She seemed weak and small. The other four kittens in the box were alive and meowing. She was definitely the runt in the litter. The hairs around her bright blue eyes were crusted together. Bits and pieces of her fur were matted together; other parts of her had little bald spots. She was barely alive, both physically and emotionally.
She barely looked up at the young lad who gazed down at her. His whole body filled with a deep passion to hold her and love her. He turned toward his mother, who hadn’t even noticed the box of five little kittens.
“Mom,” he said, “Can I have one?” His mother looked down, for a split second she wanted to deny him. She hated cats. But when she looked at her son, she saw a spark of hope in his eyes. He wanted to have something to call his own, something to love.
“Okay. You can have one.” The boy swooped down and picked up the tiny white cat. Despite her ugly appearance, the boy saw something in her. He saw himself reflected in those blue eyes. A part of him that he yearned to save by saving her. He let out a happy “Yey!” sound. The tiny cat started purring.
As they got in the car, the boy pulled took his sweatshirt and made it into a pillow on his lap.
“There you go,” he said in a sweet voice. His mother let out a sneeze.
“Uhhh…put that darn thing in the back!”
“No mom. She has to stay here. She’s scared.” Her heart melted at his request. She sneezed again. The entire ride home, he held onto the little kitten. She purred in return. His mother’s eyes became watery and red as she sneezed several more times.
When they finally arrived home, the boy took his new pet to the barn. He knew his mom would never let him keep the cat in the house.
“There you go, Kitty.” He set her down on a bale of straw. The boy grabbed a plastic container that rattled with the sound of food. The white kitten gazed towards where the sound was coming from. Her blue eyes full of curiosity. The boy put a handful of dry cat food in a large silver pan that was resting on the bale next to the kitten. She sniffed at it hesitantly, before picking a piece up with her mouth. Her head bobbed as she managed to chew the piece into manageable pieces.
He pondered at what to name her. She kind of looked like a “Snow” or a “Dragon.” He gently touched her head, and ran his hand down her spine and gave her a little scratch above her tail. As he was about to pat her again, she sniffed at his hand and gave him a tiny lick. He smiled with excitement. The kitten liked him. It was a sign that his kitten liked him! “Sign,” he thought, “that’s what I’ll call her.”
A few months later…
The cat prowled in the tall grass. She was watching him as he walked around the house. Her boy. She was waiting for him to walk a little further so she could ambush him unexpectedly. He called her name. He knew she was hiding, he just didn’t know where. As he was walking away from the house, heading towards the barn, she pounced and ran towards him. He let out a burst of giggles as he swooped down and picked her up.
“What are you doing?” She responded by purring, and climbing onto his shoulders. She always liked being on his shoulders. Her whiskers tickled his ears she she head-butted his cheek, “Hey that tickles.” He laughed.
The cat was his best friend. She followed him everywhere. Almost everywhere. When she tried to come to the house, she often got chased away by the boy’s mother. The mother didn’t like the cat in the house. In fact, the mom never went near any of the three cats that resided in the barn.
The white cat is still young, and far too playful for the full grown cats who barely tolerate her. She often times can be found randomly playing with a stick, or grabbing at weeds in tall grass. Sometimes, the white cat will chase her tail. She enjoys the company of people, and laying on their shoulders. Her bright blue eyes sparkle with curiosity at everything. She always has an urge to sniff and paw at everything.
She’s a sign of love that saved her. She’s a sign of hope that gave her a second chance. And in a way, I think the boy called her “Sign” to show that undeserved grace goes a long a way. Just like Jesus who loves everyone, despite the matted “gunk” around their eyes that blind them. He’s always willing to give a second chance to those who have hope. Jesus gives grace to all, even though most are under qualified. She’s a sign of joy, much like the joy that He gives us.