cat · death · Family life

The Cat that Occupied My Heart

The fur ball above came into our family after the loss of another beloved cat, Oreo. How I loved Oreo! She was one of those “easy going” cats. She loved big. She was sweetly dispositioned. She never ruined furniture or ate our Thanksgiving turkey. The only thing she did to bring alarm was to leave her hunting prizes on our doorstep, and on one occasion, she brought it inside! After her death, I was not ready to try to find a replacement. I knew that was impossible. Then one day…

my husband took our daughter Alli to her fiddle lesson and on the way home, he stopped at the animal shelter. There she found and fell in love with a year old long-haired black and white cat. When they came in the door with her, I smiled, happy for Alli. Because Alli was learning the song, Liza Jane on her fiddle, that became her new kitty’s name. I was sure that, though she would occupy our home, she would not occupy my heart. That was sixteen years ago and I can’t tell you how many times I repented about how wrong I was!

Alli grew up and left home, so Liza became my cat and she was always at my side. My morning routine started with her. If I happened to get to sleep in, she would tap my face with the soft pad of her paw and meow at me until I was up! Breakfast was to be served early, after all!

When I had my times of daily prayer, she would stand beside me when I knelt at my chair. When she heard my voice crying out to God, she would stretch up to tap me, as if she was comforting me.

When I worked in the laundry room, she would hop up on the upholstered stool beside me and sit there while I folded laundry.

Though she wasn’t an outdoor cat, she would accompany us when we spent time on the back patio. She would roam into the yard and rest under the rosemary plant, but never wander away.

She became a part of family events, and social gatherings in our home. She often greeted us at the door when we were away and would sit in my suitcase when I returned home from a trip, as if to say, “Next time, I’m going with you.”

But a week and a half ago, she left us. Her weakening kidneys got the best of her, causing her to lose an extreme amount of weight, and also keeping her from having any kind of an appetite. My husband and I knew what had to be done. We had an appointment to take her to the vet on Tuesday. Early that morning when I arose, she joined me for my Quiet Time, as usual. I cried out to the Lord that this was going to be a hard day. The Spirit of God, who understands our heartache, whispered in my heart,

Pets are a good gift given by God to enjoy for a season.

James tells us every good gift is from above. She comforted me when my heart grieved over my dad’s recent home-going. I could cry in her fur and she never asked questions or scolded me for being emotional at that time or any other. As I looked down on her dwindling little frame during that morning prayer time, I thanked God again for this furry little gift.

I knew what would happen at the vet that day and I wept, but I hugged that fur ball and thanked the Lord for all the comfort and joy she had brought us over these years. I could feel the Lord giving me strength to do what was going to be difficult.

Liza was tired and weak. I couldn’t make her go on like this. The vet offered to do blood work, but we told her that we were realists, that Liza had lived a really good life for a total of 17 years, and that the Lord had given her to us as a good gift from His hand. The vet agreed that the most selfless thing we could do was to put her to sleep. We got to hold her and weep. They made a little paw print in plaster as a remembrance. They were kind and compassionate. She died quietly and peacefully.

My sweet husband (who loved her as much as I) buried her in our backyard. She isn’t “over a rainbow bridge” or waiting on me in heaven. Her little furry body is returning to the dust. Psalm 49:20 says, Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish. This is telling us, If a person remains full of pride and rejects Christ, he will perish…just like an animal who lives and then dies. Animals do not have souls. They will not live forever. I’m okay with that. Our pets are good gifts from a good God to enjoy for a season.

Oh, how I miss Liza Jane. I often find myself for an instant looking for her in the places she used to occupy. She’s no longer in our home, but she definitely still occupies my heart.

Here are some other posts about Liza. She was certainly photogenic!

All this does remind me that people will live forever somewhere, either heaven or hell. God made us with a soul and a will to choose Him or reject Him. He sent His Son so we could have eternal life. I pray you have the security of knowing where you will spend your eternity. You can go here for answers to tie questions you might have about how to have a relationship with God.

17 thoughts on “The Cat that Occupied My Heart

  1. My heart goes out to you. We have been gone for several weeks and only recently saw that your Dad is now in Heaven. I remember so clearly the ache of loosing my Dad and my heart sympathized with you. May God continue to comfort and encourage you.

    I’m sure Liza Jane’ loss brought back so many compounded feelings of loss.

    Hugs, Darlene


    1. Darlene, How kind of you to reach out; thank you. I miss my dad dearly, but I’m so thankful for the comfort of the truth. We will spend eternity together and he is with the Lord. What hope we have in Christ! Hugs to you, too.


  2. Denise, I have been meaning to ask you how your mama is doing? I know this is a hard time of adjustment for her.


    1. She feels the prayers of so many and by God’s grace is doing well. She has her moments, of course, but I can see the Lord carrying her each day. Thank you for inquiring.


  3. Sister Denise,
    I’m reading your post in the early morning hours weeping. Bless your heart. I’ve lost a couple pets as well. May the Lord direct your thoughts on the reality of our future with Him in heaven. He will wipe away all tears. That is a comfort to me. Remember the joy of the Lord is your strength! Praying for you at 4:40 EST. Thank you for taking the time to help sharpen ladies


  4. Oh, your sweet Liza Jane! I’m so sorry, Denise. 🥲 What a sweet 17 years God gave you with her. I know you’ll miss her around the house and we’ll all miss seeing her in your blog posts. She was a sweetie! ❤️ 🐈‍⬛


    1. Thank you, Alinda. I do miss her so much because she was such a part of everything we did. But those 17 years made lots of sweet memories and she was well loved! 💕


  5. This is such a heartwarming story about the love and bond we can have with our pets. It’s clear how much the author loved their previous cat, Oreo, and how they never thought they could find a replacement. But, as fate would have it, Liza Jane came into their lives and quickly stole their hearts. It’s amazing how animals have the ability to fill a void in our lives and bring us so much joy. Thank you for sharing this lovely story and the importance of the bond we share with our furry companions.


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