It was weird that she was missing, but we figured she must have gone hunting in the near by fields and she would be home in the next day or so.
Two weeks later, we were getting extremely worried. The kids were praying every night for her to return, I was checking the animal shelter, and we had notified all of our neighbors and friends.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Three weeks into her missing, I started to lose hope. We had a freak week of below freezing temperatures and even some snow. It was not like Penny at all to leave the house, much less to be gone for three weeks. The kids kept on praying and hoping though, and so did I. Each night that Penny didn't return home, I prayed harder and harder.
It is amazing how much you realize you really care about something and love something when it is gone. We have always loved Penny, especially William, but she really isn't around much, and we have just been so used to seeing her here and there. She doesn't command much attention at all.
The next Sunday, about 3.5 weeks of Penny being missing, Tyson, Williams best friend, thought he saw Penny run under their back fence.
Their fence leads to a bunch of horse pastures. Tyson is at our house a lot, and he has seen Penny a bunch of times, so we believed him, and we hopped in the car and zoomed over there.
We searched all over Tyson's yard, and all over the acres and acres of pasture behind their fence with no luck. We were late for church, and we were pretty discouraged, but we kept up hope.
After church, our whole family drove over to the houses behind Tyson's house, and we asked the people that own all of that land if they had seen Penny.
To our surprise, they had!! The guy that lives there said he thought Penny was a stray pregnant cat (Penny is VERY fat), so he was leaving steak, bologna, and chicken out for her at night, and he was also checking his sheds for kittens each night. Unfortunately, they hadn't seen Penny around for a few days at that point.
This was such a relief to us to know that Penny was at least alive. We were just so confused with why she wasn't coming home. The steak and bologna could have had something to do with it. :)
We gave that family our phone numbers and asked them to call us if they saw Penny again.
I was sure they would call that evening or the next day.
Three days later, I was getting William and Sam on the bus. Luke had decided to walk to the bus stop with me, in his pajamas and his shoes. He hardly ever wears shoes, or comes to the bus stop with me, but on this particular morning, he insisted on both.
Mary was also home that morning, so she stayed at the house with Molly.
Once Sam and William were on the bus, as I began walking home, I had a very distinct feeling that Penny was around, and that I needed to start looking.
At the same time, Mary and Molly came walking over to the bus stop. Molly wanted to see me, so Mary brought her over. Neither of them had shoes on, and Molly was in pee soaked pajamas.
I knew that I needed to start looking for Penny though, so I told the kids we were just going to go look through Tyson's back yard. Somehow, I just knew that we were going to find Penny, and I figured she would be there.
We looked and looked and looked. No Penny.
So, I decided that we should jump the fence and look in the pasture behind it. Easier said than done, especially with kids with no shoes on, and one kid soaked in pee. We looked ridiculous.
We ended up climbing three fences, two were electric, one was barb wire. We walked through a stream, walked past horses, chickens, dogs and cats. We walked through weeds, bushes, shrubs, crops and everything in between. We just kept going, and calling for Penny as we went.
At one point, we ended up at the house that we had gone to on Sunday, with the people that had seen Penny. I knocked on their door to see if we could start looking through all of their sheds, but the did not answer. These people have loads of land, and tons of sheds. They fix up cars, and they had car parts everywhere! We would have to look for days and days in order to even come close to combing through their property.
It seemed completely impossible, but somehow, I just knew we were going to find Penny. We weren't about to start going through these people's property without their permissions, so we just walked down a little road that leads to their sheds and started calling for Penny again.
I turned my head over to a shed, and for 1/2 a second I saw a cat poke her head out and back inside the shed door.
I knew it was Penny, and I couldn't believe it!!!!
I told the kids to stop calling for her, and to stand completely still.
Sure enough, a few seconds later, Penny poked her head out again. It was definitely her.
I could tell she wanted to come to us, but she was terrified to come out of hiding.
I took a LONG time of slowly making my way toward her, and Penny coming out and then running back in.
Finally, I got close enough to scoop her up and...
She went ape psycho crazy! She started screaming, scratching, biting, and completely freaking out. It was all I could to do hang on to her and not get my eyeballs clawed out!
There was a latino man that had driven up a few minutes earlier to do some work, and I happened to glance his way. He was frozen in place, jaw down, just starting at us.
I sure he though we were some homeless family stealing these people's cat so we could eat it.
We were quite the sight!
Penny continued to go completely nuts, and I knew there was no way we would be able to walk back home the way we came.
I had no car...our car was broken, so I called Karli.
Thank heavens she was home.
She picked us up, and we got in the car, with Penny still going psycho.
We were all so shocked and excited and freaked out.
Once we got home, and in the house, Penny immediately stopped fighting. She wandered around for a few minutes, and then jumped in my lap, hid her head in the crook of my arm, and that is where she stayed the rest of the day.
She was extremely mal nourished, and had lost a lot of weight. She was filthy, and had burs and oil all over her. She was terribly dehydrated, to the point where she was panting, and croaky.
It totally broke my heart.
She must have been in hiding most of the time, completely terrified of something, to the point of not getting much food or water, and not being able to get home.
She was gone for a total of 29 days!
It is a complete miracle that we found her.
Soon after we got her home, the kids and I knelt down in prayer and thanked Heavenly Father for guiding us to Penny and for helping to bring her home.
I know for sure that the spirit was guiding me that day, and helping me to know to keep looking and to keep going, so I could be there at the right moment when Penny would poke her head out.
She has been home almost a week now. She is eating a tiny bit, and drinking a lot. She is still skinny, but much more clean, and she is getting more and more comfortable each day. The first few nights and days, she would not leave my sight. She would cry if I went into a different room, and she slept, literally, on my face.
She will now venture around a the house a little more, but she still checks in on me about every 10 minutes.
I am so glad she is home, and that my kids were able to have a positive experience with the power of prayer.
Welcome home Penny. B. Kitty Cat!
|just a few minutes after finding her. I had to hold her like that to keep her from clawing my eyeballs out.|
|best friends re-united|