They say people sometimes fight like cats and dogs. Fortunately, apparently no one told this dog and cat they were supposed to fight like people. Granted, sometimes there are differences of opinion. In the case of Piper and the cat, not all that often. Piper goes on about her day alternating between a curled up spot on the deck and a curled up spot next to my friend\u2019s feet. Sometimes those feet are on the deck. Other times in the living room of their home, as she works on teddy bears, prays before a meal, visits with a friend, or prepares to go to town and have lunch, buy groceries or have her hair done. Now, understand Piper and the cat normally don\u2019t go along. Usually, Piper stays inside. The cat, and I don\u2019t remember hearing its name, stays outside. I believe my friend Mary would rather have the birds that now flit about outside, inside. Piper would just curl up and sleep and the little birds could flit from plant to plant, or perhaps perch on a chair. The cat would not be chasing an afternoon snack. Some time ago, it appeared the cat caught a would-be afternoon snack. It also appeared the intended snack took a good sized bite out of the good sized cat. It would have taken an instant for the cat to down the critter. It took the cat a whole lot longer to grow back some hair, some skin, and its dignity. No one is sure what critter chomped on the cat, but one would not wish to be the next snack. Piper loves to have Mary or even a guest as second best, heave a tennis ball two or 20 over the deck rail and down into the grass or into the field. Sometimes Piper even catches the ball. Other times she appears to be searching for it, but it doesn\u2019t take long until dog and ball are bounding back for the porch. Their best friend in the whole world is recuperating just now, and not there to toss tennis balls hither and yon. I doubt they know which way is hither and what might be yon. I personally have no clue. But they haven\u2019t forgotten and she has not forgotten them. Not by a long shot. It has felt like a long time since Mary left home for an evening. And it has been. She said she\u2019d be back and she will. The trip back is taking a bit longer than expected, however. People come and feed the animals and the birds, tend the flowers and care for the yard. Yet it\u2019s not the same. The dog perks its ears with the sound of every car, waiting. And the cat curls up beside the dog, as though wondering. Soon, the three will be reunited and the birds will see that lady who comes out to feed them as they feed the lady\u2019s soul. The dog, that Piper, will drop the tennis ball at her feet, waiting for her to come outside and play. And she will go and open the door, toss the ball down the hill, then wait. And do it again, and again, and again. And the cat will hear that lady, that Mary, rap on the window and shout, \u201cYou leave my birds alone, darn you! And the cat will stare back and walk away with a \u201cWho me? I wasn\u2019t going to eat them. Maybe taste one, but surely never eat them.\u201d Then wander off and hide. So they wait, and so the lady fails to wait, but works to get better and get to go home. It\u2019s happening. We can see it in her smile and in the sparkle in her eyes. We can hear it in her voice. She knows faith and has such hope, and feels God\u2019s holy nudge to keep on, then pass it on. She\u2019s good at that, you know, my friend, this Mary. She has touched my heart so many times, so many ways, shared in my life, laughed in my laughter, prayed when I hurt and shared her very soul. Prayers have been tossed heavenward, and God is hearing and she is healing. Faith has replaced fear, hope is climbing toward happiness, and Mary\u2019s mending. Praise and thanks.