Friday, July 8, 2011

Appreciating Small Miracles and Taking Him Along With Me On My Journey

As a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), I spent the week of June 28-July 1 eagerly following the tweets of the authors who descended on NYC for annual conference. As an unpublished author, I couldn't justify the added expense to our household budget but figured I could learn much from 'following' along those in attendance. After four days of reading about the excitement of workshops, book signings, author lunches and the award dinner, my thoughts had changed completely. I resolved on that last day that next year I would attend the annual conference, even if it was across the country in Anaheim, California. However, I decided that I would justify the trip by making publication my goal. On July 5, I launched my new blog 'Countdown to Contract', the link I will share at the end of this blog. My goal is to obtain my first book contract so that when I attend that conference I will be attending as a published author. Of course I have many small goals to accomplish along the way, but this is my 'pie in the sky' goal.

It's now Day 4 of my quest, and I chronicle each day on my blog. For accountability, I share my day's work with my followers on Twitter and my friends on Facebook. I have not missed a day of work and, though I usually write six days a week, with this new challenge I will be writing on Sundays.

Now working on Sundays, being connected on the day I reserve for introspection and family, will be a challenge. Sundays have always started with the wise words of my favorite pastor. Oftentimes I enjoy his words so much I will watch the broadcast several times, just so that the inspiration seeps in to my subconscious. I also like to read my Bible, devotionals and any inspirational book I might be in the middle of. It's also a day to spend with my children, despite their growing older and more independent, as well as the cats who call my yard their home. But a promise is a promise and when you say something out loud, like I announced my intentions on Twitter and Facebook, then there's the accountability. How would it look if I miss a day? How could my blog go from Day 3 to Day 5? So it's this accountability that gravitates me to my keyboard each and every morning. It's also the only way I'm going to keep finishing books, submitting those books and getting the interest of an agent/editor. Agents and editors are looking for writers who write every day, who can produce not just one book but many. They are looking for writers who they can turn into career writers and that's what I intend to be.

This morning, though, feeling tired from a very busy week, I slowed my pace. Instead of jumping immediately into the shower, I came downstairs and enjoyed a cup of tea. Instead of gulping it down, I sipped it slowly, savoring the taste and the warmth. Instead of quickly dolling out cat food onto the half a dozen plates on my front porch, I poured it out slowly, aware of the cats winding between my legs and calling out their morning greeting. And instead of running to take that shower, start that laundry or some other chore, I knelt down in the doorway and watched from the glass storm door as my little cat farm relished the food they get every morning. My reward came in the form of four tiny, fuzzy bodies as they bounded up the steps of the porch behind Snowy, a cat I've been feeding since her birth. I had known she was pregnant. I had remembered her disappearing for several weeks but not having seen any kittens, had forgotten all about it.

I watched wide eyed as those five squirmy bodies piled into a huddle around a plate of food, chewing alongside one another as their mama watched vigilantly. Though I've had kittens around before, I hadn't seen any this small. As a matter of fact, their mama was the runt of the litter she came from and had always remained on the small side. I marveled at the fact that not only had her kittens survived but that she had had four of them. Knowing how skittish kittens can be, I stayed motionless on my knees. Two kittens were a dark gray and two kittens were gray and white, matched as perfectly as two sets of salt and pepper shakers.

I was amazed at how they could survive living from bush to bush, constantly on alert for wild animals, dogs, cars with distracted drivers and countless other things threatening them at any time. And the first thought that came in to my mind was one of my favorite scriptures in the Bible: "Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are?" - Matthew 6:26 NLT.  

To me, seeing those kittens thriving with their mother, regardless of all the things that could come up against them, reminded me of the miracle of life. The simple miracle of those kittens being born perfect. As we count our baby's toes and fingers, they too are born with all they need to make their way in this world. Their survival will depend somewhat on their start in this world and much on their survival skills. What I need to remember is that, unlike those kittens, I have someone else who will guide me in this world. And with His guiding hand I not only can survive, I can meet my goals and thrive!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Faith, Hope and a Milestone

I've been busy writing away. And after a little more than a year, I finally accomplished something I have yet to do in my writing career - finish a novel!
I have several half done novels in my file cabinet, so you can imagine what a milestone this was for me. And even though I didn't finish on January 31, the date I had written in red on my calendar, I finished. It was February 18 to be exact, a Friday , and  the best Friday I've had in years.

