The disappearance of Benedict

Yeah, I'm worth it.

Well, I am in serious debt, both spiritually and financially, to a rather large contingent of the heavenly host, I might add.

You see; Benedict was missing.

Benedict is a black and tan cuddly clown of a tabby cat, barely out of his kitten duds. He came to us a year ago through PetFinder, where he was listed as ” a bag of bones covered in fur” who almost became the sparse meal of an owl who was perched -in -waiting on a nearby tree.

Named for our beloved Holy Father, who has a great fondness for felines, Benedict’s antics have brought us great joy, and helped to heal the hole in our hearts left by the death of our precious cat, Nick, last year.

Ben is usually an indoor cat, but when my husband has yard work to do, he lets him out for some fun. This usually involves pouncing on leaves and chasing bugs in flight. He is rarely out of sight for long. Until yesterday.

And I was frantic.

Now, this is one of those trials I believe God sends with something of a Divine Smile hidden within. He knows ahead of time that our suffering will be brief, and that the end result will be a happy one, but He also knows that we will barter with Him to try to influence the outcome.

With no Benedict in sight for seven hours, my first offer went up St. Anthony at 3pm. It would have been sooner, but I had been out most of the day, and was unaware that Ben was in absentia.

Rosary in hand, I strode the patio glancing in earnest at the statue of Our Lady. More time passed. Therese and my guardian angel had long since been recruited into the search party.

As night fell, promises of novenas and extra holy hours were sent up to Heaven. Still, no sign of Ben.

About 11pm, I heard the voice of Johnette Benkcovic coming from the TV in the next room. She was talking about St. Joseph.

Ah, St. Joseph!  I had not considered him. Truth be told, I am rather ashamed of my neglect of this most pure, just and holy man chosen as the spouse of Our Lady, and the foster father of Jesus.

I made a big promise to St. Joseph. Then I went to the backyard one more time and called for Benedict. I heard a faint response. Benedict doesn’t meow; he has a peculiar vocabulary instead. I thought I was imagining things. But I called again.

And then I saw him.

One tired, damp, rumpled little cat sitting across from Mary’s statue. Joyfully, I scooped him up and ran inside to tell my husband.

Thank you St. Joseph I whispered over and over again. But was it only St. Joseph? What if St. Anthony helped too, and Therese and all the others?  And wasn’t he sitting near Mary’s statue when I found him?

So you see, I owe them all. I wll have to write everything down to keep it straight. And I will be busy for some time with many extra prayers and remembering to write a few checks.

I have this lovely impression of God rejoicing with me as I was reunited with my little pet, but also of His Divine Charm working in wisdom to remind me that in the end, all we really have is prayer. And that prayers offered with faith are more often than not answered.

I believe that He delights that we run to Him and His Saints when we have lost something dear, or hope for a favorable outcome or cherish a special dream. Nothing is insignificant to Him.  We can never hope for too much from His Goodness.

And today I’m thanking Him that Benedict is back home with us — all soft and sillky and silly – sleeping the day away, no doubt dreaming about yesterday’s adventures.

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11 thoughts on “The disappearance of Benedict

  1. So glad you found him. I called on all my “big guns”. St. Therese, because I always go to her, St. Anthony, because I always pray to him to find lost things and St. Rita because she is the saint of impossible causes. Next time I, too, will have to think of St. Joseph. I know the last thing you’d need right now is to have lost little Benedict for good. I pray he’ll be a good cat and stay close to home. Praise God and His angels and saints for this wonderful news!

    • Joyce, thank you so much! I’m betting you are an animal lover too! I don’t know what I would have done if he hadn’t returned. It took me a little time to bond with him, because I was still grieving so much for our beloved Nick who had to be put down last year because of heart failure. But, in recent months, little Benedict and I have really connected, and he’s such a joy. I’m one of those people who is pulling for “animals go to heaven.” I’m sticking with that till I find out otherwise! The Saints are such wonderful friends. I still think they like to play “games” with us to encourage us on to more prayer. Therese may have been hiding Benedict all the time — wouldn’t put it past her : ) Thanks so much for calling on yout “big guns!” And yes! Praise God and thanks to God and all the angels and saints!

  2. Oh my goodness…what a precious story about little Benedict…So glad he found his way home.
    I’m with you praying to see “animals go to heaven.” The Scriptures do say the lion will lay down with the lamb…and they are part of His creation…: )

    We have had to put some of our sweetest pets down too and honestly, when I find an old bowl of one of them…I still get emotional.

    • Hi Caroline, I know what you mean about the old bowl, etc. My heart still breaks when I see an old toy of Nicky’s — our cat that had to be put down last year. He’s buried in the backyard with a statue of St. Francis above his tombstone. I can’t help loving animals so much, and my theory (which I’m desperately counting on!) is that God created them and surely loves them infinitely more than we ever could. I know they don’t have immortal souls, but He can bring them back to life when He renews the heavens and the earth as Scripture tells us He will. I can’t iimagine the new creation without flowers and trees and watefalls and all kinds of animals, including our pets who gave us so much joy. I’m still working on where He will put the dinosaurs……… : )

  3. Patricia,

    Such a wonderfully entertaining story. I enjoyed it immensely! Benedict wouldn’t have had any idea about all the heavenly help you had to enlist on his behalf! All the best stories have a good ending. So glad yours did too.

    • Thanks Sue 🙂 I love animal stories…but only those with happy endings! Otherwise, I cry buckets of tears. Benedict is sleeping right beside me on the sofa as I type. He can still be a bit feisty, but he’s so funny that we love him anyway. He is not a lap cat, so it’s really nice when he occasionally wants to snuggle. I loved your story too. We should start a meme…pet tails 🙂 xoxo

  4. .. and I just realized this post is TWO YEARS OLD!! I ran into it on Sue’s FB page. So Benedict is going around brightening days 2 years later…

    • Nancy, you are so funny! Yes, I guess Benedict is “brightening days 2 years later” afterall, because several people read that post today. It’s so ancient, I didn’t think hardly anyone had seen it before. Sue once wrote that we should recycle our older posts for that very reason..that they probably didn’t get many views. She’s so clever 🙂 I actually got the idea from reading her post on her cat and Mother Teresa.

      BTW, you are having the best time on FB! You need to teach me the ropes. I’ve been on there a year or so, but am still mostly clueless.
      It’s fun though…even when I don’t know what I’m doing xo

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