Gone Missing

Cats are fickle and skittish. I called the cat. Which was a bad move. To whistle for a cat is like trying to lasso a rabid squirrel.

They carried flyers made from a home printer. A girl and her mother. They stood on my porch, toting a whole stack of them.

“I’m looking for HIM,” the little girl said, pointing to the flyer.

On neon-colored paper was a photo of a cat—white with black spots.

“He’s been gone two days,” added her mother. “My daughter and I are looking all over.”

This isn’t my first lost-animal case. Cats seem to find my house. I have adopted three feral cats in the last year.

I told the lady I hadn’t seen any feline.

“Thank you,” she said. “Call me if you do. Because it was kinda my fault he escaped. I’m a terrible mother.”

The flyer sat on my kitchen table with a pile of junk-mail and bills. I didn’t think much about it. Not even when my dog, Ellie Mae, whined at the back door.

When I opened the door, I saw black-and-white fur, nosing around our bushes.

I called the number on the flyer.

“YOU FOUND HIM?” were the first words of an excited mother. “I WAS SURE HE WAS DEAD!”

But cats are fickle and skittish. I called the cat. Which was a bad move. To whistle for a cat is like trying to lasso a rabid squirrel.

The animal got spooked. By the time the girl and her mother showed up, there was no cat.

The girl looked through the bushes, calling the animal’s name. She must’ve inspected every shrub, tree, and blade of grass.

The girl suggested leaving a bowl of tuna on the porch.

“He’ll be back,” assured the girl. “Trust me. I already talked to God about it.”

Right.

I woke up the next morning to text messages:

“Did you see him?” read one. “Sorry if I’m bothering you, my mom said I could ask.”

I checked the porch. The tuna was untouched.

Later that night, another text: “It’s me again, is he there?”

He wasn’t.

Another text: “How about now?”

This kid was nothing if not persistent.

A few mornings thereafter, I went to get the mail. I heard sounds on my porch. I saw black-and-white fur again.

A cat, lying on its belly. I didn’t make any sudden movements. I dialed the number.

The girl and her mother arrived in record time to find a feline reclining, swatting his tail. The little girl let out a happy holler.

That made me feel good.

She walked toward the cat and picked him up. The old boy was done roaming, I guess. The kid was over the moon. So was Mama.

So was I.

“I was SURE he wasn’t coming back,” her mother said. “But my daughter just kept telling me, ‘Keep believing, Mom. Believing is how miracles happen.’”

Miracles.

Well, I’ve been alive awhile. Not long, but awhile. I’ve learned things. Seen things. I’ve shaken hands with veterans. I’ve seen Willie Nelson sing “Amazing Grace.” I’ve watched eclipses. I’ve known love.

So don’t misunderstand me, I don’t wish for anything more than what I already have.

But God, if you’re listening…

I wish I could believe like that child does.

30 comments

  1. Melodie - August 29, 2017 2:11 pm

    I’ve witnessed many Blessings and Miracles. One just has to believe. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Dan - August 29, 2017 2:18 pm

    Amen brother, amen.

    Reply
  3. Martha - August 29, 2017 2:18 pm

    Amen, Brother.

    Reply
  4. Janet Mary Lee - August 29, 2017 2:20 pm

    Another of your best! I have seen miracles, too! I have been protected by miracles. It is hard to match the faith of a child, but God performs the miracle of working inspite of ourselves on some days. The trick is many times seeing them, as well as believing. Your post was a morning blessing!!

    Reply
  5. NovaLee - August 29, 2017 2:22 pm

    Thank you for this reminder of faith’s power.💙

    Reply
  6. Sam Hunneman - August 29, 2017 2:26 pm

    Amen.

    Reply
  7. Catherine - August 29, 2017 2:30 pm

    Miracles come in all sizes Sean. Believing they will happen gives us hope. Sometimes hope for a miracle is all we have to cling to. I still believe God is in the Miracle business. Somehow I think you do too. The stories you tell about people tell me so.

    Reply
  8. Pamela McEachern - August 29, 2017 2:59 pm

    Dear Sean – You already do. Each word I’ve read of your’s is an inspiration of the belief in faith you have in mankind and this great land we all love. I hope you are always aware it’s your faith that keeps us returning each morning, our hearts seek this certain peace you share so well. God Bless you and yours!
    PRAYERS FOR TEXAS 📿🇺🇸

    Reply
  9. Sharon - August 29, 2017 3:03 pm

    Jesus mentions about us having “a child-like faith”. Even so, Lord, even so.

    Reply
  10. Ann Cunningham - August 29, 2017 3:05 pm

    Thank you. I needed this today.

    Reply
  11. Jan - August 29, 2017 3:13 pm

    Amen!!!

    Reply
  12. Kay Keel - August 29, 2017 4:55 pm

    You are the true master of that last sentence! WOW! What a finish!

