Meet Murphy, the latest animal to join the family.
Murphy is another stray cat like Clementine, who just ended up hanging around our place. Clementine was hit and killed a year ago last August and shortly after, I noticed this grey and white cat hunting in our pasture. He was super skittish and high tailed it outta there anytime I came near him.
After Clem was killed my husband had said we couldn't get another cat, not that he doesn't like cats but we still had Bandit our cat of 15 years. But if one appeared who could help that ;-) Besides, for me, going to the pet store or Humane Society to get a cat would never be the same as winning the trust of a stray cat.
So, I thought for sure this new visitor would end up in the hay shed for the winter just like Clementine had but he didn't. And so I thought he was gone, never to be seen again, I was kinda disappointed.
But after the winter I would see him every now and then so I started leaving cat food out on the deck and once he figured that out he would come morning and night to eat, he was pretty scheduled. This went on all last summer and into the fall. He was still so skittish though, any time he was eating and you came near the patio door he would run. Eventually though he would cautiously keep eating if we slowly crawled up to the door and sat and watched him. He knew he was safe on the other side of the glass. Any sudden moves though and he'd dart away.
The next step in winning Murphy's trust was to leave the patio door open and sit there quietly by the door as he ate, our first number of attempts failed and he'd always run but our persistence paid off and after a week or so of doing that he would come and eat even though the glass no longer separated us.
Next step was getting him over the threshold...enter the temptation of fresh meat. It worked for Clem and I was sure it'd work for Murphy and it did, he cautiously came in and I was even able to gently touch him. He didn't stay in long and the door had to remain open...the open door was his security...knowing he could get away any time he wanted.
So we had the open door policy for a while, with his food just inside the door. At this point we were into December, good thing it was a mild winter and it wasn't 20 below :-) Eventually he'd venture further into the house...as long as the door was open. If we even attempted to shut it he'd panic and run for that door.
Eventually he'd come in and wander farther into the house and we were able to shut the patio door, thank goodness because it was getting kind of cold. It's now been almost two weeks since he's been in the house full time. There was a big fur flying cat fight and few smaller ones but Bandit and Murphy have become tolerant of one another, even to the point of playing once and a while. Of course we have a son who purposely carries the two of them together and takes them in his room at night. He figures if they're going to be in the same house together then they've got to get along :-)
Now Murphy hardly dares go outside. Of course it's cold out and there's half a foot of snow so he's become pretty comfy in his cozy warm new home.
It's a blessing to be able to earn the trust of a cat who trusted no one. I know not everyone is a cat lover but to gain the trust of any animal is a pretty cool thing, especially those who've been abandoned and left to fend for themselves or neglected and harmed by the very people who were to care for them. Yes, it takes time and I wondered if I'd ever win him over but the time and perseverance paid off.
This morning I've been thinking about my journey with Murphy in regards to people. Do I care enough about those placed in my path to share with them the very One who can save them.
The One who can be their...
And so much more.
Do I care enough...
Am I willing to put as much effort into the relationships with others as I did with Murphy. Am I willing to share with them the very One they need...a Saviour.
Can I be patient when I feel like they'll never want to hear or know Him. Or what if with Murphy I'd just said forget it, watched him from a distance, but didn't really care about whether he was hungry or not, didn't really care that he belonged no where. Even though day after day he wandered around my property. I wonder...do I do that with people. Do I just watch from a distance and not really care to share with them the truth that I know.
The truth that will give them:
A place to belong
A place to rest
A place to be nourished
A place to find freedom
A place to find forgiveness
A place to be loved
A place to live...really live
I couldn't force Murphy to trust me and I can't do that with people either. God sees it all and knows it all and He watches me...how will this daughter of mine share the gift I have given her.
Will she be patient
Will she persevere
Will she place herself in the shoes of another
Will she really get to know their heart
Will she lay down her life
Will she love them
Will she sacrifice
Will she give of her time
Will she follow the example of my Son...He who gave up the glories of heaven. He who walked among the broken, the sinful, the unlovable, those deemed less than, the sick, those seen as dirty, the hungry, etc. Will she live as Christ to them.
And when finally they enter into that fellowship of believers, will she be patient as they learn how to find their place, learn how to be loved and give love.
We're all on this journey together, will we be found faithful with what He has given and put before us.
Things to be thankful for...
1728. Good drive to Ottawa and back picking up my husband's mom
1729. Tinge of pink in the morning sky
1730. Beautiful sunshine on a cold day
1732. Another sunshiny day
1733. Grace and understanding
1734. Being seen
1735. Sparkling frost in the morning
1736. Humour and laughter
1737. Gorgeous morning sky on an early morning walk with a friend
1738. Intricate patterns in the frost
1739. Beautiful bouquets made by my mom
1740. Beautiful wedding ceremony
1741. Napping on the couch with Murphy
1742. Quiet day at home
1743. Chat with Charissa and Jocelyne
1744. Murphy, one cuddly cat
1745. My husband and our son Matt are heading to Nepal in the spring!
1746. Guests over for lunch on Sunday
1747. Good conversation
1748. Wintry morning
1749. Beautiful Amaryllis blooms
1750. Snow falling
1751. A visit from Lily
1752. Waking up to a winter wonderland
1753. Beautiful snowy day
1754. The quiet of walking in the snow covered woods
1755. Chat with Will and Jocelyne
1756. Blanket of white covering everything
1757. The crunch of snow under foot
1758. A still and beautiful winter's morning
1759. Quiet and peace in the woods doing chores
1760. A Saviour who gave up everything willingly
1761. Elmo nuzzling in for a good scratch
1762. Tea with a friend
1764. Good conversation with a friend
1765. Charissa home for a week
1766. Saturday morning chat with Jocelyne
1768. Visit with my husband's sister, brother-in-law and mom
1769. Fellowship, dinner and games
1770. Laugher & life in a woman suffering through a crappy disease
1771. Gently falling snow
1772. The woods...the branches all covered in white
1773. Dinner made by Charissa
1774. Pink tinge in the morning sky
1775. Beautiful crisp morning
1776. Sparkle on the snow as it's hit by the morning sun
1777. Morning chat with Will
Daytona waiting for breakfast.
Elmo enjoying a good scratch.