We did not take her back home with us.
This post isn't merely a eulogy. Faith wasn't merely a cat. She was the embodiment of her name.
“Faith” has several definitions: Confidence or trust in a person or thing, belief that is not based on proof, and belief in God, to name a few.
Here's how I believe God used a lowly cat to teach us about real faith.
November, 1992. Becky and her first husband owned a house in North Olmsted, Ohio. They already had three cats living with them. So, Becky was a little stunned when a long-haired calico stray marched from the street, across the yard and, uninvited, through her house's open front door.
I'd bet the other cats were stunned, too. The newcomer chose for herself a home (theirs) and a Human (ditto). The little creature – full grown, but just six-and-a-half pounds – trusted the already settled cats to accept her.
More to the point, she trusted Becky, a stranger of another species twenty times her size. Chew on that for a minute. How much faith would a human put in a rhinoceros? Would we snuggle up to a rhino and hope for both acceptance and petting? Yet, the little cat behaved as though she believed everything would turn out all right, despite no proof to support her belief.
What to name the newcomer? The little Beastie enjoyed climbing the Christmas tree that first Yuletide. Inspired, Becky named her Faith.“The name sounded Christmas-y,” she once told me. Becky's family scoffed at God – Christmas was ironically secular to them. Though not yet committed to seeking Him, however, Becky was more open and curious.
Then Faith got hit by a car.
Becky hurried her to the vet. The collision shattered Faith's hips and broke her tail at the base. The vet recommended putting the wounded cat down.
Becky refused, of course. She put her faith in... well, in what she did not know at the time. She believed her little Girlie would pull through and be all right, a belief based on something other than proof.
She nursed Faith back to health. The tail stayed crooked, and arthritis hindered the hips in later years. But in spite of expert advice, Becky kept the necessary faith.
We each, Becky and I, went through dark times over the years, which included our divorces. Once we married, she began seeking God, walking His path and growing in the faith. Credit for Becky's journey towards God goes to Him, though. Faith stirred in her long before she even knew it, with the arrival of a special creature sent to show her what the word really meant. We both believe God loves all His creation, and so believe that when “the lion shall lie down with the lamb,” there will be a special place for our little girl.
Until that time, although we don't see her around us, we are never without our Faith.