Monthly Archives: July 2013

Our Callie-Cat

That’s what David started calling her early on – Callie-Cat. We also called her Baby Kitty, Cuteness, and Crazy Kitty. We got her 3 years ago when some friends were giving away their cat’s kittens. The moment I saw Callie’s face, I knew she was supposed to be ours. Even though I had recently sworn we would be a one-cat household from now on, and we loved our old black cat, Hershey, without thinking, I tweeted back to this friend’s post with Callie’s picture, and told her we wanted that one. When she responded and said she was ours, I freaked out. I did not need nor want another cat. I told her to let me sleep on it first, hoping either sanity would kick in or my husband would talk me out of it. By the next morning, neither of those things had happened. After all, how could you resist that face in this twitpic?”

She quickly settled in as a member of our family. She was sweet, playful, snuggly, adventurous – the perfect cat. She took turns sleeping with each of the kids. She put up with them holding her, putting covers on her, and all the other things cats aren’t supposed to like. A year later, when my brother died, she was a bright spot for our family. In the last 3 years, Callie has been such a blessing to our family. I have loved all of our pets, but she’s the only one I’ve ever described as being a blessing. Image

On Tuesday night, she suddenly passed away. An indoor cat, she had been “missing” most of the afternoon and evening. When we found her, she was in really bad shape, breathing heavily, lethargic, and would not eat. Preston took her to the after-hours animal clinic, where they found she had fluid in and around her lungs, and even some in her abdomen. Her temp was 87 degreed F. I cat’s normal temp is around 101 degrees F, I believe. In spite of the doctor’s best efforts to save her (and with symptoms pointing to congestive heart-failure, which shouldn’t happen to a 3-year-old cat) she died less than 2 hours later. The doctor wasn’t sure what caused her sudden onset of symptoms and death. Today my veterinarian said it could be one of 2 things: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or feline heartworms. Both can cause death in young cats. Our vet assured me there was nothing else we could have done. Getting her there sooner wouldn’t have made a difference. The condition would have still – most likely – been fatal. That helped me a lot.

Tomorrow – how am I supposed to grieve for a cat?

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The Unity of the Spirit

Today I had the opportunity to be a part of an event hosted by Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church in Fairfield. Every year for 11 years, a couple at the church have celebrated their anniversary by hosting a worship and prayer luncheon there. I met the dear lady of this couple last summer at a Mission Birmingham event and then at my church’s Congregational Prayer Summit in November. Since then, we’ve seen each other a few times at different prayer events, and she is also on the Mission Birmingham prayer team that I facilitate, so we communicate regularly.

I was so nervous about going to a place I had never been, and sharing my testimony with them. When I told her that, Mrs. Celia said, “Don’t be nervous. You’re simply coming to the other side of town to visit with your relatives on your Daddy’s (God’s) side.” I loved that, and whenever I thought about it, it did make me feel better.

My friend, Kari, went with me to help me navigate how to get there and for moral and prayer support. As soon as we walked in, I could feel the Holy Spirit in that place. Mrs. Celia led us in a time of prayer and worship. Then, I shared for a few minutes. After that, we had to break into groups to pray through a passage of Scripture. (Of course Kari and I ended up in different groups.) I so enjoyed that time of prayer with those men and women! Our group’s focus was on glorifying the Lord for who He is and what He’s done, and not to ask Him for anything. The testimonies of God’s goodness and faithfulness from these brothers and sisters in Christ were so precious. One of the things I love about corporate prayer is how the Holy Spirit is evident by having someone across the room pray out loud what I had just been thinking. It happened today in this little prayer group too! Afterward, I got hugged by almost everyone. The love of Christ and of His Body was a joy to see and experience.

They served a delicious meal afterward, and I as I talked with these ladies around me, I heard stories of how they have risked it all to serve Christ, reaching out to the least and the lost because it’s what God has called them to do. I heard stories that were similar to mine, and others that were different from mine. Through all of the stories I heard, though, was the common theme of God’s faithfulness and their desire to submit to Him no matter what.

These men and women looked very different from me. Yet today, I felt so loved and welcomed by them, like I truly was part of their family. There was this under-current of unity and love among all of us that can only be from the Holy Spirit. I am doing such an inadequate job of putting it into words, but I came away feeling loved, humbled , but also excited and thrilled at how God unifies us by His Spirit to be the Body of Christ. I was tremendously blessed by the experience.

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