During the Christmas holiday we were so privileged to be able to host two very well behaved cats. The week went by fast as Scotti and Rory immediately adjusted to their new surroundings and made themselves at home. Pretty soon it was New Year’s and we went out for about 1.5 hours. Before leaving, I checked that the cats were okay and we left the light on for them. Scotti was on the couch and Rory was on the armrest- both seemed content.
Fast forward to slightly after we had just celebrated the start of 2018. We got home and Rory was…..gone. Don’t panic- I told myself. He has to be here somewhere. We checked his usual hide-out places. No Rory. We walked around wrinkling treat bags and even downloaded a cat-finding app. We had had him for a week and we did all the things that usually draw him out. Gentle coaxing, fun bouncing balls, playing with Scotti so he would want to join……No Rory.
Now, we had arranged our living accommodation for the cats to be restricted to the kitchen and living room, the stairs, under the stairs, and hall way that goes about in a circle. Out of bounds areas were tightly closed with a door. Simply put, there was way enough space for the cats to explore and feel safe but they could be found within minutes. After an hour, we had checked every nook and cranny, cupboard, pot, pan, window sill, and crevice that might even be impossible for a cat as big as Rory to enter. We even assumed for some odd reason Rory had the dexterity and intelligence to open all the doors, so we checked through every single room in the house. This involved Andrea creeping into her sleeping Grandma’s room and quarters upstairs. (Please don’t ask her to break into a house- she would be too good at it). No Rory.
Rory is not particularly quiet. He is full-sized, active, meow’s, and purrs often. He knocks things over (nothing of importance, mind you), and jumps to precarious ledges. He has a fun, cuddly, loving spirit to him- he has presence. It got to the point were I knew if he was there, I would 100% wager that he would have come out by now. He is just that curious. We had checked everything 4 or 5 times at least. Andrea is the type of person that can find that “bonus” coin hidden in Escape rooms that 99% of people cannot find. Rory- a cat tons larger than a coin, could not be found. The only other alternative was that he had escaped.
Approximately 3am, desperation kicked in and we called Rory’s owner, hoping she was somehow awake partying with New Year’s Celebration so this problem could be solved by a simple GPS tracking system both cats were on. Rory was also microchipped. Unfortunately, she was probably sleeping and there was no answer. Andrea also woke her dad up at 3am, asking if anyone had somehow opened any of the doors the short time we were away. Possibly, my grandma might have, for an unbeknownst reason. Sleepily, my dad told me Rory was probably under the stair case, and frustratingly, I brushed him off, telling him we had already checked multiple times, every crevice with a flashlight. I asked him to pray and apologized for the disturbance.
By this time, we had even checked outside, the outskirts of the house/port, and around the neighbourhood…all the places a cat might hide in Sub Zero weather. There might be a possibility that Rory had attempted to return to his owner, three towns away. He was just not there, or anywhere. It had been 2 hours. Andrea even tried her own version of “cat-sign-language” to ask Scotti where his brother was. At most, it was entertaining. Scotti stared back, relaxed and silent.
It was around that time that I finally gave in to God. I had slept in and missed church that day so felt a bit guilty. I confessed and repented how, if Rory did indeed escape to his owner, I might not have been a good enough caretaker. All in all, I gave it up to God and started to close the front door to walk the neighbourhood a 3rd and most likely futile time. There was absolutely no fear in walking alone in the silent, pitch-dark, foggy, sub-zero weather.
As the door shut behind me and I had surrendered my fear and anxiety to Him. Jason called out that he had found Rory. He was under the stairs. (The place we had canvased and cleared several times with a flashlight). How could that be? I thought. Looking into all our actions, it would literally have to be impossible for Rory to have been there. It was impossible for him to have been at our place, and then, there he was. I then realized, my dad was correct, Rory was indeed under the stairs we had checked a million times. Praise the Lord.
Sometimes, it is just simply easier to accept God’s grace and actions for us rather than justifying or rationalizing it through worldly physics and analysis. Sometimes, we just have to accept that when all else fails, there is God. In hindsight, sure, we could hypothesize that Rory might have been scared if there were loud firework noises and had gone into hiding; certainly there was the probability of human error, but the truth was, we had combed EVERY corner of under the stairs with a flashlight, many times over, and there was just no possible way he was there. Until I had surrendered my anxiety and fears to Him and simply gave up trying to use my own human abilities.
All in all, this was a very humbling and fruitful lesson to me, as well as being able to open up my heart to these two beautiful cats for my friend this week. Thank you to their owner S for entrusting her cats to me. They gave us happiness and joy this week to host them. I write this not because this was inconvenient for me, but for the amazing revelation of how God comes through when things seem impossible. This is entirely not sarcastic, but I will for sure remember this start to this new year-2018. Happy New Year everyone!