Last year, I got hit really hard with “kitten fever.” I have owned every animal under the sun (literally – dogs, bunnies, hamsters, a prairie dog, a chinchilla, horses, and fish) but I had never owned a cat and I have always loved them. So, I asked Korey if he would pretty please with sugar on top get me a kitten. Being the considerate person that he is, he asked my mom if it was something she was okay with (since I still live at home). At first she wasn’t totally in to the idea, mainly because she usually ends up becoming part owner to these babies that I acquire, but she came around (because although she’d never admit it, she’s an animal lover too).
Toward the end of the school year, one of my teacher friends ended up with some kittens that were found. She knew that I had been wanting a kitten, so she gave us one. The day we got him, Korey and I went to Walmart and bought everything we thought he would need and then we took him home. Korey, my mom, and myself sat around trying to think of a name for him. We were trying to pick something based on his color, but we didn’t want to go with anything too cliche like “smokey”. My mom was goggling names, when she ran across Scooter, and that was one we all loved. He was such a precious baby.
Scooter was very quiet, not very active, slept a lot, didn’t eat a whole lot, and pooped EVERYWHERE but in his litter box – all signs that he wasn’t a super healthy kitten. We didn’t really know this though, because we had never been a cat owners before. When we got him, we tried making an appointment with a vet to see him, to make sure he was in good health, but he was too young. They preferred that he be a couple weeks older before we brought him in. We had Scooter for about one week, when my mom and I left for a short trip to Philadelphia. While we were gone, my mom’s fiancé Kevin stayed at our house to take care of Scooter until we returned. The night before we left Philadelphia, I had a dream that we came home to an orange cat. I remember thinking, something was off because Scooter isn’t orange and he’s still a baby. When I woke up, I told my mom about the dream, and told her how weird it was. Before we left Philadelphia, we’d talked with Kevin, he was at the house cleaning up ( with Scooter following him around everywhere meowing like he had been doing all week). We had such a great trip, but it’s always good to be going home, and I was so excited to see Scooter! We made it home a little after noon. When we walked into the house, Scooter didn’t greet us like usual. We called his name and looked in all of his usual hiding places, but he wasn’t anywhere. Finally, my mom found him in our living room. He was laying by the coffee table, and he had died. Devastation is the only word to describe my state at that point.
We didn’t know what happened. He was fine that morning and that afternoon he wasn’t. After a while, both my mom and Korey suggested that we get another kitten. I didn’t really like that idea, I just kept thinking, “what if this happens again?” I wouldn’t even be able to handle that.
But, I ended up agreeing, and we began looking for another kitten. Specifically an orange one, just like the one from my dream.
The first week in July, my mom and I headed over to the animal shelter in search of the perfect little orange kitten. We picked up and played with a few, but there was one that we loved immediately. So we began the adoption process. It took a couple of days before everything was final and we could go and pick him up. When we did I was very excited. It took us longer to come up with a name for him than it did for us to name Scooter, but eventually, we all agreed on Sammie.
As you can imagine, I was very paranoid about Sammie’s health. I was watching him like a HAWK. He was a sweet kitty! Playful and full of energy (as kitten’s should be). I made an appointment at the vet for him immediately. The vet determined that the only thing he had was fleas (which we knew) – so we began to treat those. But, after a few weeks, Sammie stopped playing, he got very quiet, not very active, slept a lot, didn’t eat a whole lot, and pooped EVERYWHERE but in his litter box. Sound familiar? The vet was probably growing tired of my phone calls and visits, but I knew that something was wrong. They ran tests, did stool samples, etc. and determined that Sammie had acquired a parasite. They prescribed an antibiotic which Sammie took very well until he began to act a little more like himself.
In the midst of all this, I decided to take Sammie to be groomed. His fur was all matted and smelly from when he was peeing and pooping everywhere (and on himself). I found a PetSmart that had special grooming procedures for kittens and I took him there around 8:00am one morning. Unfortunately, while he was under their care, he got too cold (I think they left him wet too long) and became hypothermic (kittens don’t have the ability to regulate their body temperatures like cats do). When I picked him up from the groomer, he was very lethargic and just shivering. I immediately called the vet on my way home to make an appointment for that same day, but they were completely booked. They put me on “stand by” for an appointment at 3:00pm. Sammie wouldn’t walk, move, anything, all he wanted to do was sleep. He didn’t even move to go to the restroom, he just laid down and went on himself.
This same day, I was supposed to meet Korey for lunch. I didn’t want to leave Sammie at home by himself, I was too worried. So I decided to take Sammie to Korey’s job with with me. On my way there the vet called and said that she had something open up earlier at 1:00pm, and I told her we would be there. While we were at Korey’s job, Sammie literally just went limp. Korey told me to go ahead and just take Sammie to the vet immediately. So I did. The whole way to the vet I was praying that Sammie would be okay. When I got to the vet, the sweet lady that I’d dealt with on many occasions before, was on the phone and gave me the “just a minute” hand gesture, but I didn’t have a minute. I took Sammie out of his travel box, and just laid him on her counter. I told her “THIS IS AN EMERGENCY”. She immediately hung up and rushed Sammie to the back. It felt like I was waiting a very long time before anyone came to tell me how he was doing.
When the vet finally came out, she told me that Sammie had a seizure, they couldn’t regulate his body temperature, and that there was nothing else they could do at this facility. She told me she didn’t think he was going to live. She cried with me. She said the only thing left to do was to take him the emergency clinic to see if there was a chance that they could help him. So I did.
The doctors there took over, asked me a lot of questions, and told me I could leave. They said they would call me with updates throughout the evening. Around 7:00pm, we got a call. Sammie was still alive, but they told me he wouldn’t be alive much longer. As a matter of fact, he’d already lost consciousness once, they had to revive him, and put him on oxygen. They asked me if they could move him to “do not resuscitate,” and I said yes. She told me that she would call me back to let me know when Sammie had passed, it wouldn’t be too long.
When I got off the phone with them, I told my mom and Korey the update, then we stood in a circle and prayed. My mom said, “Lord, we know Sammie is the cat you showed Keturah in her dream. We know you are a God that cannot lie. So the next call we receive, in spite of what the doctor says, will be good news.” We all agreed and said amen. What I haven’t told you yet is in the dream that I had all those weeks ago in Philadelphia, the orange cat I saw was AN ADULT cat, so we were standing on our faith that Sammie would live to be an adult, no matter what the doctors said.
That evening, Korey and I had plans to double date with some friends. We thought about canceling our plans because it had been a very high stress day and we were worried about Sammie, but we decided not to. I kept my phone on the loudest ring possible so I could hear the phone call when it came… but it never did.
I prayed for Sammie the entire night while I slept – I know we all did.
The next morning, my phone rang around 7:00am. It was the vet. I answered it, nervous to hear the news.
I will never forget what she said… “I don’t know what happened, but shortly after we spoke, his health began to turn around for the better. His body started responding to the medicine, his temperature rose, he got up, started moving around, began eating, and now he is meowing very loudly for attention from anyone who walks by him. It is nothing short of a miracle. We’ve prescribed antibiotics that he’ll need to take every day for 2 weeks. You can come pick him up today.”
She may not have known what happened, or how it happened, but we did. We serve a God that cares about us so much, he cares about the things we love, the things that matter to us, even little orange kittens.
Cast all your cares upon Him; for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:7