Years ago, when I was a teen, I always looked forward to Fridays. You know - TGIF and all that stuff LOL. But when my cousin passed away ten years ago on the Friday after Thanksgiving (unexpectedly I might add), Fridays changed dramatically. For the first few years I would dread Fridays, fearing that something horrible would happen again. Much of this is connected to the anxiety that I have been dealing with for the last decade. Things have improved greatly over the last two years. How?

For one thing, I began to read the Bible. When the worrying and fretting got to be too much, I found relief in the fact that I could cast all my cares on Him. It was a wonderful thing to learn that I didn't have to carry my burden alone. Pretty soon I found that the support and strength I just couldn't seem to find anywhere else I could find there in the Bible. Slowly, the anxiety began to melt away and, though I do have those 'moments', I quickly remind myself of those promises He made to me and just 'get on with it', as a popular commercial spouts.

The second thing that has helped me tremendously is also connected to the Bible and that is the inspiring weekly sermons of a Pastor named Joel Osteen. If you are reading this blog, there is a good chance you are familiar with him. In addition to a better understanding of the Bible, the good pastor has helped me change my mindset, something that has eased my anxiety and inspired me to reach further than ever before.

These uplifting sermons are filled with positive reinforcement and inspiration. Though there are those who have dismissed this pastor's ways as 'too feel good' or just an 'unrealistic pep talk', these weekly sermons remind me of how valuable I am to God, how important I am to God and that He is always there for me. I have learned how to stop the negative talk, the self defeating thoughts and, most importantly, how to replace them with positive and inspiring thoughts.Reaching this milestone of completing my novel on a Friday has helped me to change a negative mindset to a positive one, helping me to enjoy every day. In this day and age of worry, war and uncertainty, who couldn't use that?

And so this brings me back to my novel. I chose to write inspirational fiction because I wanted to give to my readers what the Bible has given to me - faith, hope, inspiration (note the title of this blog :D) and the belief that miracles happen every day. All it takes is some faith and hope....and with that I leave you with this scripture (one of my very favorites):

                           "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the
                  evidence of things not seen."  ~ Hebrews 11:1 KJV

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Searching for Jesus in the Local Bargain Store

Last year when the Christmas Tree Shoppe opened my daughter and I couldn't wait to go and explore it. It was early October but quite cool. The store was located in a new outlet, and so we had a lot of walking through alleyways to get to our destination. I remember being anxious to get out of the wind and into a warm store. My first visit I only browsed the aisles to see what kind of merchandise the store carried. I was pleasantly surprised at the array of both holiday and everyday products and made note to come back to buy some new Christmas decorations.

A whole year later I finally did that. I went back to the store armed with a circular and money, ready to find some great holiday deals to brighten our home. But what I wanted most of all was a nativity set. I have been married for twenty years and in that time we have collected our share of ornaments and decorations. But the only nativity set I had was the cardboard one my son had made in kindergarten. As of this writing he is close to nineteen years old so you can only imagine how the years have weathered that tiny, home made set. The little clay Mary and Joseph are missing assorted parts, the crib has cracked and the hay (which was made from construction paper straw) has faded to an unrecognizable color. So at the top of my shopping list was 'nativity set'.

I plowed through dozens of aisles like the other determined shoppers, trying to find the aisle where the nativity sets were on display. I wanted to see what styles and sizes were available that would suit the spot where I placed it for the holy season. There was an entire aisle dedicated to over sized plastic snowmen, penguins, candy canes and Santas. There were three aisles with endless ornaments in a rainbow of solid colors, glitter balls, Disney characters and favorite cartoons. I found aisles with Santa hats, Christmas stockings and holiday attire for your cat and dog. I didn't even count the aisles of holiday china, paper goods and specialty foods. But after forty minutes of browsing amidst the shoving and pushing I had still not come across the nativity sets.

I had had enough of shopping as I'm not much of a shopping person to begin with. I was already going through local stores in my mind, trying to determine my next stop, when I spun around and found myself facing a small shelf filled to the brim with white boxes. I wouldn't have given those boxes a second thought had one box not been facing outward to reveal a nativity scene. I turned a few of the boxes around and on their front was the same nativity scene. Somehow, for whatever reason, they had been shelved facing the wall so that no one could know what the boxes contained. And from the look of it, it seemed that no one had been interested enough to even look.

