A typical visit to my parents in the summertime usually ends with my car being stuffed full of black-eyed peas, tomatoes, pickles, cookies, cakes or pies, but this last trip was anything but typical.  

The morning of my visit, my dad found a baby kitten in his old barn. He and my nephew were taking a walk, checking on things and heard a helpless cry. Viewing the scratches on my dad’s hand, getting the kitten down to be able to help her was not an easy task. This baby kitten seemed to be only a few weeks old, and no doubt  scared, hurting and hungry.  Her left eye was bloody, with hair missing on that same side, and her nose was scraped badly. It was obvious to my dad, relying on previous experiences from living in the country, that someone had probably just thrown her out – the scars reflecting a pretty hard hit to the pavement. Needless to say, if cats do have nine lives, this kitty is now running on eight.

Anticipating a simple and relaxing visit, I rang the doorbell only to be greeted by my nephew who “let the cat out of the bag” by immediately telling me what they had found, hoping I could take the kitten home with me.  Uh-oh! No problem, I didn’t panic. I had mentioned recently that I wanted a cat to help with snakes and mice around our house, and I am out for the summer break – perfect!  

I was able to bring the kitten with me, not mentioning it to my husband until we were already home. Ha! Ha! We have all heard that quote by Grace Hopper, “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.” This is so true.  

It didn’t take long, and we all became attached to this kitten we named Ms. Kitty, even my husband. After just three weeks, two trips to the veterinarian, 10 cans of special mother’s milk for kittens and just one post to Facebook – we found a wonderful and loving home for Ms. Kitty.  

I was very sad, not paying attention to the advice from everyone – Don’t get attached! I cried most of that day, but sometimes crying is an emotion we need to experience every now and then – it helps me think.  Of course, I wasn’t crying because I was sad for Ms. Kitty, but so happy for her because she had experienced a horrible trauma and survived! She didn’t let this blow to the pavement stop her and with a cry out for help, not to mention the love and caring of others, she has the opportunity now to live happily ever after.

Many of us let blows stop us from living. We only focus on the troubles and trials we face, when we should take a lesson from Ms. Kitty.   Sure, she has eight lives left and if we were blessed with that many, for some of us – even eight wouldn’t be enough. I’m writing this to remind you — we only get one life.  That’s right – we only get one!   

I remember my daddy repeating this quote many times in the pulpit,

“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.”   

— C.T. Studd

Don’t let a blow to the pavement get you down. Use it to become stronger and live the one life you get!

Theo Acker is a resident of Waxahachie and a frequent contributor to the Waxahachie Daily Light.