I’m feeling sad because Charlotte is gone. Over the weekend I was able to send her back to Debbie, the woman from whom I adopted her. While it makes me very sad that I had to do it, I’m also glad because, hopefully, Debbie will be able to find a more suitable placement for her. I was not that situation, unfortunately, though I wish I could have been.
This whole situation with Charlotte has taught me a number of things. For one thing, I’ve learned that I need to be much more patient when I’m waiting for God to answer my prayers.
I had prayed for a new cat after Lily died, but sometime around June I started feeling desperate for the companionship that a cat has always provided for me. So I started looking online for a new cat, even though I sensed that I might be rushing things a bit. I prayed for God’s guidance as I always do, but I tried to ignore the guidance He was sending me, which was a hesitancy, and an intuition that I should wait.
And for the record, it’s always a bad idea to ignore that hesitancy and intuition that invariably is from the Holy Spirit, telling you to wait, as it was telling me.
But I didn’t want to wait. I was feeling a bit frantic and desperate, because I was missing someone to take care of, and pet, and cuddle, and talk to.
Yup. I talk to my cat. Every pet owner I know talks to their pets as if they were human and can respond in kind. When I’m leaving to go someplace I tell her how long I’ll be gone and that I love her, and sometimes I tell her where I’m going as well. It matters not that I don’t hear a response. What matters is that she hears me say it, whether she can understand it or not.
And even more, I was missing the comfort and peace that a purring cat has always provided me. There’s just something about a purring cat that makes me feel contented. It’s hard to feel upset when you’re sitting with a cat in your lap with its motor on, with it’s body vibrating from the purring, and the sound of the roaring in your ears. I have especially missed that aspect of having a cat.
So I pushed aside God’s leading. I told myself that maybe His leading was actually the devil trying to put doubt in my mind that I wasn’t really hearing from God. That happens to me all the time anyway, so I tried to fool myself that this was one of those times, but of course, it wasn’t.
The Bible says that God isn’t the author of confusion,
For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:33, NKJV.
Certainly I was confused, but it was because I was creating my own confusion. It wasn’t because of anything God was doing.
So I started looking for a new cat.
And lo and behold, the devil found one for me! If you need patience, don’t pray for it. If you do, the devil will give you many opportunities to practice it. And that’s what happened here. I found a beautiful little three-month-old, part Siamese, blue-eyed kitten who was being fostered. They told me she was feral, but because she was being fostered, she had improved and her behavior was better than it had been at the beginning.
So I ignored the part about her being feral with bad behavior. I overlooked all the negative things that they were saying about her, and I only saw how pretty she was. I refused to look deeper to see the heart of darkness (the devil) that was motivating her.
In her defense, she came to me with a littermate, who I named Margaret, but about five days after they arrived, poor Margaret died, probably from an undiagnosed heart problem. And a good part of Charlotte’s problem may have been that she was lonely because she missed Margaret. She didn’t know me at all, and the one and only thing she was familiar with abandoned her soon after they arrived. I’ve wondered if somehow she blamed me for Margaret’s abandonment and death, because it happened at my house right after they got here.
Charlotte was a very smart cat. She figured out how to open doors using the doorknob, and she also figured out that she could use the bathtub as a litter box. At some point along the way, I started noticing that she was peeing in the bathtub (when she wasn’t peeing in my bed or on my cross stitch!), and pooping in the litter box.
She never took to me. She never adapted to living with me. I could never get her to come to me. She never would let me pet her, or even touch her at all. If I ever walked toward her ~ even if I was clear across the room or at the other end of my apartment ~ she would bolt away in terror, and race upstairs to my loft.
That was always incredibly frustrating to me, and it was hard not to take it personally. Rejection is still something I’m sensitive to, and even though Charlotte is a cat, I really had to work at convincing myself that it wasn’t about me, because her rejection was so consistent.
So now I’m back where I started, without a cat. Harrumph. And I’ve decided that I’m going to wait until it’s right this time. How will I know, you ask. I’ll know because I’ll have God’s peace, the peace that passes all understanding.
Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:6-7, RSV.
I’ve experienced that peace when I was trying to make a decision before, and it’s pretty amazing. It calmed any confusion I was feeling previously., and I was able to go ahead with the decision I was trying to make, which was a major one, buying a car.
This is a pretty long post, and I hope everyone will forgive me for dragging it out as long as I have, but I really needed to say all this stuff.