I picked up the box that had been facing outward and placed it in my wagon. Though some people would have looked through the other boxes, maybe even opened one or two to see that the contents were intact, I took that lone box as a sign. He had done for me what I couldn't seem to do for myself - He had led me to the item at the top of my list that had been my sole purpose in coming to that store.

I haven't opened that box yet. I carefully placed it in the closet with all the other holiday decorations in anticipation of the day I open it and set it in a carefully chosen place. A friend asked "But what if it's broken and you've had it too long to return it?" But I'm not worried. To me that nativity set was hand picked for me and I have no doubt it is just right.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

His Outstretched Hand

A week ago this past Friday I had an unexpected car accident. You might laugh that I say 'unexpected' but to me it's fitting. Because coward as I am (and those close to me will attest to this) the one thing I never expected to have was a car accident. Driving was the one thing I never feared. I never feared driving no matter where I had to go and was never fearful as a passenger. And for just a few short days after Friday, September 17, that almost changed.

I had just dropped my daughter off at her Friday night Video Ministry class. This year they are learning how to film and run the audio equipment for the Sunday sermons. My daughter wants to go into film making and works on many projects on her own, but this opportunity through her youth group is a one of a kind. So Friday nights are quite busy because in addition to her drop off and pick up, in between I pick up my son at the train when he gets in from work. In the area where I live there is one main road that is very heavily traveled. It's nearly impossible to go anywhere without venturing on to it, but I never thought twice about it. It was about ten minutes before eight and I was driving back from the church with twenty minutes until I had to turn around and head back to that area to the train station. I was debating on whether to buy a cup of tea to take to the train station. Up ahead cars were slowing down and I did too. Always cautious, I glanced in my rearview mirror. And I knew instantly that I was going to be hit. I remember few things about the accident because I believe in my panic and fear I blocked most details out. But I remember one thing. I remember looking in that rearview mirror and calling out "God, no!".

And I remember the sound of metal on metal, brakes screeching and parts crunching. Looking back now, jumping out of my car in the middle of a busy road was quite foolish. Even though I've been told not to keep playing that scary scene in my head, I find myself rewinding those moments to answer my own questions. Why didn't I move? Couldn't I have moved out of the way if I knew that car was going to hit me in the rear? After all, I knew I was going to get hit. And because I analyze every thing that I see, hear and experience, I was wondering why God hadn't stopped the accident. Then, just as that car had hit me, the answers did too.

For years I always worried about all the driving and running that I did for my family. I did ask myself, more than once, 'What would happen if something happened to me out there and my husband was at work? Who would take care of my two children?'.

Now I believe that accident was my answer. Most definitely not the way I would have liked my questions answered but an answer none the less. Remember, He always answers our prayers but not always in the way we would like. And we know that if some good couldn't come out of our trials and troubles He would not allow them. So I believe He has shown me what would happen if something happened to me while my husband was at work. Because that night He gave me a calm head despite the intense anxiety and fear I was battling. Calm enough that I got out of that truck and called 911 immediately. Calm enough that I could describe where I was and what kinds of vehicles were involved in the crash. Calm enough to move my car to a safer location to await the arrival of a police officer. Calm enough to answer questions. Calm enough to call my son and explain to him that he needed to get a cab, cab to the church, pick up his sister and get them home and wait for me. Calm enough to leave a mesage for my husband and reach out to my parents to come to my home for support. I believe it was His outstretched hand that kept my hands calm enough to dial those little buttons on my cell phone on a dark road and reach out to those who I love and love me.

I made it home. Albeit it was a slow crawl home in my smashed up SUV but I made it home. And my children made it home and into my worried arms. Shortly after that my parents arrived with comfort and reassurance that I would be fine. And followed by them my husband arrived, anxious to see that I was truly ok. There were my answers. What would happen to me? He would give me the strength and grace that I need to take care of myself. Who would take care of my children? With the strength that only He can give, I was able to take care of my children and in turn they took care of each other.

It has always made me feel stronger to believe that God is beside me, guiding and protecting me no matter where I go or what I go through. Yes, I was not able to get out of the way of the car that hit me. Yes, He allowed the accident to happen. But I believe in what I call 'His outstretched hand' and I believe on that Friday night it was His outstretched hand that brought me through that accident. To show me that I have nothing to fear. That He will always be beside me.

