I never wanted to be a cat lady.

From 5th grade until 10th grade my Dad was a pastor at Second Baptist Church in Cherryville, N.C. On the corner across from the parsonage sat a small, white, fenced in house. Morning and night a little old lady with snowy white hair arranged in a bun, dressed in a flowered dress with an apron over it, came out on her porch and called her cats. It looked like a million came running from all directions. I would be swinging on a swing attached to a huge oak tree limb, or riding my bike, and stop to watch those cats come running to her.

I thought she was crazy! Why would anyone have so many cats?

And here I am.

I only wanted one cat.


Our cat of eighteen years died in the fall and I knew I couldn’t live here without something to take care of the mice and keep the snakes away. So I went to PetSmart and paid twenty dollars for a sweet cat. And I was happy.

Then three little feral kittens showed up and took up residence on our front porch with Callie (our original $20 cat.) And more cats came. And raccoons, and possums, and skunks came… for the cat food left behind when the cats finished eating. And my porch begin to look like a disaster, with cat hair on rocking chair cushions and food bowls setting everywhere. (They each had their own food bowl since they would smack each other in the face if there was only one bowl and all of them were trying to eat.)

(This is a picture of the cat hair matted on the chair cushion. The cardboard in the background is where I had a trap set, surrounded by bricks to hold it in place to keep them from moving it to get the treats from the back. They pulled that grey blanket all over the place and made themselves quite at home.)

I was embarrassed for Amazon and FedEx to deliver packages. One time we had a new delivery guy and he placed my package right in that disgusting chair. I thought he was crazy. I’m sure he thought the same about me, after seeing my front porch. Did I mention I had traps set on the front porch too?

I called animal control. They wouldn’t take the kittens because they were overrun with cats and they are a no kill shelter.

We started seeing adult cats, and they would come up to eat too. I’d run them off, but the kittens stayed.

Animal control said, if I trap the adults, they would spay or neuter them, give them a rabies shot, and bring them back to release on our land where they came from. That’s their catch and release program.

Have you ever tried to catch a feral cat?

I have honed a system of making traps like the kid on Home Alone and changing up my tactics because they get wise to them. One-by-one I trapped those sweet, little, hissing, claw your eyes out, crazy kittens and have taken them to the vet for vaccinations, spaying, and one neuter. I had to catch two of them twice—one time for shots and one time for spaying. I got lucky with Smokey. The Vet had a cancellation and was able to do the vaccinations and neutering on the same day.

I am now the proud/poorer owner, of Spot (A girl named by our nine-year-old grandson.), Smokey (boy), and Smudge (girl) (These last two were named by our daughter who had pity on me and came up with cuter names that would help me not look quite so crazy cat lady-ish). I know the Vet assistants thought me a little strange to come in with a cat who was spotted like a Holstein cow and the inability to come up with any other name besides SPOT. (I saw their looks and the smiles lurking around their lips.)

And here’s where God comes in.

I will just let you know that you pray a lot when you have to catch three wild kittens, not once, but several times, and the vet tells you— if you are bitten, you have to report it to animal control. My goal was not to get bitten.

I’ve seen those sweet little things play around my feet and sniff my shoe, then turn into a hissing demon and come at me with claws bared.

I prayed, then caught the worse one with a system of string tied to the door of our cat’s cage (Callie’s). For some reason they all loved to play in it when I set it on the porch. I looped the string from the cat carrier door through the handle and pulled the end inside our front door. I pulled the string and could close the cat carrier door from inside our house. Spot had no idea I could do that;)

I caught one by using a drug the vet gave me to sneak in its food and sedate it (believe me, that cat wasn’t sedated very much). I was able to throw treats in the carrier and sneak up on that cat and close the door.

The last cat, Smudge, had to be caught Sunday night to go to the vet today. I worked for three hours trying to catch that cat. No luck!

I finally had to set my metal animal trap with a small can of cat food inside and go to bed. They play and jump around on that trap and most of the time set it off without being inside. I had to go back outside at 11:00 p.m. last night and reset it because they had triggered it.

I went to bed praying. “Lord, I’m probably going to have to cancel my appointment in the morning, but I know you have intervened for me to be able to catch the other two cats. Could you please just put that cat in that trap. I’m at my end.”

This morning, I got up at 5:00 a.m. to read my Bible like normal. I settled down with my coffee and Bible. When I was finished I prayed again.

“LORD, could you just put that cat in the trap this morning?”

Then I turned on the light and looked out the window. Something dark was in the trap. But the odds…with all the wild cats, the feral kittens, and my own original cat out there, what are the odds that it could be that specific cat?

So, I went out, picked up the cage and that little thing just hissed and lunged at me. But I saw the smudge of gray on its chin, thus the name Smudge.

I firmly believe—

The God of the universe!

The Creator of Heaven and Earth!

The God who parted the Sea!

The God who loves a Crazy Cat Lady—put Smudge in that cage for me.

I truly believe in miracles, because that is definitely a miracle. I’ve been in awe all day every time I think of it. God is so faithful. He’s there in the big and the small things. (For me, this was a very big thing! I’m really tired of dealing with cats and want to move on to other things.)

The cats are done for a year. I now have to begin catching the adults and calling animal control to come get them for the Catch and Release program.

I spent the day cleaning up the front porch so people will think I’m normal. The cat hair chair pads are gone. Stay tuned for next week and I’ll show you what I did with the front porch.

I also have another story to tell next week.

I think I’ll give it the title of—

“When the preacher and his wife came to visit the crazy cat lady—unannounced.”

Have a great week!