    Reply
  13. Myra Warren - August 29, 2017 5:13 pm

    Went through a divorce. Ex called me and asked if I would look after his cat while he visited his children. His place (where I once lived) was only minutes from work. I said okay. I placed water and cat food in my car, so I would not have to enter the house, because the cat stayed near the carport most of the time. Did this a couple of times. He moved to an apartment complex near me and called me one morning and said his mother was very ill and he had to take a flight as soon as he could travel to Bham. I agreed. He left a key and gave me directions. I climbed the stairwell, found the key, and checked on the cat. Swept up around the litter box, etc. (The cat was not accustomed to a ltter box). Just no longer felt comfortable in ex-husband’s territory.
    So, the next time he called (and his mother was very ill), I explained that I did not want to enter his home, but I would babysit the cat at my home. I had a cat, too, but the pets had known one another for years, no conflict. He brought the cat to my home and I asked him…If he wants to go out, what should I do? He said it would be okay. This feline had known me for years, but ran up the stairs and “hunkered down” for more than 36 hours, no matter what kind of food I offered. Finally, descended the stairs and made it obvious he wanted outside. I opened the doors to the deck. He did not return. Kept hoping for return. Ex notified me he would be returning, so I had to tell him the cat was missing. I felt awful about it. Upon Ex’s return, he searched the new neighborhood and the old neighborhood, with no results. He e-mailed me almost 2 weeks later and told me the cat had shown up on his doorstep! True love! Funny, he e-mailed me and asked if I would tend the cat again while he visited children. I replied that I would not be available. Last contact. Love your posts.

    Reply
    • Janis - August 30, 2017 2:01 am

      Myra…wow! I applaud you!

      Reply
  14. Bobbie - August 29, 2017 5:29 pm

    Me too!

    Reply
  15. Tammy - August 29, 2017 6:04 pm

    AMEN!!! Faith like a child!

    Reply
  16. Pat Byers - August 29, 2017 6:21 pm

    you are wrong on that, Sean. you already DO believe. just as that child, you do. i believe it.

    Reply
  17. Wendy - August 29, 2017 6:22 pm

    Our daughter’s beloved cat, named Dandy (short for DandeLION) disappeared when we moved to San Antonio in the 90’s. She’d never been out of the house. She never reappeared. So we assumed she was making her way back to her familiar home in Birmingham. It still hurts our daughter.

    Reply
  18. Jack Quanstrum - August 29, 2017 8:10 pm

    Me to, Sean. Great story about believing and being persistent. Again you show that every living thing has value and what faith is all about. Shalom!

    Reply
  19. Judy Miller - August 29, 2017 9:25 pm

    I wouldn’t think it would be that difficult for you to believe. You keep seeing little miracles everywhere you go. It’s really quite simple. We must believe as a child.

    Reply
  20. Michael Hawke - August 30, 2017 2:24 am

    Well said.

    Reply
  21. Janis - August 30, 2017 2:27 am

    I have been that little girl more often than I would have chosen! I am so grateful that she and her kitty were reunited…it is the worst kind of pain when it does not happen, and that is a lesson better delayed as long as possible.

    I cried when I read your story…for the past cats and dogs passed and lost; and for my four current cats that are scattered throughout the house safely snoozing away.

    I believe in miracles and have been the witness of them in others’ lives and my own life; and sometimes the miracle is that there is life and love after loss.

    Reply
  22. Lori - August 30, 2017 1:17 pm

    When we place our faith in Christ, recognizing all He has done and continues to do for us, we become His child – adopted into His family forever. With that new position, comes His continual blessings and perfect care over us, which in itself is a miracle. The gospel of John explains it best!

    Reply
  23. Marion Pitts - September 4, 2017 1:44 pm

    Amen. Oh, to have the faith as a little child.

    Reply
  24. Jody Welling - September 6, 2017 2:35 am

    Thanks for a moving story.

    Reply
  25. Kathi Harper Hill - September 7, 2017 1:31 pm

    Believe it or not, I have a male Maine Coon cat who comes when I whistle. Every time. He also plays fetch and follows me around like a dog. But he is a cat. I promise.

    Reply
  26. Bruce C - October 13, 2017 10:25 am

    Warmed my heart on a [finally] cool fall day … thanks, Sean!

    Reply
  27. Mary Beth Campbell - October 13, 2017 2:44 pm

    2 months from the original post & your words still evoke a reaction of hope, appreciation & pleasure in reading of miracles! Words, like God, hope, believing & miracles are eternal. They don’t go away & they spur us all on to a better place in our hearts & lives. You have to believe because you keep writing. We keep hoping because you keep spurring us onward. Thank you for your gentle pushes & revelations about the softer side of life! We need all the help we can get! God bless you & yours today & in the days to come. I believe He will!

    Reply
  28. Martha Lowe - October 13, 2017 2:57 pm

    Lost kittens to Lazarus, Lord help me believe❣️

    Reply
  29. unkle - October 13, 2017 3:49 pm

    well i never thought of it as a miracle but as there were 3 eye witnesses i will tell it. My trusty nephew and i had borrowed a trailer to transport a rather large piece of equipment. Trailer is ready to load and out of the building comes a big forklift with an old large arbor press swinging from chains . The chains went around the forks so as he approached the trailer i grabbed holt to the press to stop the thang from hitting the trailer.As my nephew looked from the front end i steped into the six foot wide gap in between the trailer and in the center of the fofk lift(pinch point). I was steadying the load and the driver was to ease forward slowly about a foot. Here i where it go good. Driver puts said big forklift in gear and i don’t know exactly how or why but the forklift lurched forward instantly closing the gap. My nephew ran around to see what was left of his dearly departed unKle. I some how was relocated 6 feet fron where i had been a second earlier. I even got to watch the wreck. The driver freaked because he last saw me in front of his machine. And yet there i stood . Nary a scratch. Nephew asked how did i get out of the way . I smiled and said I have friends in high places. FROM that day forward I always drove the forklift! miracles do happen. sometimes it is not for you but for the sake of the witnesses, so that they might benefit from it. Never give up hope. Goodness and mercy are out there. I am living proof. uk

    Reply

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