The Lost (Cat) Shall Be Found
I work at a memory care assisted living community. Part of the home-like environment includes a plethora of animals for pet therapy, companionship, and humor. Last week, I felt like I was living in a zoo. All eight of the fluffy, white haired, 12-pound poodle breeds were running amok; the parakeets were chirping incessantly; and one of the miniature horses slipped in the side patio door and was walking down the hallway leaving presents like it owned the place.
Midway through last week's hectic Thursday afternoon, someone dropped off another cat for our community. And not just any cat. A $2,000 orange Persian "grumpy face" cat that wouldn't even get out of its cage for two days.
We decided to house the cat in one of the administrator's offices overnight. There are over 100 residents and just as many staff, so you can imagine that a quiet house cat might not do so well playing a feline version of "Frogger" in our community.
At 8 a.m. the next morning, I receive a page from an office mate: "NEW CAT IS GONE: PLEASE FIND" is all it said.
The cat is gone?
I scooted down to the office where it had stayed overnight. The director was a mess, looking everywhere, frantic for the cat. I rounded up some staff, and we searched the closest 20 rooms, lifting up bed skirts and standing on stools to check above the cupboards.
I am allergic to cats, but all I could think of were the millions of places for a cat to hide and never leave. We needed to find this cat alive … and soon.
"Have you seen a cat? Gato? Orange cat about this big?" Some said no, but nobody said yes.
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks (or a few bags of cat litter). "Why am I wasting time trying to find this cat? God already knows where this cat is! Hasn't He proven more than capable of helping in times of need?" Perhaps this search isn't as impossible as I thought...
I ran back to my office, shut my door, knelt and prayed to find a cat.
"Lord, please help me find this cat alive and well and quickly. We can't afford something to happen to this animal."
When I walked out of my office, a woman approached me and said, "I heard you're looking for a cat. I would suggest looking in really small spaces. If it's new here, then it has probably hidden itself very well."
I thanked her and headed toward a wing of unsearched rooms. On my way, I saw one of our many storage closets cracked open. I felt prompted to go in there and look around. Reams of paper, envelopes, and boxes of supplies packed the shelves, but I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary.
Again, I was prompted to start opening the boxes.
"Lord, there are a lot of boxes in here" I said — you know, just in case He couldn't see the obvious.
A napping, orange fluff ball was breathing heavily in the first box I opened.
I called the front desk and asked them to page "CAT FOUND."
Happily, the cat did not become a community cat; we found a loving associate to adopt him.
When my administrator saw the page, she asked how I found the cat. I said, "To be honest, I prayed we could find the cat, and God helped us."
She shrugged, "Oh, that's nice." It wasn't much of a response, but at least I've planted a seed. Now she knows I pray and I believe in God. And perhaps we'll discuss that further someday.
I don't have any flocks or fields, but I had a missing cat, and I knew what to do. I prayed over it (Alma 34:20). Maybe it's ridiculous. Maybe someone wouldn't waste a prayer on a cat. But I remember hearing a story from many years ago of a sister whose sick cow was healed by a minister's prayer.
I'm the only person at my work from The Church of Jesus Christ. I work with a lot of good, kind-hearted people who come from many different religions. But my God is alive and quick to answer prayer, and I intend to tap into that power any chance I get for His honor and glory.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.