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.

 

Missing the Old Gal Again Tonight

When I came up the stairs tonight, I caught myself looking for my old cat Lucy in one of her familiar napping spots either on the couch or on top of the chair. It took a second before I remembered that she’s been gone since June of last year.

Even though I had her in my life for 17 years, I still wish there had been more time.

It seems that with our loved ones, we get greedy (but in a good way). No matter how much time we have together or how long they live, it never seems like enough. Even if they live to be 105 years old, it still will be too soon for them to say goodbye.

I don’t have an answer for how to learn to be content with the amount of time we or our loved ones are given. I do think that it’s important to take all the time we have with those we love and redeem it to its full potential.

There will probably always be regrets after the fact of missed opportunities and wasted time. There will be days when things overtake people in your priorities.

You can’t go back and undo yesterday’s missed opportunities or go forward to make sure you do right.

You can only use what time you’re given in the time that’s called today, the gift of the present.

You can choose to be fully present to those who love you and whom you love.

I know to some it may sound crazy to grieve over the loss of a pet, but I don’t regret my tears. I see how the memory of her passing is giving way to all the memories of the beautiful moments we had.

Plus, I have Peanut to help continue to heal my heart.

As the old saying goes, don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.

 

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.

 

 

Happy Half-Birthday, Peanut

Between all my activities (including a Kairos Greeter Team Pumpkin Carving Event Where No Actual Pumpkins were Carved), I almost completely forgot that my little rescue kitten is now 6 months old.

I didn’t actually forget as much as I’m really bad at math.  Based on the fact that she was 11-weeks old at the time I adopted her from the shelter on June 30, I guesstimate her birthday to be on April 15. That means her actual half-birthday was this past Monday. But I’m guessing by her very relaxed, semi-comatose state that she’s not too terribly upset.

She’s been nothing but a joy and comfort to me since my old cat Lucy crossed the rainbow bridge. She’s absolutely hilarious and her name fits her very well, as she’s a nut.

I’m still adjusting to life with a geriatric cat to life with a kitten. I forgot that kittens are so energetic and clumsy. They can also be super cuddly and affectionate.

I absolutely think that Peanut being in my life is a God-wink. He knew I needed a furry little critter to love and He practically put her in my lap. As with most God-moments, it wasn’t what I was expecting but just what I needed.

I’ve told the story about how she rescued me at the shelter (as well as how she herself got rescued from I-65). You might have to go back a few blog posts to find it, but it’s there.

I’m hoping and praying that she lives at least as long as Lucy, who made it all the way to 17. However long she lives, I’m sure it will be filled with love.

At the moment, she’s laid out in front of my laptop (so excuse any typos) and very much content. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

 

 

Blah, Blah, Blah– Another Assortment of Randomness

I had all these great ideas about what to write for my blog post, but I’m feeling a bit under the weather at the moment, so I’ll throw several of ’em in and see what sticks.

My grandmother turned 93 yesterday and we celebrated today. I’m convinced that people back then were made better than they are now (just like everything else). She may not have her memory or know what’s going on all the time, but she’s a resilient ol’ gal that’s as likely to make it to 100 as anybody.

At the Church at Avenue South, the pastor talked about Sabbath and how we need the rest. If you go 110% all the time without ever taking any down time, sooner or later your body will remind you in not so subtle ways that it’s good to stop and rest. No one can go 24/7 infinitely without a break. Even Jesus took naps and periodically sought out places to be alone.

The Tennessee Titans may be reverting back to their old sucky ways, but my fantasy football team is 4-1 as of today. Last year, all the breaks went to my opponents, so it’s nice to finally catch a few breaks myself.

I don’t feel awful. I just feel a little stuffy and achy (with a slight fever), but I’m not the typical male who’s ready to have his last rites read. I’m hoping some Vitamin C and a good night’s rest will have me back and running at full speed on Monday.

My little kitten Peanut continues to crack me up with her crazy wild antics. She also continues to eat and poop like a racehorse (as well as almost literally grow leaps and bounds right before my eyes). She’s no longer the tiny thing I brought home from the shelter over 3 months ago.

I’m still holding out hope that next week will finally bring some actual fall weather where I can wear flannel and/or jackets. I’m way past done with sweat-inducing weather. I’m sure the people downwind of me are, too.

That’s all. Happy Sunday and have a great week!

 

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.

 

The Strain of the Moment

“If you are a child of God, you will certainly encounter adversities, but Jesus says you should not be surprised when they come and there is nothing for you to fear. God does not give us overcoming life–He gives us life as we overcome. The strain of life is what builds our strength. If there is no strain, there will be no strength. God never gives us strength for tomorrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the moment” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest).

That’s what I need– strength for the moment. Strength to live in the moment when I’m constantly tugged in two different directions. I always feel the pull to look back in nostalgia (which can be good at times but can also distract me from the present) and to look ahead (to what might or might not come to pass).

Right now, I have a very sleepy kitten on my chest. She’s purring contentedly, not worried about what will happen tomorrow or the day after that. I need to be more like her.

As I recall, when God made Himself known to Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, it wasn’t as “I WAS” or “I WILL BE” as much as it was “I AM.” God never speaks to us in our past or our future but always in our present, always where we are.

I can’t worry about what I forgot to do earlier today or what good or bad might happen tomorrow. I can breathe deeply and trust that God is with me to handle whatever comes or has come.

By the way, this sleepy kitten is seriously putting me to sleep. She has a very calming effect like that.

May you know God’s provision for your daily bread as each day comes and trust Him in the moment as each moment comes. Amen.

 

Radnor Revisited


Right now, I have a very sleepy kitten laid out in front of my laptop. I’ve been told that it’s a good thing when they can stretch out to nap. When they expose their bellies like that, it indicates they have complete trust and feel secure around you.

I did my usual hike at Radnor Lake State Park. My friend and I chose Ganier because apparently we are both creatures of habit. I know I am.

It was fantastic. Even though we didn’t see nearly as many deer as we normally do, it still felt great to step out of the normal routine and into a place that feels a lot like Middle Earth. I still can’t believe this place is actually in Nashville and within minimal driving distance.

If exercise is one of the most underutilized antidepressants, then hiking while getting back to nature has to be one of the best natural highs out there. I’d love it even more if the temperature would have been about 20 degrees cooler and the leaves were turning.

I’m still learning to take in my surroundings. I said before that I’m not very good at being observant, but Radnor is teaching me to keep my eyes open all the time, because you never know when you might spot something amazing.

I’m also still learning to slow down. I saw people who were apparently all keen on rushing through their hikes, but I want to experience this place. I don’t want to just burn calories and (hopefully) lose weight. I want to take in as much of nature and God’s creation as I can.

Right now, I think I’m about as tired as my little Peanut, but it’s a good kind of tired that comes from a good kind of day. See, even Mondays can be good if you have the right kind of attitude– an attitude of gratitude.