There are so many voices saying so many things. Everyone has an opinion and I am no different, but instead of “preaching” a Christmas message, I want to retell a story of hope. I don’t know about you, but I could use a good dose and reminder of the tangible gift that Christ is. This is the season that the Holy Spirit somehow stirs the hearts of men giving them hope that all things can be brighter for a better tomorrow…
The Christmas Miracle Cat
Do you believe in miracles? I want to tell you a tale of a striped, tabby cat named Roscoe
As I was diligently working as a nail technician one holiday season, (and all women realize the importance of beautifully manicured nails for Christmas!), a client walked in, sat in the chair and was clearly flustered over a situation that had just taken place. A most interesting story began to unfold as her frustration began to deflate with every passing word.
She came home and her two cats, Bogey and Putter (can you guess her husband’s favorite pastime?), had been making a huge fuss over a small tabby cat who had appeared at their back door, with an “over the top” commotion which was taking place (If you knew Mrs. Grissom you would know that this would just not do!). On with the story—The family’s two cats were hissing at the unwelcomed and unwanted intruder (by other family members), but her two grandchildren were positively overcome with excitement at the prospect of this new little visitor.
The cat was a small striped tabby, which seemed to be unusually friendly. But what was he doing at their back door? Mrs. Grissom wondered. After much talk and indecisiveness regarding his fate, it was decided that at least a makeshift bed of cardboard and towels would be placed outside for warmth. as everyone stood around deliberating his future. They reasoned that if they ended up feeding him once he might end up becoming a long-term “resident” but Mrs. Grissom’s heart softened, and she stated unequivocally that she was going to feed and water this poor little fellow. After all, she pondered, how long had it been since he had eaten? Her instincts were right on the money as she watched the little fellow devour the feast.
A phone call to the local vet was made inquiring if anyone had reported a missing cat of his description (as if he were unique in his markings). Then a thought occurred to Mrs. Grissom. She grabbed the Wilmington Star-News and stated that she was going to scour the paper to see if perhaps a classified ad had been placed by a frantic cat owner. Her family scoffed. But if you knew Mrs. Grissom you would know that nothing, once her mind was set, would deter her from her goal, which was finding his owner. As she intently combed the paper, something caught her attention. Right in the middle of the classified section, she saw the following ad:
“Lost Cat.” Male. 7 months old, striped tabby; grey, tan and black with white under his neck. Medium size. Very friendly. His name is Roscoe.
Mrs. Grissom could hardly believe her eyes. The ad described the exact cat she and her family were watching tee! She repeated the exact words verbatim to her family knowing somehow in her heart that this was that cat. At first, her family pooh-poohed the notion with all sorts of remarks. What were the odds that this was that cat who was scarfing down a bowl of food? Who is the world would place an ad for a little cat such as this?
Hours passed and there was no frantic person searching for a lost cat who had notified the vet. Eventually, Mrs. Grissom’s daughter, who had stated that she would take the cat, was ready to go home and needed to know how to proceed. On a whim, Mrs. Grissom picked up the phone and called the number listed in the paper.
“Well, it probably isn’t our Roscoe, but it would be worth coming to take look” was the reply from the other end of the line. “Both our little girls have been devastated at the loss of Roscoe hardly able to do anything but cry. They haven’t even wanted to go to school.” The husband and wife piled up the girls and made the ten-mile trip to the other side of Wilmington just to help put to rest the question of this being their little Roscoe. Upon arriving at the Grissom’s house, what to their wondering eyes should appear but Roscoe! He was so young; how could have made this long journey they all wondered? No one comprehended how he could have survived the ten-mile trip traveling the streets, crisscrossing traffic and most likely, not having any food or water and yet he made it to this very specific house. Was it just circumstantial or did Roscoe end up at the Grissom doorstep because heaven knew the plan already was in motion, if recognized, to return him to his rightful home thereby placing awe and wonder in the hearts of all of those who were a part of this Christmas miracle? Whose hearts had to be touched?
After allowing this story a little time to settle in my heart, the true meaning of it began to flow. I don’t know how many of you have ever had the Holy Spirit burden you with something, but you do not rest until it comes out in some manner, and I knew this was an undeniable miracle of God’s care that must be shared. What were the chances that a tiny little seven-month-old tabby would survive all the obstacles he had to most certainly face and overcome for four days if it were not? Though her family members did not have the presence of mind (or spirit) to search the paper, it was placed directly on Mrs. Grissom’s heart, but the key to this miracle was that she had to follow through (One must always follow through!).
Are there modern-day miracles? Ask Roscoe. He is now at home with his family this Christmas because one woman took the time to follow her heart. Out of every house in the city of Wilmington, I believe that angels guided little Roscoe to Mrs. Grissom’s house. The Holy Spirit foreknew that she would not give up searching to uncover the truth until there were no options left. He knew that a phone call would be made to the owners, as silly as it might seem when everyone around her thought she was crazy.
This event reminded me, and I needed to be reminded again this year, that God knows every sparrow that falls to the ground. He knew that I would love this little miracle tale and in turn write a story to give those a little peek into the heart of a big God and His love and care for the smallest of creatures.
How glorious to think that our Father attends such small animals, those who were lost (ten miles away no less) and then restored to their rightful home. How much more the birth of Jesus Christ coming lowly in a manger over two thousand years ago was needed for us to find our way back home. If this story is not a miracle of God’s unending love, mercy and special grace for humanity (and animals), I don’t really know what is.
Won’t you turn your heart over to the heart healer this Christmas season (Yes, Christ-mas) and become a Christ-bearer? If He carved out special time to bring Roscoe home at Christmas, then what in the world is stopping you?
Mrs. Grissom is in heaven today with Jesus and I feel certain that she is smiling down as this story is being recounted, once again. It was her very special encounter with a dear little tabby, named Roscoe that gave so many hope at Christmas…