He Came Preachin'
I heard him before I saw him. He emerged from the wilderness like John the Baptist. He had lots to say, and I listened, especially when he double-paw whapped me on both cheeks, which meant the dude needed to be neutered.
We named him Preacher.
With my hands full caring for Combat, I left Preacher to roam and watched to see if he was wandering from a nearby farm or looking for a home.
Preach showed up again two days after we said goodbye to Combat. As he moseyed around our property that day, I vigilantly watched for him. I thought he had disappeared into the woods, but when Charlie pulled in the driveway, Preach reappeared.
That cat could’ve shown up anywhere, but, out of all places, he sat next to Combat’s grave.
That was no fluke.
Charlie had rescued Combat. They had a special connection. And as tough as my big guy is, I know saying goodbye to that precious creature bruised Charlie’s heart as much as it did mine.
But what sweet comfort for Preacher to show up the moment Charlie pulled in, only feet away from Combat's grave. It was like God said, “I see that you're hurt, and I’m sending you healing through this new buddy who needs you as much as you need him.”
Sometimes the preacher has to deliver the same sermon before I totally get the message. 🤪 This figurative smack upside the head was a no-brainer to scoop up kitty and take him to the vet.
Itty-Bitty was Combat’s nurse, and since he had passed, she was depressed. Itty has always received other cats well, playing nurse to four boy cats before Combat. So we prayed she and Preacher would also become friends.
As we waited for his hormones to regulate after his neuter, we introduced him and Itty slowly. At first, they were cool with each other, but as we advanced their introduction, Preach came on too strong. Itty wanted nothing to do with him and was afraid to move about freely.
I sprayed a lot of Comfort Zone pheromone technology, and we used a calming supplement to help the process. I prayed for connection between them and for peace to fill their room. After more than a month, they finally relaxed around each other.
Now they’re buddies. Itty provided comfort to Preach when he didn't feel well and Preach taught Itty to play string and chase, which is a big deal for a formerly feral cat who never learned how to play.
We are so happy to welcome Preacher to our cat crew. He still talks a lot and is a forceful cuddler, slamming into us so hard for rubs that he falls off our laps. He likes to climb on our arms like a parrot, and if I kneel, he sometimes jumps on my back. (We’re working on softer landings as tank top season approaches 😖).
It amazes me how God sends animals to us at just the right moments. Preacher reminded me that friendships sometimes take time to develop. When I'm ready to jump into a full-body super hug, the other person might need time to warm up (or vice versa). And just because a little hissing occurs doesn't mean I should give up. It might mean back up and start over.
It isn’t easy to adjust to different personalities and share space with someone, but if we give each other a chance, exert patience, and allow a third party (or a Third-Party) to guide us, we might find a friend for life.