A Peanut Gallery Update

I can’t call my little Peanut my little kitten anymore.

She officially weighs 10 pounds at 10 months old.

She’s not so little anymore.

Since that fateful gotcha day, she’s been nothing but loving and sweet and affectionate. She’s the poster child for tortie cats. Or should I say, the poster kitten.

I suppose I’ll always remember June 30, 2017 as the day she picked me at the Williamson County Animal Shelter, nine days after my Lucy crossed the rainbow bridge.

I had another kitten ready to take home. He was in the crate and all that was left was to sign the papers and be on my way.

Then I turned around and saw a tiny paw stretched out, reaching toward me. I heard this piteous little mew and saw Peanut. I went over to her cage and reached my fingers through the cage to pet her. Immediately, she started purring and the rest is history.

The other cat probably ended up getting just as good of a home with someone else, and I got picked by a cat.

God does work in mysterious ways, even at animal shelters in the middle of June.


Happy 18th Birthday, Lucy

Today, I carried a pang of sadness in my heart. You see, my old cat Lucy would have turned 18 today.

It even seems a little silly to me to carry on grieving for a common ordinary cat who passed away back in June. But Lucy was no common ordinary cat. At least not to me.

She was one of the few constants in my life in a time that saw geographical and career upheaval in which I relocated to Nashville from Memphis.

She was a quiet presence in my life through those good and bad days. She always ended up in my lap, curled up and either asleep or very near asleep. She usually wound up sleeping on the pillow next to mine, comforting me with her quaint little snore.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget that day, June 21, when she crossed the rainbow bridge.

I honestly don’t know if our pets will wind up in heaven, but I like to believe that she’ll be there on the other side of the rainbow bridge, waiting for me when it’s my turn to cross over.

In the meantime, I find that the sadness continues to give way to happy memories. I feel blessed for every day of the 17 years she was with me, even those painful last six days.

When she got sick that last time, I kept hoping that she could somehow manage to pull through one more time, but this time, it was not to be.

I know in my heart she tried her very best to stay, but in the end her furry little body finally failed her and she was just too weak to go on.

I have a rambunctious new kitten named Peanut, who is a tortie and full of curiosity and life. She could never take the place of Lucy, but she’s a channel through which my love for Lucy can flow.

So happy 18th birthday in heaven, my little Lucy. I’ll always love you can carry you in my heart forever.


Another Update on Peanut

On my last Peanut update, I reported that she’d doubled in size. Well, I’m fairly certain that she’s doubled in size again. She weighs 8.2 pounds at 7 months old. I have no idea how big she’ll be when she’s done growing, but I’m positive she’ll be way bigger than my Lucy ever was.

She’s still 100% kitten. She has massive amounts of energy. She also has two modes of existence– full throttle and stop. She’s either a blur of fur or she’s asleep. There’s no in between.

She still likes to have her belly rubbed and is still very grateful for having been rescued back on June 30.

That’s why I advocate for adoption and rescuing cats and dogs. If you’re still stuck between buying from a breeder or rescuing from a shelter, I’d go with the shelter. Those are the animals that really need a good home and will always return the favor by being loyal and affectionate.

Life’s better with a pet. Studies have shown that dogs and cats can reduce stress and lower blood pressure. But one caveat– don’t get a pet unless you’re willing to stick with them for their whole life and truly take care of them and love them like they love you.

That’s it. Peanut’s still helping my heart heal after Lucy’s passing. I’m hoping and praying she has a good, long life. I’m praying she knows how much she’s loved just as much as she’s let me know how much she loves me.



Three Months Later

Three months ago today, I went into the Williamson County Animal Shelter hoping to pick out a kitten after my Lucy had crossed the rainbow bridge 9 days earlier.

It was a bit overwhelming at first, as there are so many kittens and cats in need of good furr-ever homes. I actually took a few kittens out and played with them to see how friendly and playful they were.

