This story comes from a close, longtime friend whose honesty is not in question. The “experience” took place more than 20 years ago when she was a young, stay-at-home mother of three children aged 9, 6, and 5.
It begins with heartbreak after neighborhood kids take a baseball bat to Prissy, the family’s beloved gray tabby. The cat’s jaw is shattered to smithereens, and there are additional injuries to the head. The children sob when they discover the kitty. Mom rushes the crushed animal to the veterinarian.
The vet has somber news: It’s unlikely that Prissy will survive, but he’ll do everything he can. Holes are drilled into her jaws and wires inserted in an effort to piece together what was destroyed. With her jaws wired shut, she would need attentive care and have to eat soft food that could be licked off of a spoon. Her prognosis was dire.
Mom told the children that they needed to pray for the cat’s recovery. The whole family prayed and tended to Prissy. Everyone was on the same mission, and the daily prayers were intense and sweet.
A week later Mom dropped Prissy off at the vet’s office so that he could check on the holes and the wires. Except there were no holes and no wires.
In fact, there was no sign that the cat had ever been harmed. Gobsmacked, the doctor took X-rays again. And the findings were the same: Prissy was in perfect shape.
He made a phone call to Mom and asked, “Is this the same cat? I don’t see how it could be.”
She assured him that it was.
Now I can’t say exactly how or why this cat tale has such a happy ending. That falls in the realm of Great Mystery, and that was not what I majored in at The University of Georgia. But I have some notions.
Where belief, love, work, compassion, and a Higher Power come together, there is alchemy. There’s the possibility of transformation that defies rational explanation. It’s often called a miracle. Cynics may refer to it as a freakish aberration, but I know better.
Something in the universe listens — even to the atheist’s cries. Something out there proves again and again that every hurt can be mended. Every broken thing can be restored. Every life has purpose and can be healed. Even if you’re as small and weak as a tabby cat beaten with a baseball bat.
Because as Helen Keller said, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
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Lauretta Hannon, a resident of Powder Springs, is the bestselling author of The Cracker Queen—A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life and a keynote speaker. Southern Living has named her “the funniest woman in Georgia.” See more at thecrackerqueen.com.