Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Unexpected Blessings

This is Patches. When I first met her she went by a different name, Devil Cat. Back when she was "DC" she was our neighbor's cat. She hissed, she yowled, she pooped in our yard. I did not like her. For me that is a rarity, for I am a self professed cat person. Growing up we always had a cat as a pet. There was Kitty, Jezebel, Precious, Arthur, Cloudy, Socks, Tiny and Tigger just to name a few.Our neighbors moved out (another unexpected blessing!) but "DC" stayed. At first I thought they were coming back for her, but eventually they stopped coming back and I knew they had abandoned her. After a few days I went and bought cat food, I couldn't stand for even "DC" to starve. I seriously thought about calling the animal shelter, but with all the foreclosures in our area, they were overwhelmed with animals and I knew what would happen. I couldn't bring myself to do that, even to "DC".
So I fed her for several weeks. But in order to do this, NO ONE could be within 50 yards of this cat or she wouldn't eat. I am seriously not overexaggerating. Our laundry room overlooked the backyard, and if she was in the backyard trying to eat and I even opened the garage door to get to the laundry room she would freak and split. Seriously skitty kitty.
After 3 or 4 months, she finally started calming down. I could look out the window and watch her eat. Then I could stand at the back door and watch her eat. Then I could open the back door and stand in the back yard and watch her eat. Then I could walk up next to her, eventually petting her. Then she'd start coming to me. But all of this didn't happen quickly, it took another 3 or 4 months until she was completely comfortable with me. Lots of little baby steps, "DC" was one traumatized kitty and gaining her trust wasn't an easy task.
Once she was comfortable with me she'd start hanging out all the time. In the front yard, on the porch, under the big bush out front when it was hot. She's first scat when the kids came outside, but eventually she'd hang around. Occasionally she'd let them pet her, but when all three came at her she'd get scared and take off or give them a warning swipe. Never hurting them though.

A good year went by while we worked on building a relationship. "DC" became Patches, the new name fitting her softening and blossoming personality. She has been with our family for about a year and a half now, fully trusting and the best cat ever. This is not an overstatement. She sleeps with the kids (well, she's not supposed to but she sneaks in there sometimes). She sits on the couch with me for hours watching TV. On Sunday mornings when we let her in (she sleeps in the garage) the first thing she does is look for me and if I'm still in bed, she joins me.

She is the most patient cat with our children. They choke hug her. They pick her up and lug her around. They dress her up. They've locked her in the bathroom or a closet on more than one occasion. They've made her play "cops and robbers" with them (guess who is the one in jail?). They treat her like kids sometimes treat their pets and she has never not once gotten even. She'll give them a warning swat or nip, but has never drawn blood. It's her way of saying, "That's enough guys".

What an unexpected blessing Patches is to our family. My Hubby would sometimes disagree as he's not a big cat person, but even he likes her most of the time. Lots of work to get her to the point she's at, but the reward has been better than one could have anticipated. There is not another cat on this earth that would be the way she is with our three hooligans. She is the best cat, period.

Baby steps, patience, giving grace, gaining trust, showing love, opening hearts, softening of spirit. Seems like a good parallel to remind us that not only are we as parents called to do this for our children but our Heavenly Father wants to do this for us. All we need to do is just open a small speck of our hearts to let the work begin.


  1. What a sweet post, thanks for sharing! My nickname is DC(Decorchick), but I'm not a devil I promise! ;)

  2. Talk about loads of patience. She looks like she is a good size kitty...

  3. Bless you for doing that ... poor kitty must have been very traumatized. But it looks like she's taken to you all just fine!

  4. I am glad that you came over.
    I am amazed at your patience in winning over Patches. I know she must feel very loved now.


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