98: A Miraculous Prediction

98: A Miraculous Prediction

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel

A Miraculous Prediction

Doubt sees what currently is and no more. Hope sees what can be but is not yet. Faith sees what will be as if it were now.

~Rex Rouis

“Come here, Mom! Quick!”

My nine-year-old son, Collin, never came in the house quietly, so I was not overly concerned when he barreled in that night yelling. I doubted I even needed to leave the couch. I rarely had in the evenings lately.

I was not given a choice. Collin rushed over in front of me and helped pull me up. “Come on, there’s a baby kitten on the back porch! It’s so cute.” The next thing I knew, I was in the back yard in my pajamas.

Sure enough, there was a small, fluffy white kitten in the bushes by our back deck. She was just a tiny thing, and I could not help but think she was cold, lost, and most likely hungry. I am not sure if it was my maternal instinct, or the fact that I was feeling just as lost as that little cat, but I knew we had to feed her. I sent Collin back in the house for a can of tuna and a bowl of water, and put both on the ground in a well-hidden spot near the bushes.

“Do you think she will still be here in the morning?” Collin asked hopefully.

I just sighed. As usual I was exhausted. “I’m not sure, honey. She’s just a stray.” “Go to bed and we will check on her first thing in the morning.”

I had not had a good night’s sleep in months, my depression and hopelessness consuming the quiet hours. But that night, I have to admit, I snuck out onto the back deck several times to see if the little kitten had eaten the tuna.

The past year had taken a real toll on me emotionally. I had just experienced two miscarriages in eight months, after years of infertility. And I was worried about my son. Collin had been praying for a baby brother or sister for years and took the losses particularly hard.

The next day, Collin and I looked for the kitten many times. Both of us seemed equally taken by the little creature, probably because life had been so hard lately and we needed a distraction. She never showed her face that day, but once it got dark, she came out again. And she did the same thing the next evening, and the next.

That tiny white kitten quickly became my new “pet” project. She was not friendly, but she would come to our back door for food.

Honestly, I needed a project, someone or something to nurture. I found myself at the grocery store, buying cat food and treats, even a few cat toys. I quickly walked past the baby aisle to get these necessities, trying to ignore the feelings of desperation I had every time I saw bottles and diapers during my shopping trips.

Collin soon decided it was too cold for our little Snowball — original name, I know — to sleep outside in the elements. So he built her a little house from scrap plywood and covered the bottom of the house with carpeting so she would stay warm. And then he added an old beach towel to “make it soft.” He carefully placed this bed near the back door of our house.

“Do you think she will sleep in it?” I could tell Collin wanted Snowball to be comfortable and warm. “I don’t know how animals can sleep outside in the winter.”

Deep down, I wanted protection for this little kitten as well. I wanted to protect something. I had not been able to save my unborn babies. The doctor could offer no reason for my losses. “It just happens,” he told me. “You can still have more children.” But I didn’t believe him, not anymore.

We never saw Snowball in the little house when we checked. But after several nights, Collin made an interesting discovery: white, soft fur on the dark-colored beach towel. Obviously, our smart little Snowball had found her new home!

I continued to nurture this little kitten and gain her trust. Each night, I would sit out on the back deck and tempt her with cat treats. And each night, she came closer and closer to me. It took weeks, but finally she let me pet her briefly. I felt my heart gently opening a little more to this sweet kitten each day. I felt more alive, a spark of my old self slowly returning.

And then a massive cold front hit, and the temperature was predicted to drop into the 20s at night. My first thought was of Snowball. She needed to come inside and stay warm. That night, I sat shivering in the doorway out to our deck after I had lined the way into our house with kitty treats. My husband was not impressed, as I was letting all the cold air inside, but I was bound and determined to bring Snowball into the house. And at least I was off the couch, doing something productive instead of staring aimlessly at the television.

It took almost an hour, but she finally came inside. From that point on, we knew we had her. I was finally able to tame her enough to get her in a cat carrier to take into the vet for shots. She fit into our family perfectly, and we wanted to make sure she was well cared for.

Then we got the news. The vet had discovered our little Snowball was very sick and would not recover. We had no choice but to let the vet put her down.

Needless to say, Collin was devastated, and so was I. I had bonded with Snowball too. I was the one who sat outside in the cold night after night, taming her, gaining her trust. I was not sure how we would deal with this loss, how I would deal with yet another loss.

A few nights later, I prayed with Collin. And we felt closer, more like a family after sharing our experience with Snowball. It was like God had brought her to us as a little angel to provide healing.

“You know, Mom. I think God took Snowball from us because He’s going to send us a baby,” he said confidently. “I think she was here to help us and now that she has, I am finally going to have a brother.”

I just looked at him. “Maybe so, honey.” I did not believe this for a minute; my faith in that area was all but gone. I had zero hope of ever having another child; I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to try, the losses just being too devastating. I did not give this comment another thought for many, many weeks.

Nine months after we lost Snowball, Collin was the first one to hold his baby brother, Caleb.

Sometimes healing can come from unexpected places, like the back porch. And sometimes our child’s faith is stronger than our own.

~Denise Valuk

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