One-a-Day...for the Heart: Preacher Cat
This One-a-Day seemed to touch the hearts of many readers a while ago, so I chose to print it again.
For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine. God said that in Psalm 50:10-11 (NKJV).
The creativity of the Lord, as expressed in the animal species alone, boggles the mind! I never got past drawing stickmen in art class, but God? He designed the elephant, the porcupine, the manatee, the gerenuk (look it up!), the Siamese cat, and an incredible 8.7 million other animals. He is tickled with every one of them, for, according to Psalm 104:31 (NLT), the Lord takes pleasure in all He has made!
Just as we value the things we make with our own hands—a piece of artwork or custom woodwork, a culinary masterpiece, or an article of jewelry, for example—the Father takes pleasure in ALL that He creates. And He cares for them. Jesus said, “Not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it” (Matthew 10:29 NLT). Sparrows are pretty small, but He notices.
So we can assume He takes note of the care we give our animals. Proverbs 12:10 (MSG) says, Good people are good to their animals; the "good-hearted" bad people kick and abuse them. The NKJV says, a righteous man regards the life of his animal.
My family always had a cat or two, and one was a very large yellow and white cat we named “Big.” He was a gentle cat. I don’t recall ever seeing him in a fight with another animal, and he was especially peaceful and calm. Even catnip didn’t excite him. Big had an endearing personality trait, for he seemed to be a peacemaker among cats. If two cats were fighting, Big could walk right between them, and they would stop fighting. We called him “Preacher Cat” because of the unique calming effect he had.
One sad day, Big staggered home, bloodied and torn up from a gunshot wound to the neck. It blew out the front of his neck, and a large, gaping wound exposed his trachea and esophagus. There was no skin or fur left in the area, and we all squeamishly cringed at watching his inner “pipes and cords” move as he clung to what little life was left in him.
Reconstructive surgery would be too expensive and held no guarantee that it would extend Preacher Cat’s life. The veterinarian prescribed antibiotic drops to instill in the wound, which was the extent of what could be done medically for our beloved Big.
BUT our Mom, a gentle and God-fearing soul, prayed for Big as we gathered around him. We were young, and I do not remember her prayer, but I do remember the holiness of that moment of prayer as she softly prayed. Big was still for a long time, and over the next few days and weeks, we faithfully dropped the antibiotic into the wound.
Slowly he began to move around, and one day we noticed new pink skin forming at the edges of the wound. The skin closed rapidly over the exposed area until the “pipes and cords” were not visible. Finally, beautiful new fur grew back, and Preacher Cat was ready to minister to the masses again!
A righteous man regards the life of his (or her) animal, and, in this instance, the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous woman, availed much, as James 5:16 says. The Lord knew the instant Big was shot. I’m sure He helped him crawl back to his safe place, where a loving family would care for, and even pray for him. Big was one of those little beasts of the field that belonged to God and gave Him pleasure. Perhaps you have a few little beasts of your own. As you care for them and “regard their life,” don’t hesitate to pray for them. The One who really owns them, notices.
© 2022, Chris Werre