And in that I found yet another answer. For after the accident I spent several days asking myself "How will I get behind the wheel again? How will I get on that road again?" Then I remember how I got through that accident, shaken but completely unharmed. His outstretched hand.

I am back behind the wheel again and I have nothing to fear. I never had any fears about driving before and there is no reason to have any fear now, especially now. Especially now that I have felt the touch of His outstretched hand.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In everything that happens, there is a purpose

It's been much longer than I intended between posts. In July I became a volunteer for the rescue group that had so kindly taken the stray kitten from me. So thankful that he would be getting a home, and so much a cat lover, I decided to volunteer some of my time. The last time I had worked as a volunteer was back in the late 90s, when I worked as a newsletter writer for a breast cancer grassroots group, Babylon Breast Cancer Coalition. So I felt it would be both good for me and good for the cats and this time around my fifteen year old daughter would be working beside me.

After only a few weeks my daughter had fallen in love with an orange cat who was named Precious. Only she named the cat Goldie for her orangey coloring. Goldie's personality was like no other cat. When we would kneel on the floors to scoop litter pans in the lower cages she would stand on the cat towers behind us and gently tap our backs to get our attention. The minute one of us would spin around to talk to her she would climb down on our lap and make herself at home. Goldie had a sister who had come to the rescue group with her, both cats 'surrendered' by their owner who wanted to move in with his girlfriend, a non-cat lover. One thing led to another and one Saturday morning I found myself coming home with a cat carrier filled to the brim with two cats, Goldie and Frank (so aptly named because he had Frank Sinatra's blue blue eyes).

The fact that they had not been eating or drinking didn't daunt me. Dave and several volunteers had decided that the two were very depressed. Love cures all, right? So I was determined to bring them out of their 'funk'. To get them back to the land of living, eating, drinking and just plain old happy. They were around eight years old but as a cat 'expert' I knew that wasn't really old. 

The first few days they seemed happy just to be free from the noise and ruckus of living in a rescue among fifty to sixty cats and kittens. Frank, a marblized brown tortie, purred happily but spent his time sitting on the floor, nestled next to the fleet of file cabinets in my office. Since we didn't have much information about their health status I had decided to keep both cats in my home office, isolated from the two cats we owned. Once I had their paperwork in front of me stating they were both Feline Leukemia negative I would then slowly integrate them with my cats. Feline Leukemia is a fatal disease for which there is no vaccine. It's passed from cat to cat when sharing water, food and litter boxes. So I set up a litter box for them on one side of the room and several food dishes on the other. I spent every day offering them different types of food, just knowing that eventually I would find the one that would tempt them back to eating. There was wet food, dry food, dry food with warm water, dry food immersed in milk and even a commercial cat milk I found in the store. There were several water bowls and a continuous water fountain for a nonstop supply of fresh water. And in the beginning Goldie would sip the milk I set out for her. I would see her drink from a bowl or fountain. But Frank would not drink and could not be tempted with any food.

As days went by and they were with me for a full week I did call the rescue and ask for them to come look at the cats. I got so panicky I began to fill an eyedropper with water and drop water into Frank's throat. But I was sure it was just a matter of time. Goldie was drinking but I soon found out not anywhere near the amount she needed.

And then she stopped. The cat who I was so sure was making progress just stopped drinking and eating the few nibbles she had been enjoying. Even our organic milk could not tempt her. I had spent much time with them as they lived in the room where I worked. At night after watching television, but before going to bed, I would go into my office to 'tuck' them in. Frank loved the cat carrier so much that I had left it on the office floor with a blanket in it. He was in it that night, curled up and purring. I stroked him and told him goodnight. I would see him in the morning. Goldie was sitting curled up in her cat bed, also purring contentedly. But as I shut the door I had a feeling that I would have to make a run to the vet in the morning. I couldn't wait anymore for anyone from the rescue to come and take a look. I told my daughter that night when she got into bed to be ready to get up early. I wanted to get to the vet when they opened since we would not have an appointment.

