God is in the Details or the Miracle of a Cat


I believe in Synchronicity.  Maybe some of you do too. You know when something wonderful, exactly what you needed,  drops right into your lap. Whoosh there it is!  Whether the event  was engineered by deceased Great Aunt Nettie serving as an angel, or  the Holy Ghost ; it really does not matter because  God is in the details  of divine intervention.

Last May, God gave our family such a miracle. Some of you will most certainly roll your eyes when you read this post. Go right ahead. I am right there with you, why would God, with all He has to do in “bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man“, give a flying fig about such a trivial matter? But nevertheless my dear brothers and sisters, I testify to you, a cat can be a miracle.

I have always been a cat lady. I married a dog man. I faithfully did the dog scene for fifteen years. In the end, the Chinese killed our old dog with tainted dog food back in 2007. I said, “no more animals” after that horrible day. What I really meant was “no more dogs”. Don’t get me wrong I liked  dogs, but our labs were just too rambunctious. At the time, a cat seemed so very unlikely, as Jie Jie, my eleven year old was very allergic to cats. A year later she became un-allergic. Apparently children can grow out of pretty intense allergies. Jie Jie was/is a cat lady too. So, when she attained non-allergic-to-cats-status; she began to ask/beg/whine for a cat. Mike, being a dog man, said no-no-no to an indoor cat.

Just so you know, an outdoor cat was not humanely possible for us. We are blessed to live on a little piece of God’s green earth which includes woods, creek, a nearby river, and a mowed field. Mother Nature, in her generous abundance, included coyotes and bobcats. Consequently small dogs and cats do not last long in our neck of the woods. A sick joke is told around here, that 4 p.m. is cocktail hour for  predators, as little lap dogs are sent out to do their evening business never to be seen again. So if Jie Jie and I were to get a cat it would be an indoor cat.

When I set out to do something, I get obsessed becuase I want to make the correct choice. I felt it was necessary to find the right cat for our family. My research found its way to Rag Doll Cats. As a breed, Rag Dolls are typically:  personable, sociable, quiet, light shedders, and extremely easy going. So easy going  they can be trained to lie limp in your arms, hence the name Rag Doll. In way of size, Rag Doll cats are the cat version of a Saint Bernard dog. The males are often as much as 20 lbs. In a nutshell a perfect pet for the Bensons. I checked to see how much a purebred Rag Doll would cost; and  it was about six hundred dollars; which  of course is way out of the budget for Mr. Mike “No Cats” Benson. My search took me to look for a “free” half-breed male Rag Doll cat.

Now this is where it gets tricky. Rag Dolls are not rare, but they are not necessarily common. I found three breeders online  in our state. When the breeder sells a kitten, they are “fixed”, so to speak, so they do not produce more Rag Dolls. I realized early on, locating a mixed Rag Doll was going to be like finding a “needle in a haystack”. Having little faith God would care about my cat search, I said a halfhearted prayer which might have bumped the ceiling of my bedroom in earnestness. The Bensons normally do not lead a charmed life. So many times we pray and fast fervently for immensely important things such as a life to be spared, a job to be found, etc… to no avail. We just suffer thru the trial and learn whatever lessons are to be learned and soldier on.

So one afternoon after a couple of weeks of checking shelters and the classifieds, I stopped by our town’s cat rescue center, a well-known haven for cat ladies and homeless cats. Cats of every size and color were housed in cages and several freely roamed the place. I went to the front desk and told the woman seated there, I knew I was making an impossible request, but I was searching  for a Rag Doll mix male kitten. I felt embarrassed  for appearing so fussy while a couple of sweet cats rubbed up against my ankles. She did not say a word for a moment, but instead blinked at me once, twice, three times and finally four before she replied, “ Umm… the only male kitten we have available at the moment is a Rag Doll mix”.

Now it was my turn to blink several times and I replied, “ Well I guess we have found our cat”. She took my name and number. The Cat Lady,  who was caring for  the male kitten and his three sisters, (the girls were already spoken for) called me back before I even got home. Later she told me the male kitten could be mistaken for a purebred  because his markings and big blue eyes were so very Rag Doll. He and his sisters were dropped off at a shelter a couple of hours away  from us. Because they were so young and needed so much attention, the kittens ended up at the cat rescue center. With the Holy Ghost (and quite possibly my Great Aunt Nettie) backing me up, I confidently put my foot down with Mike about the cat issue. Faced with such powerful opposition, Mike crumbled.

So great was this miraculous witness for the Cat Ladies, they did not even check our references. After all, when the Holy Spirit is your reference, it is not necessary to check further. A couple of weeks later, Oliver, as he became known, was brought home and began his life with us. Oliver lives up to his Rag Doll personality traits. He is quite content to be dressed in doll clothes, lugged around by Hong Mei, and cuddle with everyone, including Mr. Mike  “No Cats” Benson. You can hear Oliver’s happy purring rumble as he trots thru our house like he owns the joint; which he pretty much does. Oliver is the perfect pet for our family.

Shortly after we got him, I told the kids we came by being cat people naturally since it was the Egyptians who domesticated the cat. Dogs were domesticated to be companions and workers, but cats were domesticated to be gods. Jie Jie thought about this for a moment and said, “Well that makes sense. You can tell Oliver wants us to worship him.”

