forward she would frequent our back porch coming closer and closer each time. Eventually, she came into the house one day but only up to the counter because Louie, our Maltese, always barked to make sure she knew that this was his house!
Since I could not get her to stay inside, I made shelters (on the porch) to keep her warm throughout the winter and on rainy days. Sometimes she would get under the blankets and sometimes I would see her just sitting on the top step trying to keep out of the rain. I could never get her to stay in the house, though. She would just eat and then run! Well, she wound up getting pregnant. So, I began to give her extra food and cream. When she gave birth, I realized she must have had her babies somewhere in the yard next door because she would come to the house everyday to eat and then leave in that direction. Wanting to give her the best possible care, I contacted the Liberty Humane Society, but was told they would not be able to come out. They also told me that the kittens would need to stay with the mom for at least 5 weeks. So, I just kept feeding her as she visited.
During that time, and for the a few months already, my Louie had been sick and was getting worse. Eventually, the time came when we had to say goodbye to Louie. He was almost 16 years old when he passed away. In fact, today (08/17) would have been his birthday. It was around 10:00 PM, on the very same night Louie left us, that I was sitting on my couch listening to the rain when I heard kittens crying. I asked Mike to go out and get them. Like a real trooper, He went into the garage and climbed out the back window, which led into our neighbor’s yard, in search for them! Yes, Jen (the neighbor) was well aware of the trespassing! LOL. Mike was able to open the fence behind the garage and grab 2 kittens from a puddle of rain. However, the mom and the other kitties were not there. As soon as he brought them home, I put them both in a towel and warmed them up.
The next day when she came to eat I showed her the two babies we had managed to rescue. They were in my kitchen in a box. Mind you, she was really confused because she didn’t know that Louie was no longer there. So, here were two of her babies on the floor while the others were still out there somewhere in the cold. Poor thing! I kept and eye on her as she left and noticed that she went back to the area where Mike had previously been. He followed her back to the same spot and noticed two more babies behind the fence in the corner. He was able to retrieve those as well and bring them back to the house.
There they were, four of the cutest things sitting on my kitchen floor all snuggled in blankets. Now, mom had no choice but to come in. I had them all, the whole family, except the dad! LOL. All this happened so fast!
Everyday she got more and more comfortable. She slept on the kitchen floor next to her babies. They would all gang up on her to feed and play. So, so cute! I fostered them for another four weeks until I was blessed with finding a home for each one of the four kittens. My sadness in losing Lou was comforted by watching them frisk and nurse from their mom every day. It was amazing and comforting.
God speaks to us in very special ways. One day while sitting on the floor playing with the kitties and seeing how content and safe the mother looked, I just started to cry thinking about the goodness and kindness of God. I thought about how much He really cared, even for these cats! He gave them the opportunity to experience so much love out of nowhere. They no longer had to struggle to find a place where they could be warm, safe, fed, and loved. They were (and still are) well taken care of.
God began to speak to my heart about how much more He loved me (us) and how we too were ADOPTED and brought into His family!
“But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the Law, that we might receive our adoption as sons.”Galatians 4:4-5
He also reminded me of how we, as His children, have received His Holy Spirit through spiritual adoption.
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”Romans 8:15
I thought about how this cat would initially run back into the freezing cold, the rain, and the dangers of being attacked by other cats (she has a few deep gashes in her side as evidence) when she could have just stayed and be warm, safe, and loved upon. Instead, because of mistrust, doubt, and fear she suffered longer than needed.
We too have been offered a safe and loving home in Jesus. We can trust Him completely because He has a good plan for our life. However, we need to chose to come to Him and stay —in His presence in prayer, worship, and the reading of His Word.
These are the keys to getting and staying close to Him. He will do the rest by taking care of us and providing everything we need in this life. Just as this cat settled in our home, we just need to trust God and settle in His presence.
Now, “Kitty Vilardo” is spoiled. She has her own toys and gets to sleep wherever she wants. She is a healthy, playful, and very happy adopted cat.