Having six cats, one of them is bound to go missing at any given time. Shasta disappeared for twenty four hours. Mama disappeared too. This time, it was Charlie.
I woke up on Friday morning to my mother saying, “I’m still worried about Charlie.” I guess he went outside at six or seven, and it was now eleven and he hadn’t come back. She knew something was up because the other cats would come right back in. So, I jumped out of bed, got dressed and dove into the snow.
Oh yeah, it was snowing. And yeah, he had about five inches already.
Mom was worried about Charlie because he’s slightly disabled, and also, he’s the smallest of the cats. So, you can imagine why Mom was mostly worried about him. The snow was probably taller than he is.
I spent a good hour walking around the property calling for him and looking under the stairs and anywhere else I could think of. I couldn’t find him. “He’s probably inside,” I said. I went downstairs and looked for him in his usual spots. Nope, he wasn’t inside.
We went out later as the snow was coming down harder. I walked to the end of the road and looked for him under the trees he likes to rest at. Nope. He wasn’t on the trail either, nor was he under the shed that was nearby. Man was it getting colder. The snow was piling up so much now.
“This is the time when the cats sleep,” Mom said to me through tears. “He’s probably going to fall asleep where he is and not wake up. He’s stuck somewhere.”
Good ol’ chatterbox, putting the worst what-if scenarios into your head.
I went over to my neighbor’s house and looked under their shed. I dug out around their steps, since I know the cats like to go under them and sleep. Nothing. I trespassed on my other neighbor’s property and looked around their porch, since Charlie likes to go over there and sleep. Nope. I went back inside and looked downstairs, to no avail.
It was freezing. The snow was getting so high. Eight inches maybe? I even looked in our cars!
“There’s no way he can be alive,” Mom said. Honestly, there wasn’t any logical way for him to be alive in this. I’m telling you, it was freezing all day. I looked everywhere for that cat.
That morning, Mom and I watched a message that our pastor did a few months ago. It was based on one of my favorite verses. In fact, I even said it last week. Be anxious about nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, submit your requests to God.
Be anxious about nothing. That was kind of hard to do with the chatterbox telling us lies about how our cat was not able to be alive in this. He got cold, he stopped moving, the snow covered him up, he fell asleep, he died. Thanks brain…
But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving… Thanksgiving? What did I have to be thankful for right now? That I had five other cats? That didn’t make me feel any better. That I had Charlie for a year and a half? I wanted more time with him.
Submit your requests to God. “Ok God, I request that You bring Charlie back.”
I went back inside and Mom and I shrugged and tried to let this go. Mom was convinced he was gone, and I was trying not to be convinced he was gone.
It was about five thirty when I came out of the den to investigate some random noises. It was just a cat. It was just a cat at our bedroom deck door.
Just a cat? It was freakin’ Charlie! I let him in and I scooped him up and I brought him into the den.
Now, here’s the thing: he wasn’t cold, and he wasn’t wet. It was like someone had him in their house. Now, he’s back in ours, with no desire to go back outside. Like, at all.
The thing about God is, His time and our time is not the same. And I don’t like it. Just letting you know.
My pastor, Steven Furtick, has a book called Crash The Chatterbox. He has really shown a bright light on crippling it can be. Insecurities, doubts, worst case scenarios, they’re so dangerous; mentally, physically, spiritually. I feel like I failed at not letting it get to me, but I did learn that I have the tools to fight back. Next time I’ll need to actually pick them up and use them.
What if Charlie is gone?
That would be depressing.
But God will restore what’s been lost.
That’s very comforting to know.