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  • Tami McCandlish

Itty-Bitty Once Blind Kitty

I had just watched Itty-Bitty shimmy down a tree and sprint across the backyard.

By the next morning, she was blind.

Itty mostly hangs out in the garage but is familiar with our property because she's lived outside for eight years. I knew something wasn’t right because her pupils were huge, and she walked smack-dab into a wall.

I immediately called the vet, who saw her pronto.

Although Itty gave no previous indication of a problem (cats are good at hiding their illnesses), the vet verified she was visionless.

Thankfully, her retinas were still attached (detachment means permanent blindness). The vet ran tests, which all came back good except for Itty’s blood pressure, which measured 230 (normal is about 120).

Her high blood pressure caused the blood vessels in her eyes to enlarge, which led to blindness. The vet prescribed medication but was not hopeful that Itty would fully see again.

My heart broke for this sweet friend. She had spent her whole life chasing butterflies, stalking birds, and navigating routes through the woods. Now all of it was snatched away by darkness.

She must have been so confused when she lost her bearings. But we vowed to help her through this.

I guided her around the floor of the garage, patting surfaces to help her hear and feel her way back to familiarity. Once she grew more comfortable with her surroundings, I put her on a leash, and we ventured outside for fresh sniffies.

The world she was once so familiar with suddenly seemed dangerous. She stayed close, jumped at every noise, and wouldn’t step off the concrete.

“It’s okay girl,” I said. “Come feel the soft grass,” but she resisted.

I wondered if I should accept walking my blind cat as a new part of my life, but so much inside of me believed she would see again. And as I prayed for God’s healing, I was reminded of my recent dreams.

A month earlier, I dreamed that I had forgotten to put Itty inside. I saw her running into the woods. Coyotes were chasing her, but she was elusive and escaped by hiding from them.

A few days later, I dreamed my hand was on a hairless kitty, and my hand got hot because I was healing the kitty. I could see my hand glowing with healing. I saw an announcement with a message from the Lord but couldn’t remember what it said. I woke up with my hand on one of my kitties, feeling the heat radiating between us.

Just before Itty went blind, I dreamed of bad little raccoons that were trying to bite my ankles, but I couldn’t feel their bites. Their eyes glowed just like Itty’s did when she went blind.

I sensed God was trying to tell me something through all of these dreams, so I asked Him to help me figure out what they meant.

I arrived at the conclusion that God was telling me that something dark was coming, threatening to bite, but through Him, I had the power to heal, and we would overcome the enemy.

So just like in my dream, I laid my hands upon Itty multiple times a day and prayed for Jehovah Rapha to restore her sight fully.

One night at dusk, two fawns ran across the front yard and freaked Itty out. She escaped from her leash and reverted to feral. We were scared she would take off into the woods and get lost. Bushed out like a banshee, she hid under the car for 45 minutes until I prayed to Jehovah Shalom to fill her with peace, and He guided her into our arms.

I learned to tighten her collar and keep a better lookout for what Itty interpreted as predators. I cared too much about her to let her escape again.

Initially, the experience seemed discouraging, but I realized Itty ran because she could see something, which gave me hope.

Day-by-day, I believed she was regaining vision. She grew more comfortable, even venturing off the concrete to scrunch her paws in the grass.

At her next vet appointment, her blood pressure lowered to normal. She had regained vision in one eye, but the other hadn't improved.

I kept praying, and at the third appointment, the vet lit up. "She can see!” she said.

Isn’t it amazing how God cares about all of His creation and how He uses animals to speak to us? Itty’s story reminds me so much of what’s going on in the world right now and that we must have hope.

I know it's incredibly frustrating for those of us who encounter people who seem lost. We hate seeing them walk in circles, only to bump into the things that we see clearly.

We share with them because we love them, but sometimes they react like Itty when she didn't want to step in the grass. We try gently (and sometimes more forcefully) guiding them into what we know is a safe space, but it's too scary for them to step with us just yet.

Sometimes their claws come out. They bush out in fear, which sends them into denial or hiding, like Itty after the fawns ran across the yard. And if we’re not careful, we can help send them out into the wilderness, blinder than before.

When and if these people are ready to come back to us, we must not scold them but welcome them with open arms because we should care too much about them to let them get lost.

I know that’s why so many of us share in the first place—because we want them saved—but it isn’t our responsibility to drag these people into the light. It has to be their decision to step into it. And it is our mandate to submit to the Lord and wait patiently for His plans to play out.

In the meantime, we can ready our hands. We can pray for the healing of those who are deceived that scales drop from their eyes (Acts 9:18) and that “out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see” (Isaiah 29:18).

When they’re ready, we can be there to guide them one step at a time onto stable ground, down the paths they’re willing to walk, where God will show them what He wants them to see.

Itty-Bitty is now revisiting some of her favorite places. She takes medicine because she needs some extra help with her problems. But praise the Lord that she's back to soaking up the sunshine and pouncing bugs.

Life is more enjoyable when we see what’s right in front of us and when we trust God with what we can’t yet see.

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