I had it in my mind that I wanted the cat to purr when I picked it up, but none of the cats I looked at did that. Maybe they were nervous or shy, but none of them seemed overly friendly.

I had a little male tuxedo kitten picked out and ready to take home. He was in the carrier and all that was left was for me to sign the papers and he’d be mine. Or I’d be his. I’m still not sure how exactly that works.

That was when I heard the most heart-wrenching piteous mew. I turned around to see a little black paw reaching to me from a cage behind me. I saw this little tortie kitten begging me to take her home.

I went over to the cage and she reached out and stroked my hand. She was purring. I knew then and there she had picked me to be my next cat. The tuxedo kitten went back to his cage with his mates and was probably adopted later to another good home.

I found out that my little tortie had been found stranded on I-65 when she was rescued. To this day, I don’t know if she was alone. I don’t know if she was actually on the interstate or in the median between the two sides.

All I know is that she rescued me. She gave the love I had for Lucy a new place to go.

The old saying is still true. God does work in mysterious ways, but I’m learning that those ways always turn out way better than my ways and my plans ever could.

Here’s to what I hope will be at least 17 years with Peanut, my little tortie.


An Update on Peanut

It’s been almost 3 months since I was rescued by this little furball at the Williamson County Animal Shelter. I’ve told the story about how I had a completely different cat in the carrier, ready to take home, when Peanut stuck her little paw out of the cage and gave a little piteous mew that said, “Take me instead, please!”

I did, and the rest so far is history.

She typifies the loving and affectionate nature of just about any rescue. She shows her gratitude for being taken out of that solitary little cage every chance she gets. Add that to the fact that she is 100% kitten and what you end up with is sometimes completely hilarious and always a lot of fun.

She’s quite literally growing on me. She’s more than doubled in size since I first brought her home back in June. Maybe that explains why she will eat just about anything in sight (including dog biscuits).

She can never take the place of my beloved Lucy, whom I still miss dearly. She’s her own person with very unique traits and characteristics. She has helped my heart to heal by providing another outlet for the love to flow.

I do recommend that if you’ve lost a beloved pet, go to a shelter and find a cat or dog to rescue. You could pay a lot of money to a breeder for a specialized pet, but I personally think you’ll never regret saving the life of an animal that might otherwise be euthanized.

This whole Lucy to Peanut transition has taught me that while life never quite goes according to expectation, it somehow always turns out better. God really does work all things together for good to those who love Him. That’s not just a quaint saying that you can cross stitch and stick on your refrigerator (to borrow a Mike Glenn saying) but an every day reality.

Don’t ever take anyone in your life for granted at any time. Ever. Not people. Not pets. Always let them know how much they mean to you and always make time for them because you never know when they won’t be around any more.

God is good. Life is great. I am still blessed.

Music, Mustaches, and Crazy Kittens

Today, country music lost two of its best. Both Don Williams and Troy Gentry (of Montgomery Gentry) died. Even when I wasn’t a fan of country music, I still was a fan of Don Williams and his soothing and gentle voice. I confess I’m not as familiar with Montgomery Gentry, but I do know that he was way too young to die.

I listened to Marty Robbins on the way home from picking up a prescription at Kroger’s. I have memories of seeing him and his luxurious mustache on TV (with only Rollie Fingers of the Milwaukee Brewers sporting better facial hair). He was another one that I liked before officially admitting to liking country music.

At home, I spent some quality time with Peanut, my 4-ish month old kitten who I rescued at the Williamson County Animal Shelter, and who in turn rescued me from grieving over the loss of my 17-year old Lucy who crossed the rainbow bridge in June.

She’s a typical kitten, so she’s hilarious and fun to watch. She can also be affectionate and incredibly cuddly. She does this high-pitched purring thing that’s more like a trilling sound. I’ve never heard it before from a cat.

My musical variety continues during my daily treks to and from work, church, and Franklin. I’ve listened to Queensryche, John Prine, Guns ‘N’ Roses, and Marty Robbins. I believe that crosses past eccentric musical tastes into the category of “They Should Make Pills for This.”

