Monday, May 17, 2010

The Persistant Stragler

We have a new house member. He showed up on our doorstep looking disheveled, hungry, and tired. He was persistent and didn't stop announcing his presence until we fed him, gave him something to drink and a place to lay his head. His name is Henry.

Our town has a huge feral cat population. Quite a few of them show up on our doorstep but leave after a day or two, not wanting anything to do with people. But Henry was different. He yowled outside the house for 4 days but wouldn't let us anywhere near him. He didn't trust people. Yet it was obvious he needed some help.


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Henry won't let me near him with the camera. But he looks a lot like this cat.

The day that I fed him, he came right to me. He ate like he'd never seen food. He sniffed my hand, looked me over, then ran and hid.

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The second day I found him in our garage. There had been torrential rains all night and he needed a dry place to stay. I set up a box with some towels for him and gave him more food. This time he rubbed against my legs and sniffed the box. And ate and ate and ate.

The third day, I found him in his box asleep. He woke up as I was filling his food dish and meowed at me. He let me pet him. He dissolved into a pool of mush and purrs. He didn't want me to leave him.


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He followed me into the house. The other cats were waiting for him in the kitchen, lined up and in various stages of growling, hissing, or staring him down. He sat down and hunkered in close to me. I could feel him shaking. He was afraid. This clearly was not a cat that was meant to live in a feral community with many cats jockeying to be the alpha. We went back outside.

I should tell you that I tried for several days to find him another home, either at a no-kill shelter (they were all full) or with a friend (they passed). So I guess he's my cat, as I'm the only person he wants to be around.

Yesterday, I went out on the back patio where he was sitting. He came over to me and climbed onto my lap and fell asleep for an hour. Totally relaxed, limp as a noodle. He had found what he was looking for.


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While he was sitting in my lap, I realized that this is the type of relationship God wants us to have with him. We may come to him distrustful but broken and needy at the same time. He supplies our needs, often times quite modestly, but in doing so he gives us comfort. When we aren't sure if we can trust the world around us and we're frightened of what surrounds us, He freely lets us lean on Him and removes us from fear and uncertainty. When we realize finally that there is no one greater than Him, no one more worthy of our trust and fall into His arms, He holds us like a baby. And He doesn't let go. He can take away anxiety, pain, distrust, and fear. All we need to do is come to Him.

I'm not comparing myself to God - there is only One. But to Henry, I believe I am one of the first people to ever show him love, kindness, and protection. I think I might have a new friend for life.

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All photos from We Heart It.

17 comments:

stringsofpurls said...

Nice...

Lois Evensen said...

You have been adopted. :)

Hugs,
Lois

Roxanne said...

This made me cry!!! I found my Hankers the same way; he curled up in my lap and wouldn't leave. Then (haha) he came into my house and promtly took a poop on my bed! He's my bestest friend and I wouldn't trade him for anything. Hank and Henry...that sounds nice, huh?

Beverly Ash Gilbert said...

What gorgeous shots!! The one of him hiding between the blue wood is stunning!!

We were adopted 9 years ago by our cat, Beethoven. He howled at my window for days shadowing me - funny how animals choose their people.

Emma said...

Awww, I love this cat already! Beautiful photos!

Cassandra Frear said...

Beautiful story.

Here's mine of a stray that won our hearts, posted some time ago.

http://www.moonboatcafe.com/2009/09/gray.html

Christina said...

Bless your heart... and henry's.
: )

beth said...

without a doubt, you are his momma !
how lucky is he ?

Katie said...

Thanks for following my blog! Our kitty, Liz Lemon, was a humane society rescue. She had been with a family for a year (who adopted her from the HS, also), but when it came time for her yearly vet checkup, they decided she wasn't worth it. We were looking at kittens to adopt, but when I heard her story, it broke my heart. She came home with us that day. I think it was fate. She'd had a pretty traumatic 2 days and was terrified of people. Wouldn't eat, wouldn't come out from under the couch for hours! But 6 months later, she sleeps with us every night and is the most loving kitty! She's part of the family now.

erin said...

I love this story Erin! And its so true, God surely does take our pain and struggles and love us. Henry sounds like a sweet little guy! :-)

Michelle Elisabeth said...

hi Erin! Thank you so so much for submitting your photograph in the challenge! It's up :)

http://thymely-thoughts.blogspot.com/2010/05/photography-challenge-ii-show.html

Connie said...

great analogy! My cat was left in the street as a kitten. My daughter brought him to me. I can't imagine my home without him underfoot! Henry and you...you and Henry sounds like a perfect match :)

Emily said...

What a beautiful story! The love of a cat is something to be treasured for sure :)

Sara said...

Henry is one lucky cat now!

goldenbird said...

I love stories of kindness to animals. Henry sounds like a special kitty. He is lucky to have found you. Don't you just love that feeling of a cat curled up on your lap? It is so relaxing, especially if there's some purring going on.

Earth Mama said...

what great pics of kitties. I especially love the one peeking out from behind the blue wood.

:)Lisa

Linda said...

He is a gorgeous cat, such lovely photos of him! I am sure the others will all settle down to him being around soon!

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