Despite their not eating, it was customary for these two to make quite a ruckus in the morning. I would come down to hear them meowing and calling me. My son, getting ready to leave for the train, would say "Your friends are calling you" and I would immediately go in to start their day. But this day didn't feel quite right. I came down, looked at my son and asked him "Are they crying for me?" Because he works so many long days he is not aware of the day to day goings on here at home. So he didn't see the importance of my question. "Nope. Not this morning." As I began to turn the handle of the office door, I stopped and said to him "If I need you, will you come in when I call for you?". Puzzled, he agreed and continued fishing in his briefcase. I know what it means when someone says their blood ran cold.  I stepped into that room and Goldie slowly came over to greet me, silently. And I knew before I bent down on my knees that Frank could not come out of the cat carrier. When I peeked in he was there in body, but gone in spirit. Beautiful blue, blue eyed Frank had passed on during the night .I called for my son and he stayed with Goldie so I could remove the carrier from the room. My first thought was that it was upsetting enough that she had had to stand by her sister helplessly as she left this world.

I called the rescue and Dave was very upset to hear the sad news. He told me that I should take Frank's body to the vet. So my daughter and I, both very distraught, had to drive a very grief stricken cat and the body of her sister to the vet. I tried to console my daughter and reassure her that we would at least be able to save Goldie. I was expecting her to need only some medication and perhaps an IV for a few hours.
I have to shorten this long, tragic story as it still pains me to relive it. Medication and IVs were not to be.
The vet explained that she was in liver failure, 50% dehydrated and had several other health problems. Worse yet, they did not have any medical information on her.

"Don't bring cats into your home if you own cats," the vet said to me quickly, and not so kindly. Her concern was Goldie's Feline Leukemia status. And mine was "What had I done?" Had I put my own two cats in danger just trying to save the lives of two cats who were so desperately in need of a loving home? Though I was crying quite hard I was still able to tell the vet that I needed to know. The vet's prognosis was dire. There was little they could do and she probably only had 12-24 hours left. Euthanasia was the only humane choice. And the thought of having to put Goldie a blood test was breaking my heart but I had to know. So the vet went into the treatment room and ran the test. Those were the longest fifteen minutes ever. I sent up a silent prayer to God that if he could please, please spare my cats I would never, ever ask for another favor again. All I wanted was for that test to come up negative and know that I had not exposed my cats to a death sentence.

I know there's a God. I know because He's helped me on many occassions. Though my faith wavers during those different tests in life, I never lose faith. I believe. And so when the vet phoned the front desk and the tech turned to me and said "It's negative" I knew I had to send up thanks. And I did. Out loud I cried out "Thank you God!".

I spent many days blaming myself for not acting faster. I didn't know but should I have known? If I had acted sooner would they have survived? Or was it too late already when I had gotten them (the vet seemed to think so). No one had told me that there were serious health issues at play. Depression I had been told. Does depression kill? Perhaps not directly but the consequences of depression can lead to serious medical problems that can. I've learned that now. But that wasn't what I was trying to figure out. I could read a textbook and learn that. What I was trying to figure out is what the purpose of this whole ordeal was. I spent a week crying, blaming, medicating a headache and relaying my tragedy to fellow cat lovers. Then a good friend helped me find my answer. With her simple words. "God brought you to those cats so that they could die in a home, away from the ruckus and crowd of the rescue. Perhaps the purpose of bringing those cats home wasn't for you but for them to know that in the end they were loved again."

Love. Love cures all. I do believe this is true. And though they weren't cured in the physical sense, they were cured with a permanent healing. For God cures the ailing in two ways: sometimes with a temporary healing, an extension of time on earth(for we are all only here temporarily) and sometimes he cures them permanently by taking them up to heaven. So for now I have chosen to accept that as the purpose of losing Goldie and Frank. It's another life lesson, another test of faith and I hope that I have done Him proud.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Man With a Mission

I wanted to take the time to post an update about the little kitten I rescued. I didn't actually find him. He came to me round about, through a neighbor who found him wobbling down her driveway and teetering at the edge of the street. I'm happy to say that he has a home now. It was no easy task but nothing worthwhile comes easy.

It took dozens of phone calls and hours of surfing the web.  There were many almosts and tons more of 'sorry's. My 'last' call (for I was about ready to just go ahead and keep him myself, even though that wasn't what I had first intended) was to a local vet whose ad in the phone book mentioned his work with a rescue group. The receptionist regretfully told me that he no longer took in strays and abandoned cats. Just as I was about to hang up she added "but try PetCo." PetCo? The pet store? She explained that there was a rescue group based out of a local PetCo. I took the number but from experience just knew that they probably didn't take cats people turned in. Most of these groups go out and rescue ferals and strays and bring the cats in for adoption. I made the call anyway and it truly became my last call.

