Hope and Blessings

"Hello, my name is Johnny Cash..."

My wee barn cat, Johnny, out for a walk on the footing forms for my new shop.

Johnny showed up, out of the blue, a couple of years ago....he was just a tiny little thing....

with a raspy voice.

He decided to stick around...as a hired hand.

Little Johnny Rocket's favorite activities...

greeting me each and every morning (from outside the back door) with a, "Where is my breakfast?" hello

nudging and head butting and purring and lovin' so much that it was impossible to feed him without getting feeling nudged and loved

snoozing in the sun under his favorite poppy

coming first thing when I call out to him...leaping and bounding over the neighbor's fence

criss-crossing in front of my feet and following me around...everywhere...

waiting at the end of the drive-way for me to come home from an errand

jumping up in the SUV as I try to unload an entire Costco and Target load of goodies

making a mad dash into the house and heading straight for the indoor kitty food as I try to unload an entire SUV full of goodies

waiting for me in a planter...on a table...on the split-rail fence...as I work around the garden

curling up outside on the welcome mat as I work in the shop

greeting visitors


creating his very own art experiences


last St. Patrick's Day, Johnny hopped up off of his perch to follow me out to the nursery...but he made a little stop along the way....

That's right.

He stopped and made a little snow angel.

: )

And then one day last Spring... 3 days before my birthday, to be exact...

Johnny didn't greet me in the morning.

He didn't come when I called him or leap and bound over the fence.

He didn't nudge and love on me as I put out the barn kitty food.

No, he didn't.

But I kept looking, and looking, and calling...

I thought I'd looked everywhere...and then I looked again.

I found him....

curled up under his favorite poppy.

 : (

He was gone.  Now, I choose to believe that animals go to heaven...why wouldn't they?  So, I take comfort in thinking that little Johnny is keeping my precious daddy company in heaven....following him around...giving him little nudges as he sings praises to the Lord.

My friend Olivia's husband came right over and helped me with Johnny....we placed him in his favorite spot...right next to the poppy....well, Glen did.  It was difficult getting used to not having Johnny underfoot...jumping into everything.  And then one day, as my mom was going up the front steps, she said...

"Julie, look!"

Some new little flowers were growing at the base of the steps.

Little Johnny Jump-Ups!!!

Isn't God funny?  He is so creative in the way He shows us little bits of hope and beauty in times of sorrow.  Losing Johnny is a sad thing, but I know the devastation of losing my precious daddy.  I live with it every day.  {I originally posted this in 2010,  last summer, we lost my big brother, Bryan, too.}  I will not, however, even begin to assume that I can comprehend the pain of those who have lost so much...so suddenly...over the past week.  May God bless them as they deal with the physical and emotional pain with which they are dealing.  May He send others to comfort them in their time of numbness and uncertainty.  May they see that there is hope.

Have you encouraged anyone today?

My dear friend Marcia is an "ambassador" for the Hands and Feet Project

To learn more about the Hands and Feet Project and their blessed work with orphaned children (including many newly orphaned little ones) in Jacmel, Haiti, and their outpouring of aid to their neighbors in need after the earthquake, please visit:

Gate to the Children's Village

Thank you!

All Haiti photos via Marcia

God bless you!

: )

Julie M.

ps  Samaritan's Purse is another wonderful humanitarian organization doing blessed work in Haiti ~ http://www.samaritanspurse.org/


Mary said…
Oh my gosh! That gave me chills reading about little Johnny...and then the flowers??? He just wanted you to remember him. I love that. ~mary~
Jeanneoli said…
I want to believe that they go to heaven too! I do believe that God sent the flowers just for you though!!! Sweet, sweet story.
Laurie said…
This is my first visit to your blog, and your post about Johnny is very touching. We have had several cherished pets say good-bye, and our memories are sweet of each one. I love Johnny's snow angel, and the Johnny Jump-Ups such a precious gift from God. I would love to visit your Little Red Shop, and I will visit your blog often.
Farmgirl Paints said…
Oh that was such a sweet post...made me miss our kitty Gabriel. He smelled like oatmeal cookies. They are such a gift from God. Love that snow angel he made...how sweet was that:)
Sonjia Hill said…
Jooooolie ~

This post made me smile AND cry..it was beautiful! I hope that you have a happy day....love you! And I'm praying that God will show His 'awesomeness' all throughout Haiti, to the victims, AND to those who are working so hard to help them.
chubskulit said…
I love the snow angel! I just followed your blog.

My Outdoor shots
Mary said…
Your post today was very touching. I know he was special to you. I hope you are having a wonderful Outdoor Wednesday.
Your post touched my heart. I miss my dad and ET (our cat) like you miss your father and Johnny.
Joyce M
Tracey said…
Oh Julie what a hopeful and wonderful, although sad, post!! I just love that little johnny jump ups are coming up in that spot...just so great! My husband still has some really tough days...when it just hits him hard and the pain of losing his dad comes back up to the surface, so I know how hard it must be for you to be missing your father...

Blessings to you sweet Julie!

Okay, that post made me cry!
It also made me go hug my kitty, too.

Lovely post. :-)

holly said…
It's probably healing to share these stories and in turn you are spreading the love with others. Funny how these things reveal themselves- I bet it's hard not to have a smile on your face when you think of those flowers :-) And now I have a smile on mine....Have a great day and thanks for sharing.
Lisa said…
What a really great post! I am glad your sweet kitty found his place and was happy. I LOVE the flowers you got as a reminder. Thanks for the sweet pics of Haiti. My boss has a friend whose m-i-l has helped run an orphanage there for 23 years. We have a place that will send money to her so she can get her walls back up. Thank you for giving other good ones to send money to. So many of the big ones use too much money in operating expenses and very little really gets to the people. Thanks to for stopping by and leaving your sweet comment!
Hugs, Lisa
Herself said…
Found you while commenting on another blog--so glad I did!
Fifi Flowers said…
OOooh I LOVE the kitty!
Jenn said…
hi Julie~
I know this is an old post... I love how some folks blogs offer a peek into older posts! They steal your hearts! I hope they go to heaven too! I have a kitty look alike to Johnny! Her name is Nana... recently her sister Nelly just went missing.. 3 weeks ago.. I miss her constantly seeking my attention... esp. at night! =) I miss her sweet purring and beautiful eyes.. I want to keep hoping.. but everyday I look out at our greenbelt... and wonder if I could find her ... poor baby... =)
it never ceases to amaze me
how cleverly and easily
those little creatures
wend their way into hearts

i love the little marker
you found for mr. cash

it's perfect!


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