When I was a little girl, my mother told me that if I prayed to God, he would answer my prayers. I’m sure she said something like “God answers prayers” but I heard “God gives you whatever you ask him for, no matter what. Ask and it’s yours!”.
With that knowledge, I set about every night asking for God to turn me into a cat. Yes, you read that right. It was my dying wish to be turned into a cat. A kitten. A small bag of bones with whiskers and a purr box. I desperately wanted to be a kitty and so (to the best of my recollection) at the age of 4, I started praying every night before I went to sleep…
When I wake up in the morning, please let me be a cat. Please. Pretty Please. With gumdrops on it. Thank you for it. In Jesus name, I pray. Christine.
Every morning, I’d wake up (as a human) heartbroken. I was still a little girl and not a cat. Why? I had prayed for it. Why hadn’t God answered my prayer?
I thought about it a lot as each night I’d say the same prayer but each morning, I awoke as a person. I decided it must take more asking. What I was asking for was a REALLY big thing and it probably took A LOT of praying to get answered. I decided to invest the time. The payoff would be immense, after all!
I was dedicated and diligent. I whispered every night the same prayer and every morning when I awoke as my usual homosapien self, I was devastated. It just wasn’t working. “Maybe God just doesn’t want me to be a cat” I thought to myself. “I should pray to be an elephant tonight and see if that works.” Granted I didn’t want to be an elephant but this seemed the ONLY way to see if he wasn’t answering my prayers or he just had something against cats. That night, I tentatively said my altered prayer…
I know I’ve been praying to wake up as a cat but this time, I’m asking to be an elephant in the morning. Not a cat. An elephant. In Jesus name, I pray. Christine. Oh… P.S. I forgot to thank you for it so… thank you for it. And still in Jesus name, I pray. Christine.
I nervously closed my eyes and went to sleep that night. I really, really didn’t want to be an elephant but it was worth it to find out! Looking back now, I respect the very scientific approach my small, delusional brain took in handling all of this. Obviously, you must too.
Well, I hope it doesn’t come as a surprise to you that God did not turn me into an elephant. It came as a surprise to the 4 year old me. I woke up that morning absolutely heartbroken. It wasn’t working and that must mean I was doing it wrong. What could it be? After my sister and brother left for school that day, I carved out a thinking niche to figure the answer out.
My mom found me later, sitting in my closet, buried under the 437 stuffed animals I owned. The pink fur of my favorite one, Pinkie Bear, soaked by my tears. She asked me what was wrong and I confessed everything. My year-long prayers to become a cat, my switcheroo to an elephant just in case he thought there were enough cats and inevitably, my dashed hopes.
It was there, through the sniffles and after shakes from sobbing, that my mom explained the complexities of prayer and how God made me a person because he wanted me to stay that way. Plus, how sad my family would be if I wasn’t a little girl and instead a cat. Which seemed absurd to me… who wouldn’t be tripping out and ecstatic to find their daughter had been turned into a cat?!? No one, right?
Well, I tell you all of this to help you see there’s always been a slightly
crazy emphatic cat lover in me. From as far back as I can recall, I’ve loved them. Maybe a little too much.
Back in February, when I said goodbye to my Quigley, I felt a hole tear in my heart. I couldn’t imagine ever having a cat again. When Emma and Dan talked about getting another kitten, I brushed off the idea. “I don’t think I’m ready” I’d tell them. And I didn’t think I was.
Emma was sweet in her pursuit… “Momma, do you think you’ll be ready this summer?” I told her I didn’t know if I would be. “Do you think you’ll be ready in the fall?” I’d give her a small smile and tell her maybe.
She set about making a calendar and checking off the days until Labor Day, her marked end of summer.
“70 more days until Labor Day, momma!”
“Don’t wish your days away, baby. Enjoy your life today.”
But then the day wasn’t so far away.
Halfway through August, my heart was ready to love again…