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Beth Jones

Blog, Family, pets, prayer, Stress

Rescue cats update

You may have seen my blog post, Lessons From Stray Cats, on the cats that I’ve been rescuing here at our house. I thought that I’d share an update with you. I already have a beautiful black cat with green eyes, Natalya, who I adopted from a cat shelter in Belton, Missouri, several Christmases ago.

My cat Natalya

My cat Natalya

I’ve been feeding about 4 stray cats (intentionally) since spring 2023 (other stray cats may be sneaking around here, too). My husband Ray would joke that the good news spread, and we began seeing more cats hanging around to beg food from us.

My heart went out to them when they would meow at me. Ray bought me a coffee cup with the inscription, “You had me at meow” and a cute graphic on the other side of a woman and her black cat looking out at the sunset, with my name and Natalya’s on it. At Christmas, he ordered another cup with a graphic of a woman representing me and ALL the cats that I’ve been feeding and taking care of, looking out at the ocean, lol!

the cute coffee cup Ray bought me with all the cats

the cute coffee cup Ray bought me with all the cats

Silas is a Main Coon-tabby mix, male cat with a bushy tail and green eyes, about 2 years old. He was friendlier than the other strays who were semi-feral, so Ray thought that he had been around humans before and was possibly someone’s pet. He joked that some little girl was crying about her missing cat that I now had inside my house. It turns out that Ray was right – Silas had wandered away from his owner one day and didn’t return!

Silas

Silas

Recently, Silas was returned to his original owner, Lesslee, who lives here in Butler, Missouri, not too far from our house. I was posting on the Butler Facebook page to try to find a home for the other two stray cats that I’d been feeding here, Nichodemus (a male, Main Coon-tabby mix with green eyes and a bushy tail like Silas has) and Marmalade (a male, orange tabby).

Lesslee publicly posted under Nichodemus’ picture that I had posted: “That looks like my cat O’Malley who ran away forever ago!” 

Silas, the day before he was neutered and got his vaccinations

Silas, the day before he was neutered and got his vaccinations

I sent her a private message and she sent me a picture of her “O’Malley.” I looked at it and replied to her, “That looks like our cat Silas, who we have inside our house now!” She asked if she could come see him. I told her yes.

The day she came, Nichodemus just happened to be outside on our back patio eating. When she walked quietly to the steps where I was sitting, watching him, she shook her head and said, “No, that’s not him.” As usual, Nichodemus (who is more feral and gets scared easier) ran off into the bushes. I didn’t think that he was her cat, from her picture. Although they resemble each other, Nichodemus has darker markings on his face and his back than Silas does. Silas is also bigger and more territorial (aggressive).

Nicodemus on our back patio

Nicodemus on our back patio

When she came inside our house, I called Silas. He came walking up to us both in the utility room. As soon as Lesslee saw him, she began crying. While he had gained a LOT of weight since she had him (he loves to EAT!), she thought it was her cat O’Malley who had wandered off over a year ago. Silas came right to her and seemed to KNOW her, letting her pet him. She was shocked when I asked if she wanted him. My heart was aching at the thought of him going, but I felt it was the right thing to do.

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Goals and dreams for the new year 2024

2024Image source: BoliviaInteligente on Unsplash

2024
Image source: BoliviaInteligente on Unsplash

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” ~ Melody Beattie

We’re nearing the end of 2023 and the new year 2024 is around the corner, as of this post’s writing. I hope you had a great Christmas with your family and your friends, and have a wonderful, new year overflowing with God’s blessings.