His name was Dave and he was the founder, the wearer of all hats, of a foundation named "Pets 4 Love". That I actually got a human being when I called was surprise enough. When he wholeheartedly told me to bring him down, that he would 'fit one more in' I couldn't believe my luck. After close to eighty 'no's and 'no room's I had struck gold. It wasn't until I met him at the store that I realized that I was meeting a man who truly was an angel.

The minute I saw him take that kitten out of the crate and tuck him in his arms I knew I had accomplished what I had set out to do. From the beginning when I took the kitten from my neighbor my goal had been to relieve her of what I knew would be some work. She had two year old triplets and I knew it would be a lot of work for her not only to find a home for the kitten but to venture out with active triplets and a crying kitten in her minivan. It was the least one neighbor could do for another. Even I hadn't bargained for the endless phone calls, hours on the internet and a kitten living in my basement for three weeks(his unknown health status meant he had to be kept away from own cats). It was more than I had wanted to do but meeting Dave made it all worth it.

After cuddling the kitten on his neck he immediately diagnosed an upper respiratory infection. "No worries. I have the meds here. He'll be fine in a day or two," he sing songed in an upbeat, positive voice. Never mind that he had cages filled with thirty three kittens that also needed homes. Never mind that almost twenty adult cats lingered as potential adoptees gazed excitedly at their young competitors. Never mind that he was putting every dollar he had into the care of these cats. Never mind that his devotion to their cause cost him his marriage and home.

If I ever wonder again what it means to have a mission in life I need only picture Dave holding that kitten, standing in the midsts of kittens and cats. Dave, whose dedication to saving as many cats as he can by making sure they get the medical care they need, loving them, giving them shelter and working tirelessly to find them their 'forever home'.

Because they can not say how much you mean to them, because they can not say thank you I wrote this blog post for them...from all of us who know how dim the feral cat situation is on Long Island I would like to take this opportunity to say "Dave, you are a beacon of light and hope - thank you for all you do!"

If you would like to make a donation to Pets 4 Love (all donations go 100% to the care of the cats) please send an email to

Monday, June 14, 2010

Faith As Small As A Mustard Seed

That's the thought that comes to my mind today after watching him for the last two weeks. Two weeks ago a neighbor knocked at our door and in her hands was a carton. A carton that had no doubt recently held a dozen juice boxes for her toddler triplets. It now held a tiny kitten.
"I didn't know what to do but I knew you were a cat person," she said breathlessly. Yes, I was known as the Crazy Cat Lady to family and friends. Obviously it had leaked out to a few neighbors as well.

Inside this carton was the tiniest kitten I had ever seen. Over the last twenty years I've owned a few cats but the youngest I had ever had was two months old, the age that is deemed 'ready' to leave momma. This kitten was nowhere near that and I suspected either momma had left him behind or he had wandered from the nest. If it hadn't been for the torrential rain I would have entertained the idea of leaving him near where he had been found in the hope that momma would come back for him. But our neighbor explained how the only reason she had scooped him up was because he had been wobbling down her driveway, on his way to our busy road. Today the roads aren't too safe for us, so she was panicked thinking about this tiny creature manuevering a road that at this time of the year would be frequented by more drivers as college students returned home and high school students took to the roads, free from books for the summer.

"Sure," I said "I'll take him to the shelter so you don't have to juggle him and the kids." I felt it was the right thing to do. After all, not only did she have two and a half year old triplets but she had recently had a heart procedure. It was the Christian thing to do - spare her the stress and trip and just take it to the shelter myself. My children are teenagers and it would be no problem to drop him off in the morning.

That was two weeks ago. Two weeks of traveling all over the county only to be told he's too small, too young. No shelter would accept him because he was under eight weeks, under two pounds and still needed his momma. And so I've been his momma now for two weeks. We've progressed from bottle feedings to wet food, from wetting newspapers to wetting in his litter. He's no longer so wobbly and he's slowly exploring the world around him, despite living in the basement to avoid contact with my cats because of his unknown health status.

He's still too young according to the shelters. He's still too small accoding to the shelters. But good things come in small packages. And if faith the size of a mustard seed is sufficient enough to see us through troubling times, I believe in my heart that this little guy is going to be just fine.