Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


Patience and the Kindness of Strangers


Moses is a feral cat who’s been hanging around our church for at least three years. I don’t know who started feeding him first. It could have been me, or it could have been Mary, or it might have even been our music director, Chris, who still says he doesn’t like Moses, but who feeds him the most, and who worries about him the most.

For the first year we fed Moses, he wouldn’t let us get within a few feet of him. If we came too close, he’d take off. During a ridiculously cold spell, Mary and her husband, BW, put a styrofoam cooler lined with a blanket out for him, and Chris found Moses sleeping there the next morning. The following winter, they built Moses a wooden house lined with styrofoam.


Over the past couple years, a few of us at church worked to gain his trust by gradually moving closer. In time, he got to the point of letting us be as close as we wanted as long as we didn’t try to touch him. If we reached toward him, he’d bolt. But in recent weeks, Moses has accepted pieces food from our hands, and Mary has been able to pet him ever so gently while he eats.

Moses has always looked scraggly and has been losing weight in spite of a good appetite. This past Sunday, he seemed lethargic and let Mary pet him more than usual, even without food as an incentive. Mary made a decision to try to wrap him in a towel to take him to the vet. He wasn’t too happy at first, but Mary held him firmly and was able to bring him into the parish hall. She sat down in a chair, holding Moses firmly in the towel which did little to block the moisture that seeped through as Moses peed on her.  It’s a good thing Mary is patient and loves cats.

We found out the animal clinic connected to a large pet store was open on Sunday and decided to take our chances that they’d see us as a walk in. I drove Mary’s car while Mary held Moses. Even though the vet was dealing with an emergency patient, they agreed to work us in. We waited for quite a while and chatted with others in the waiting room who asked about our snugly wrapped feral cat.

When we got into an exam room, we were told it would still be a while, as the vet was still busy with the emergency. Mary let Moses go and he found a cool hiding place on the floor and drank some water from a bowl. We noticed he had a bad place on his mouth we hadn’t seen before. It looked like some tissue was missing from his upper lip.

After about 30 minutes, the vet came in. She listened to what history we had about Moses, and we warned her that he would not be cooperative. The young, confident woman got down on the floor and introduced herself to Moses, then she calmly caught him by the scuff of his neck, like a mama cat would, (not recommended for amateurs) and put him on the exam table.

Then, Moses let her pet him. He settled down and didn’t struggle. He even purred and “made biscuits” kneading a blanket on the exam table. We were amazed and dubbed her a cat whisperer.

IMG_4260 (2)Holding the back of his neck, the vet used a tongue depressor to open his mouth. (Also, not recommended for amateurs.) She said it looked like ulcers, but it could be cancer, and his teeth were not in good shape.


Thank you, Dr. Wallis!

The vet recommended blood work, IV antibiotics, and sub-cutaneous fluids. (In spite of his water bowl at church, he was dehydrated.) The blood work ruled out diabetes and some other problems but did not test for feline leukemia. There was only so much to be done in one unscheduled visit on a Sunday afternoon. But it was a start.

When we went to check out, we were informed that a woman we had talked to earlier in the waiting room had anonymously paid $40 toward our bill! How awesome is that?!

Mary and I each having multiple pets, and wanting to honor Moses, took him back to our church courtyard which he knows as home. When we let him go, he took off for the bushes. I checked on him the next day, and he let me pet him ever so gently while he ate his cat food.




Fifteen Years of Love


The fluff ball curled up next to the man on the seat of the truck and went to sleep. He hadn’t wanted another dog, but finally agreed. They named her “Beep” because her bark sounded like a car horn. When she was six months old, she snuck up next to the man on the recliner as he pretended to be asleep. They napped together like that often when the man was tired from being gone so long. She loved the man more than anything.

She ran like the wind with her long nimble legs as she chased squirrels, and balls, and anything that moved. She loved to help the man work in the yard by catching the wiggly worms he stirred up with his raking and digging. When they brought home a new puppy, she adopted him as her own. Beep and Oreo were best buddies, even though he grew up stocky and couldn’t quite keep up with her and couldn’t turn around as fast as she could. Beep and Oreo didn’t like the bossy hound dog that came to live with them. The hound wanted all the food. The hound thought she was the queen, but Beep knew she was the favorite, because the man always listened to her. She let him know when she wanted a drink of water, or a snuggle on the couch, and he always gave it to her. She could feel his love, and he could feel hers.

When the household split in two, he wouldn’t let her go. “The dogs stay with me. You can have the cats,” he said. Beep became his most loyal companion. As she got older and couldn’t climb the stairs, he carried her up to bed at night.

When the new woman came, Beep wasn’t happy with being displaced. She grudgingly accepted the mom as the new alpha female and adopted the daughter as her own.

They moved south to live with the new woman and her daughter and shared their new home with two new dogs. But Beep always felt loved.The warmer weather helped her move better and the winters were more bearable. She settled into a comfortable routine with her pack.

After a couple years, one of the new dogs, the old silky-haired one who slept a lot, went away. Then, her friend Oreo became very tired. He didn’t want to move. He went away and didn’t come back. She missed her buddy. The daughter wasn’t there much anymore and only came for short  visits.

Waiting by Ayla

But Beep still knew she was loved by the man and the woman. They both took care of her. They took her for walks and snuggled with her on the couch.

When Beep had lived 15 winters, her back legs got stiffer and didn’t work right. She fell down a lot. The man and the woman helped her up the back steps, and the man gave her shots. They kept loving her, snuggled with her almost every night, and took her to the vet a lot. Then her front shoulder stopped working. It hurt so bad she could hardly get up. She wanted to get up and walk, but she could only hobble. Her body hurt more than she could ever remember. She could feel that the man and woman were worried. She could also feel that they loved her. One day the man took her into the car and held her on his lap while the woman drove the car. She snuggled on his chest with her head on his shoulder just  like when she used to sleep with him in the recliner.

Gently, the man put her on the table. The vet came in and gave her a shot. She was getting used to the vet by now. The man and woman were very sad, but she couldn’t worry about that much because she started to feel sleepy – so sleepy she couldn’t keep her eyes open.


She felt strange, like when she woke up from long sleep. She shook her head. Her body felt good! She stood up, and she could walk! It didn’t hurt anymore! Where was she? The soft grass held smells of small animals. In front of her was a bridge of many colors – colors she had never seen before. Another dog appeared on the other side of the bridge. He yipped.   It was Oreo! Her good friend! They ran to each other and met on the middle of the bridge. He licked her face and yipped again, telling her to follow him across the bridge. She could smell wonderful things on the other side.

Suddenly, Beep felt like running!

You can’t catch me, Oreo! She shot a look back as she passed him.

She ran like the wind across the rainbow bridge.


In 2010, I asked God to send me a soulmate who loved dogs. We started our life together with five dogs. Now we have two left (Doodle and Marigold.) I believe we will be meeting up with quite a pack of dogs in heaven.

Our pack out back

Jesse the golden, Oreo the spaniel, Doodle the hound, Beep, and Marigold


All photos in this post are by Ayla Likens