I usually do several things at the end of each year and before the start of the new one:

  • Reflect over the past year and pray about the coming new year. I set aside a quiet time alone to seek God to ask His forgiveness for any sins I may have committed in the past year, and to ask for His direction, wisdom, guidance, and protection for me and my family. I no longer do new year’s resolutions (breaking them too fast). For the last several years, I’ve asked for a “one word” and a Scripture as an anchor for the coming year. The one word has worked much better, and it serves as a theme for the year. I really liked this video on resetting your life and just “dreaming” about the coming year and writing down what comes to mind (although I still think goals are a great and wise idea!). My motto is “Dream big because we serve a big God!” God makes dreams come true, as my life is living proof!
Palm trees & beachImage source: Maarten van den Heuvel

Palm trees & beach
Image source: Maarten van den Heuvel

  • Declutter, organize, and clean. Marie Kondo said, “Tidying is the act of confronting yourself.” So true! Have you ever just really LOOKED at your house, rooms, closets, drawers, yard, garage, and car and thought, “What IS all this crap? Why on earth do I have it?” (Or you wonder why your spouse or kids do!) Decluttering and organizing is an endless task, but such a necessary one. I try to do this several times a year, but especially at the end of the year, to have a fresh new start. It’s SO freeing to give away, throw away, or sell things. You just feel a weight lifted off you, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  “When home feels out of control, no matter what the reason, unsettledness and anxiety can seep in, and then the chaos becomes internal as well as external.” (Myquillyn Smith)
ClutterImage source: Ashim D’Silva

Clutter
Image source: Ashim D’Silva

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Blog, Faith, Family, Marriage, pets, prayer

Lessons from stray cats

“There are few things more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat.”–Tay Hohoff

Me & Natalya our cat

Me & Natalya our cat

Do you love or hate cats? Usually it’s one or the other; it’s hard to be neutral concerning cats. Recently when I asked a friend at church to pray for a hard situation concerning a cat, he said, “Okay, pray for me to have more compassion for cats. I don’t like them and I’m allergic to them.” LOL. I have another friend who is highly allergic to them and sneezes terribly, even from their furs’ dander on our carpet.

Other complaints about cats are that they scratch and ruin furniture, they can spray the carpet with urine, and worse of all –they don’t obey, like dogs do when trained!

My sweet kitty Natalya

My sweet kitty Natalya

That’s one of the reasons I actually like cats. They are independent with a mind of their own (like me!). 

Natalya my cat

Natalya my cat

My husband Ray and I have never had stray cats before. But at this house in Butler, Missouri, which we bought several years ago, we’ve had several stray cats coming around here. I’ve been feeding them since spring 2022. (It has gotten expensive, too!)

Heather seeing our cat Natalya the first time

Heather seeing our cat Natalya the first time

 

Our granddaughters Violet & Annabelle seeing Natalya the 1st time

Our granddaughters Violet & Annabelle seeing Natalya the 1st time

They’re all male cats. Some come more often than others to eat. I asked Ray to help me name them. They are:

Silas, a male tabby/mix breed (a vet said possibly Maine Coon because of his bushy tail; another vet said possibly Siamese mix), who I took inside our home this year and he’s now our second (inside only) cat. We got him neutered and his vaccinations, because he was doing the male mating call and yowling day and night. He was trying to mate with my female cat Natalya, even though she was fixed! He can still be aggressive at times with her and me, but he’s a sweet kitty. Ray also wanted him neutered so he wouldn’t spray our furniture and carpet with urine, as non-neutered males often do.

Silas

Silas

Nicodemus, a male. unneutered tabby mix cat with a bushy tail, who Ray and I think is Silas’ brother. However, Silas hisses at him when he sees him through the front screen door or the sunroom screens, and twice he has escaped out the door and chased him into the neighbor’s yard. (I’m thankful that Silas came back, so he must like it here! Or at least, the daily food and love!)

I think Nicodemus is beautiful and so sweet, and I want to keep him. But I know Silas would fight him and possibly hurt him. Plus, I don’t know if he has the contagious cat virus FIV or cat leukemia FLV. I wouldn’t want to possibly expose my cats to it. So he is one of our outdoor kitties right now. He comes every day, sometimes several times a day!

I’ve been worrying over him and Marmalade (the male, non-neutered orange tabby stray cat) with cold winter coming, so Ray and I bought a feral cat shelter for them. A vet recommended this kind. He said NOT to put straw or hay in a cat shelter, as it can get wet and then mildew and it can also draw pests.

Marmalade

Marmalade

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