|Macy in her new home with Blair|
Several months ago, my husband, Carn, heard the plaintive, sad cry of a kitten when he reached the entrance to Macy's department store at our local mall. Peeking out among the shrubs near a huge trash bin was an adorable calico cat who appeared to be about four months old and desperately wanted some attention. When he attempted to approach her she scurried away into the depths of the greenery. She had obviously been abandoned and left to survive on her own. Carn often walks in the mall for exercise, so being both a cat lover and soft-hearted, he decided to use the same entrance to the store over the next few days to see if he might encounter her again and, of course, he did.
It was spring and the weather was pleasant enough for her to be outside but he wasn't sure how she was getting food and water. He didn't want her to starve, so a couple of times he bought her a sandwich from a nearby fast food place until I convinced him it would be much more economical to bring her dry cat food. He started to leave food for her every day and she began to make an appearance as soon as he put a bowl out for her. Spring turned into summer and they became well acquainted. Even though she would come close and greet him with a hearty meow when he had cat food in his hand, she wouldn't let him touch her.
My husband soon discovered there were others who shared his concern and they too would feed her from time to time, but none as faithful as he. She became his "mall kitty" and he always carried food for her in the trunk of his car. As colder winter weather approached, he had serious concerns about her survival. Through friends at a cat-rescue center where I volunteer, an arrangement was made with the city animal shelter for the kitty to be captured and re-homed. An employee at Macy's, a young lady named Blair, had also been worried about the tiny outcast's welfare and had been trying to gain her trust so she could catch her. She and my husband met by chance one day as Carn arrived with his bowl of cat food. She was thrilled when he told her of the impending rescue and told him she had already decided to adopt this sweet little creature.
A few weeks passed. One day after work, Blair stopped by to check on the kitty and noticed the animal rescue group in the process of attempting to trap her. The terrified cat hid under the massive Macy's trash bin and couldn't be persuaded to come out. Blair sat on the curb near her for two hours, talking reassuringly to her until the kitten finally felt safe enough to crawl out. She was allowed to adopt her quickly and inexpensively from the shelter because she had been so helpful. Within days, the homeless kitty had a name, Macy (naturally) and a warm and welcoming place to live. And Carn breathed a sigh of relief.
I've heard people ask if spending time worrying about and rescuing animals makes sense when there are so many humans in the world who are in drastic need of help. And that's a valid question. Obviously the needs of people should never be neglected. However, the rest of creation is not unimportant to God. I'm reminded of Jesus' beautiful and validating words in Mt. 10:29 "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care...." NIV. While Jesus goes on to say people are worth more than many sparrows, he, with an added touch of tenderness, also reveals the Creator's intentional concern for diminutive sparrows. Amazingly, God actually knows when each one falls to the ground and dies. Though seemingly insignificant and monetarily valueless, they are still within the "Father's care."
Noticing the helplessness of abandoned and abused animals softens hearts, drawing kindness and a desire to nurture from people. Participation directly or indirectly brings a feeling of satisfaction and usefulness. Rescue volunteers and facilities are altruistically devoted to the welfare of animals. And when "furever" homes are found, the happy new owners of these rescued pets then become recipients of the pleasure and companionship these adoptees bring. Godly traits are at the core of the entire process. It's a beautiful cycle of God's goodness reaching far and wide and a poignant reflection of the "Father's care" for his whole creation.
Little Macy, the discarded mall kitty, found a lovely caring owner in Blair. But wait! That's not the end of the story. Blair already had two other aging rescue cats. One fell ill and was being stressed out by the energy of the new kitten. So we arranged for Macy to move in with our super-fun granddaughter, Jayci, and her new husband, Alex. Macy now has undivided attention, her own princess bed and pink toys. Her fuzzy presence brings affection and warmth to her "new" new home. And my husband is as pleased as he can be to have been a part of her rescue. Now what's wrong with that? Any time we are able to help ease the world's suffering, even if it comes in the form of an abandoned kitten with a cute orange nose struggling to survive under a department store trash bin, it's all good.
|Jayci and Macy in her "furever" home|