It was a good week. I woke up every morning and managed to avoid the dreaded toe tag, so I call it a win.  When people ask me how I am, I’m answering, “Better than I deserve.” I’m coming to see more and more every day how true that is.

Oh, by the way, Peanut the Spaz says hi.


Simple Pleasures

It’s easy to let life overwhelm you and get you distracted by all that you didn’t get done today or how much awaits you tomorrow. You can get so focused on the big picture and what will happen five years from now that you forget to find joy in the simple pleasures.

Right now, my geriatric feline is sleeping on the pillow next to mine. Occasionally, she snores. I suppose when you’re an 18 year old cat, you’re allowed. Still, it never ceases to amuse me.

I still love the feeling of driving at night with the windows rolled down and the breezes blowing. It works best in spring and fall, but there are the occasional summer nights where the air is slightly less hot and humid.

In case you forgot, the very act of breathing in and out and being alive is itself a miracle and one of the greatest joys for those who are able to appreciate it. None of us are entitled to the next day, so when it comes, it comes as a gift.

Your assignment is to take time out in your busy day to find the simple pleasures and say a quick prayer of thanks for each one. You might be surprised how it changes your perspective.


My Cat Is Older (and Probably Smarter) than Your Honor Student and Other Thoughts

For those who are new to me and my blog posts, I have an elderly feline. Her name is Lucy and she’s 17. I realized while I was volunteering yet again for the Youth Evangelism Conference a couple of weekends ago that my cat is probably older than most of the students who were in attendance there. She may or may not also be smarter.

Think about it. She doesn’t have to get up at a ridiculously early hour to go off to work. She doesn’t run around like a headless chicken in order to feel productive. She does what she wants when she feels like it. At this point, that consists of mostly napping with the occasional snack and poop thrown in to keep things interesting.

I confess that I’m a bit jealous sometimes. I wish she could go to my job and I could stay home and do some napping. After all, she’s old enough to drive, right?

I refuse to engage in the debate about whether cats are better than dogs or visa versa. I like both. Right now, I have a cat and I love the fact that she’s super low-maintenance, as well as the world’s best lap cat. I also love dog sitting and hanging out with all manner of pups.

I think life’s better with pets. Unless you’re deathly allergic, I highly recommend one. They’re great companions and their love isn’t based on your looks or money or personality or anything other than you exist. Plus, it keeps you humble when you realize they love sniffing their own butts just as much as you.

So go get a pet if you don’t have one. Take care of it. Don’t abandon it when it gets old and less cute. If you’re going to have a dog perpetually chained up in the backyard 24/7, don’t get one. You’d be better off with a lawn ornament. But that’s definitely another topic for another blog post on another day.


A Week Into Lent

It’s only been a week– well, six days if you want to be picky– since I started my social media fast for Lent. I already feel so far out of the loop when it comes to being informed about who’s getting hitched and popping out babies (or to put it in a more genteel way, who’s getting engaged, married, and pregnant).

I’ve also had six days without any posts about how Trump is the devil incarnate and the enemy to all that is true and good in the world. That’s been nice.

The purpose of Lent isn’t just to give up stuff. The point of fasting is to make time and room in your heart and in your life for God. It’s to heighten your senses so that you become more attuned to His voice.

Or in my case, I’ve made more room for Netflix and reading.

Lent is a season to prepare your heart for Easter. It’s when you move beyond Easter bunnies and Cadbury chocolate eggs to a Savior rising victoriously from the grave after three days in the tomb.

My goal is still to have time to be silent and still in the presence of God. I still want to savor the season leading up to Easter and use this as a time of refreshment and replenishing.

Right now, I’m listening to my geriatric cat snoring as I type these words. That will never ever get old, just like knowing I have a faithful legion of followers who read those words. I’ll keep on writing these blog posts as long as you keep reading them.

I’d still love to meet up with some of you for coffee and conversation. My treat.