It’s a Miracle

By Posted on May 13 2010 | By

It was a perfect spring evening. We sat on our screen porch and gazed at fading sunbeams pouring softly through the nearby forest, creating images of flickering firelight on the screening.

Glasses of chilled Sauvignon Blanc rested in our hands—my wife Jean, my son-in-law Drew and the Wine Guy. My daughter Colleen was upstairs hunched over her laptop. She was putting the finishing touches on a PowerPoint presentation being readied for a meeting the next morning in Richmond.

Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow. Plaintive. Pleading. Pathetic.

It was a sound that rendered all of us staring blankly as a small black cat passed at the edge of the forest and flopped on the ground forty feet away. What’s going on we wondered?

“Oh, my gosh, that cat is pregnant,” Jean murmured alarmingly. Drew and I only observed a small black patch breathing deeply, staring vacantly. Meow. Meow.

Within moments Jean had popped the lid on a can of cat food and slowly walked toward the feline. The animal didn’t move. This was not a feral. This was a house cat in distress. Perhaps abandoned.

Within minutes, the can of food had been consumed and the cat reclined again, lying in her original resting spot. Silence enveloped us all as we contemplated the scene.

Then, screeecchh! Sisssssss! Grrrrrrrrrr.

“Boots”, our local feral tom cat, arrived on the scene to find the interloper possessing his territory. The black cat’s back arched high in the air as it slowly backed off and then scampered quickly into the darkening woods.

The scene came and went quickly and we chatted quietly about the plight of the mother-to-be left to somehow survive on her own. Nature’s cruel beauty revealed.


That night Jean restlessly dreamed of the cat. In the morning she tried to shake the image of the distressed animal roaming a friendless world. Then about noon the animal reappeared.

This time Jean was ready. She grabbed her animal cage and placed a can of food inside and left it in front of the kitten-size cat. The animal trustfully entered the cage and began eating. She snapped the door shut.

That evening the cat slept peacefully in our garage, enveloped in an old comforter.

The next morning Jean whispered to me as I awoke, “She’s had five babies!”  “You’re kidding,” I replied. “That quickly?” “Yep. Go down and take a look,” our pseudo Mom replied.

Miracle & Babies

As I slowly opened the garage door, the new mother raised her head, gave me a glance, and reclined again. Arrayed around her tummy were five small furry bundles, each three inches a long and the thickness of a summer sausage. We soon realized one of the babies had been stillborn.

The cat’s arrival at our house and cry for help could not have been timelier. She was given the name Miracle. If we had not been on the porch when she wandered by,  her kittens would not likely have survived.

The episode highlights the need for spaying and neutering animals. It is estimated up to 12 million feral and abandoned cats roam cities and rural areas of America. Not only are most of them reproducing at alarming rates, they take a considerable toll on songbirds and other small animal life.

Baby Cameo

In our area, the Fauquier Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is dedicated to providing a temporary refuge for stray, homeless and abandoned animals, and to placing such animals in a caring, appropriate home whenever possible. Educating the public about the benefits of spaying and neutering is an extremely important part of its mission. Visit them at

So what’s the outcome for Miracle and her brood? They all still reside in our home and Jean is looking to place them in a safe environment. If you are willing to adopt a cat or kitten drop me a line at Miracle is a sweet, affectionate young mother less than a year old, and her kittens are all beauties.

In an era where life, in all forms, is often shown little respect, it was a privilege to save one young cat and her family. Might you be interested writing the next chapter to this tale?

Baby Slate

Categories : HAGARTY TALES