Meet Friedrich. He has earned a new name today and I’d like to share it with you.
Be prepared to rock back in your seats today and say, “Whoa!”
Ready? This is long so be prepared! So, last night when I was putting all kiddos to bed, I put Friedrich in the bathroom where his cat carrier/bed and all supplies are so he could be in a safe place since I usually keep an eye on him when he’s out and I was going to be busy for the next hour.
I put him in at about 6pm and at 7pm after all people 6 and under in the house were in bed, I opened the bathroom door, assuming he would poke his head out of the cat carrier immediately, meow and come out to play, as he usually does.
I went downstairs to get something (Ok, ok, some ice cream!), came back to my bedroom and read for a few minutes before dozing off. I woke up at about 10 til 8pm realizing that it was pretty quiet and I could see hide nor hair of Friedrich.
I quickly checked the bathroom and found him still curled up in his soft bed. Thinking it was rather odd that he was still sleeping, I picked him up and brought him into my room with me, where he curled up next to me and went right back to sleep.
All through a conversation with Ben on the phone shortly after, I kept telling Ben that I thought something wasn’t right with the kitty. He didn’t want to eat or play and kept sleeping. Ben said he was probably fine, just extra tired.
Awhile later, as I was preparing for bed, I picked up Friedrich to take him with me downstairs and noticed he was really warm~more than furry-kitten warm. Starting to become more and more concerned, I even tried to tempt him with a bit of his much-beloved kitten replacement milk (he had it at his home b/c his mama died shortly after he was born and we’ve been giving him teeny bits once a day and weaning him off it). He gave a few half-hearted licks and then ran around meowing and howling frantically.
I rushed him upstairs thinking maybe he had to go to the bathroom. He did and then when I checked on him right before bed, he was curled up in a ball way at the back of his bed. I reached in to pet him and noticed he was trembling all over.
Knowing this was not a good sign, I quickly started researching on the internet and realized he had a fever. That, coupled with his refusal to eat and now to drink even water, told me that this kitty was in serious trouble!
I was up til the wee hours of the morning trying to find a low-cost place to take him this morning and find any tips to help him through the night.
It was like having a new baby! I was up a few times, feeding him water through a dropper, just to get some liquid in him. He didn’t even meow, just whimpered and curled back up into a little ball. I held a covered ice pack to his belly for brief moments to help bring down the fever that caused him to shiver and tremble. I prayed and prayed that he would wake up back to his frisky kitten-self but when I went to check on him just after 6 this morning, he was even worse than before.
I called my mom, a long time cat owner/lover, but didn’t hear back from her til about 7am. When I described his symptoms and told her he had barely moved all night and wasn’t even drinking water, she knew it was really bad. She tried to help me come up with a plan to help him make it through the next few hours until I could get him to a shelter or humane society.
And towards the end of the conversation, she prayed. Because there is never anything too big or too small for Jesus to handle! She asked for healing for this little kitten, knowing that my already suffering heart would break to pieces to watch this birthday kitty of mine die in right front of me.
And before we got off the phone, she told me to go check on him and she would stay on the phone and wait for me. I had a ball of dread in my stomach as I made the short-trek to the bathroom to check on him.
He was curled up, just like before, at the back of the carrier with his back to me. He didn’t respond at all when I touched him, called his name and even rattled the door. Not a movement except rapid very shallow breaths.
I burst into sobs, knowing that this was the end of my little striped kitty cat. I hurried back to the phone and sobbed out to my mom what I had found. She told me he was probably very close to death and to find a shoe box and place him in his soft blue blanket that he sleeps on every night, inside the box so he could pass away there and I wouldn’t have to move him.
I crept back to the bathroom, scared at what I would find, hoping to give my sweet boy a few final moments of love before he died. I got down on my hands and knees and peeked in the carrier to find the kitty, who only moments before had been completely unresponsive, peering his blue-green eyes at me sleepily.
I was shocked and stammered out to my mom that he was looking at me. She told me to try a few drops of water again and maybe he would make it til I could take him somewhere. We hung up and I pulled out the kitty and held him on my lap, only to be surprised to find that he was trying to purr at me while curling up in a ball in my arms!
I thought, “This is it. He is going to purr to me and go peacefully in my arms.” I held him and stroked him for a few minutes, watching each breath nervously. And then I squeezed a few drops of water into the side of his mouth.
And then the most astonishing thing of all happened! He got up, stepped out of my arms, went into his litterbox and went potty and sat down in front of his food bowl and started eating!!
I sat there completely shocked and couldn’t believe he was moving. Eating. Breathing. Alive.
After a few moments, I called my mom back who answered the phone with dread in her voice, expecting to hear the sad news that he had passed away. Instead my voice, filled with shock and joy at an unexpected miracle, sang across the line!
“Mom! He’s awake! He is eating, Mom! And here he comes in my room. He’s taking a bath! And sharpening his claws!”
We were stunned and amazed! The kitty, who 10 minutes before was on the brink of death, was sitting in front of me purring, cleaning himself and doing normal “cat things!”
Throughout the rest of this day, I have been continually amazed, my lips filled with praise for a loving God who spared me the agony of watching this little kitty die, as Friedrich has crept back towards a vibrant life.
He slept long and hard this morning but greeted me with a fierce, loving purr everytime I came to check on him. He kept coming out to eat and everytime he has made a step towards life like drinking water again and venturing downstairs briefly to play and meow at me, I say, “Thank you, God!”
Because the God who created and cares about the colorful flowers in the field and the birds in the air and the 1 or 2 pound kittens who are deathly ill, cares so much more about me! And you!
My miracle kitty is curled up on my lap purring right now, a testimony to God’s grace.
I think he should be renamed “Lazarus.” Because he was brought back from the brink of death and is alive!