Little Miss Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup

sydYears ago, Al and I had a cat. Her name was Sydney, and she was great.

We got her used. When we lived downstate, we both worked for a child welfare agency. One of the clients, “Matt,” had Sydney in his apartment, and he wasn’t supposed to have pets. We temporarily took Syd to buy time for Matt to find another apartment in a building that allowed pets.

The first night we had Sydney, she plunked herself at the bottom corner of our bed and didn’t move until we got up the next morning. After two weeks, we told Matt he wasn’t getting her back. We were moving to Chicago, and she was coming with us. Matt was okay with this.

Syd was a wonderful, quirky, beautiful little companion for years. She had a pack-a-day-habit-sounding meow. She loved cantaloupe. When she drank from the bathroom faucet, she let water run off her forehead. On hot summer days, we’d find her lying in the bathtub.

After we lost Sydney, we cried pathetically … for weeks. One of the saddest things was coming home and then, with a pang, realizing she wasn’t at the door. Eventually (after a couple of years, I think) we stopped expecting her.

lmdcpbc-on-bedNowadays when we come home, we hear a mew before we even put the key in the lock. This cat belongs to “Darren,” one of the Emmaus guys. He needed to go into treatment for a couple of weeks, so we took her. Temporarily.

We have dubbed this cat Little Miss Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, by the way. Don’t judge. These things happen.

When we get inside the door, Little Miss Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup greets us, then trots down the hall ahead of us, pausing to stretch her legs and look over her shoulder. She flops over as she’s being petted. She loves to lie in the sun and to chase wadded-up balls of paper.

Al and I were determined not to fall for this cat. But gosh, she’s adorable, and that two weeks that we were supposed to have her has stretched into four months as of this writing. And now I want to tell Darren that he has forfeited his chance of ever getting her back.

But what Little Miss Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup does best of all is remind me to pray.

lmdcpbc-in-boxYears ago, Darren told us about how he wanted to be in a relationship and hoped to maybe get married someday. He prayed about this. The answer he got, he felt, was God putting this little cat in his life and saying, “You know, let’s see how you do with this relationship first.” And he did pretty well. She’s in good health, and she is alert and lively and sweet-natured. When I’ve talked to him, Darren has expressed how much he misses her. He has such tenderness toward her.

So when Little Miss Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup makes me laugh, or when I marvel at how she never bites or scratches no matter how much she hates having her claws trimmed, or when I lean in to hear her sweet little purr, she reminds me to pray for Darren. Maybe he’ll get well, his housing situation will be stable, and he’ll get in touch with us to arrange to get her back. I hope so. Because as much as I love having this cat around, I would love even more for Darren to be clean and sober and able to take care of another living creature.

If he doesn’t get there for a while, it will not be for lack of prayers prayed on his behalf. Little Miss Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup is seeing to that.

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