A few months later, I marvel at how we came to find him. For whatever reason, we were to have Oliver. I have absolutely no idea why this is so. Because I  saw the dismal conditions of that orphanage in China; I cannot reconcile homeless children with homeless cats. A rational mind would conclude the children were more important than a cat. This is one of the mysteries of God.  All I know is a divine spirit delivered Oliver  close to our home and then nudged me there. For this I testify, less important things like lost keys and parking places are found, and the perfect cat finds a home.

So dear reader, what are your thoughts on Meaningful Coincidence or Synchronicity? Do you have a witness you would like to share? If so, please do tell.

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About JA Benson

Joanna entered the world as a BYU baby. Continuing family tradition, she graduated BYU with a degree in Elementary Education and taught for several years. Growing up in Salt Lake County, her favorite childhood hobbies were visiting cemeteries and eavesdropping on adult conversations. Her ancestral DNA is multi-ethnic and she is Mormon pioneer stock on every familial line. Joanna resides in the Southeastern USA with her five children ranging in age from 8 to 24. Her husband passed away in 2009. She is an avid reader and a student of history. Her current intellectual obsession is Sephardic Jewish history, influence and genealogy. She served as a board member for her local chapter of Families with Children from China. She is the author of “DNA Mormons?” Summer Sunstone 2007 http://www.bycommonconsent.com/2007/04/dna-mormons/ and “Becoming Hong Mei`s Mother” in the Winter Sunstone 2009 http://theredbrickstore.com/sunstone/becoming-hong-meis-mother/.

7 thoughts on “God is in the Details or the Miracle of a Cat

  1. I believe in synchronicity. Sometimes, it is just dumb luck, sometimes Heavenly Father is pushing things in a certain direction for His own purposes.

    Speaking of cats, we also live in coyote and fox heaven. I regularly find the remains of mostly eaten rabbits on our land. But our cat is very fast, and we have a fenced back yard, so we let her out during the day and lock her in the garage at night. We decided to get the cat after discovering some mice — no mice at all since we got the cat. Synchronicity indeed.

  2. Thanks for stopping by to comment Geoff.

    We had a big fluffy cat when I was a teenager who was sweet, but not very bright. He laid on the back step for years. We never had any mice. Even if he did not kill mice, we believe, it was his smell/presence that kept them away.

    It is all over the websites for Rag Dolls that they are not to be outdoor cats. They have all the flight and fight bred out of them. He would end up like the bunnies. So far, the indoor cat thing is working out great. In the six weeks or so since we got him, he has never had an accident.

  3. This topic has been touched on before on M* and other blogs, but never about cats. You have forged a new path on this topic, I think. 🙂

    I marvel sometimes at how things transpire in my life. Whatever you choose to call it, I believe God does watch over us and sometimes even directs the events of our lives.

    The no cat rule is strictly enforced in my home due to my wife’s allergy to cats.

  4. Pingback: God is in the Details or the Miracle of a Cat | Cat and Kitten Zone Blog

  5. I sometimes think God likes to give us a tender mercy now and again — especially after He’s had to say no to a number of our prayers. He has to be tough with us sometimes and He expects us to take it, but He also wants us to know He loves us and cares for our feelings.

  6. I’ve been blessed with hundreds of synchronicity type things. Two of my favorite are two separate times I went to the Post Office counter to pick up packages that were too big for my PO box. I used to order so much stuff that I never know what I was getting any particular day, or what backorder was being filled.

    The time I picked up a shipment of Bibles from the Int’l Bible Society, I was standing in line next to a pastor from Nigeria who spoke Igbo. We just chatted a bit before it was our turn to be served. One of the Bibles that came that day was Igbo, so I figured it was for him, offered it to him, and he accepted.

    Another time, I picked up a shipment of Bibles, went outside, opened it and looked to see what came, and included in the lot was a Yoruba Bible, another language of Nigeria. I wasn’t standing next to any immigrants that time, but I figured, hey, the Lord did it once, He could do it again, so I went back inside. I saw an African-looking lady doing something at a counter in the outer lobby. I put my stuff on the counter opposite her and made busy sorting things, and then struck up a ocnversation. Yup, she was a Yoruba from Nigeria. She accepted the Bible.

    Just remembered two instances with the Liahona, the international edition of the Ensign. One day, the Chinese Liahona came to my PO Box. I looked around the outer lobby, and there was a Chinese man there. I offered it to him, and he accepted. Another time, the Tagalog Liahona arrived, I looked around, and there was a Filipino couple in the lobby, so I offered it to them, and they accepted it.

    “Scintillating” is how one member described such encounters to me when I told him about it. But I just checked the dictionary definition, and that doesn’t quite match.

  7. Thank you Bookslinger, and Brian for stopping by to comment.

    Martin you hit the nail on the head. 24 hours after I wrote this post, i found myself holding Mike’s unresponsive hand in the critical care unit of our local hospital. Mike would “officially” pass away a few short hours later. Oliver was such a calming presence for us in the days following dear Mike’s passing. My mother commented, while Oliver lay rumbling in her lap, “I think we need more Olivers”.

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