One day in October, 2017, I was standing in my kitchen. I looked out the back door and saw a cat staring at me. It was obviously a stray who had just finished snacking on our cats’ food. It had a black face, a black and white chin, and a rather curious expression. I had never seen this cat before. My first thought was, Get that crazy-looking cat out of here! It can’t steal Georgia and Texas’s food!
Now you have to know, I love cats, even stray cats, but my cats Georgia and Texas have a special place in my heart. They are special and adorable and I sometimes get very protective of them. Some stray cat eating my cats’ food (even though he looked in need of a couple good meals) was not acceptable to me. I went to scare the cat away from the food bowls, which turned out to be a very easy job. As soon as I touched the doorknob, the stray cat dashed to the end of our porch and dropped off the edge! (It’s about an eight-foot drop.) I called my siblings to look at the terrified black and white cat, who by that time was near the woods behind our property. We figured that the cat would probably be too scared to ever come back.
But the cat did come back. Every two weeks it would return to gobble a little food out of the food bowls. We named the food thief “Mrs. Collins,” after the annoying character “Mr. Collins” in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. We all tried to stop the terrified, yet persistent cat who seemed to think we were the only food source for miles around. When she heard us she would always drop off the deck or dash down the steps.
But the strange thing was, Georgia and Texas liked the intruder. We figured the cat was a female because Georgie and Texie never liked any male cats. But Mom said that the cat might be a male “because if it’s a female she’d be having kittens under our porch.” My sister Rose and I were still convinced that the cat was a female.
This continued into the summer of 2018. Mrs. Collins would leave for two weeks or even two months, but she always came back. As her visits became more frequent, we wondered what we would do about this cat. None of us except my sister Rose wanted to keep the cat. Not even I wanted to keep the cat because I couldn’t even hold her. Whenever we went outside, she would run under the porch, still very scared of us. When we would go out and look under the porch, her bright yellow eyes would gleam at us through the dark. Dad said that we shouldn’t be outside when Collins was there because she might have rabies and attack us. Rose and I thought that was very unlikely, being that the cat wouldn’t even get near us.
Rose started to get attached to the cat and say that she was adorable. I tried not to look when the cat licked her paws (so cute!) because I did not want to fall in love with a stray that I couldn’t own.
But soon even I wanted interaction with Collins. One summer day I asked Dad if we could go outside when Mrs. Collins was there. He consented, so we went out to pet her. The cat was so terrified, but she did not run. She just mewed again and again. We found out that day that the cat was a male, not a female, so we called him “Mr. Collins.”
As the days passed and fall came, Mr. Collins began to come every night. We pet him and in turn he gave us his trust. He would climb on our laps and refuse to get off–we had to dump him off! Soon it was as if he was our cat. We loved him and he loved us, although we were not allowed to hold him or take him to the vet. We decided that he should have a proper name–Montana Crow Collins (a state name and a Native American name, just like our other cats).
As the winter of 2018 progressed, we were even able to pick up Montana! We were so glad that we had successfully changed a fearful stray cat into a loving, sweet domestic cat. We loved him as we loved our other cats.
On January 8, we talked with Dad and he said that he wanted Montana to have his shots. We were so thrilled–we were taking Monty to the vet. He was officially our cat!
At the vet, our excitement was dampered. The vet told us that since Montana was a stray, he could possibly have a disease that cats, especially outdoor cats, can carry. He said that we should test him for the disease before having him neutered. “If he has the disease,” the vet said. “I would suggest you humanely euthanize him.”
I looked at my cute, sweet black-and-white cat and pet him as I began to cry. Even though I was very sad, I felt this strong feeling inside that he would be fine and that I did not need to fear. “You don’t think that he’ll have the disease, do you?” I asked the vet.
“No, sweetie, I don’t think he will. I just want to make sure,” he answered. Mom signed the paperwork. We all pet Monty and left, hoping, praying, and trusting that we would see him again.
That night the peace remained. I could feel Yehovah telling me that Monty would live. That night my Dad sang a song:
He’s got the grouchy little Georgia
In His hands
He’s got the green-eyed bear (long-haired Texas)
In His hands
He’s got the little Montana
In His hands
He’s got the whole world in His hands
Rose and I both knew that it was true–Monty wasn’t ours, he was His. Monty was in His hands, and I was confident that soon he’d be in our hands too.
The vet said that if Monty was dead, he would call us by noon. Noon came and we had not heard from the vet, thus confirming that our Monty was alive. We all rejoiced and thanked Yehovah–He had protected our cat from the disease!
The next day we went to get Montana. He was glad to see us again, and, of course, we were thrilled to see him! He came home, and he’s been here ever since, reminding us that Yehovah is in control, and if we place those we love in His hands, everything works together for good. Our kitty is such a blessing–our, or actually Yehovah’s, Montana Crow.