Sunday, March 2, 2008

Things My Cat Taught Me About God

I've had a soft spot for animals ever since I was a kid. When I was three, I convinced my mom, against her better judgment, to adopt a stray cat that was mewing at our door for food. We kept the cat until we moved to California. I wanted to get another cat, but my parents wouldn't let me. They said that when I got my own place, I could get any pet my landlord would allow, but as long as I lived at their house, no animals.

Well, I got my own place a few years ago. I had a roommate who loved dogs but hated cats. I love cats, but I'm not too crazy about dogs, so we agreed not to have pets. She moved a year later and I found a new roommate. My current roommate has a cat, so for a while, my desire for a pet was taken care of. Then, over the summer, a stray cat showed up on my doorstep mewing for food. Of course, I had to feed her.

A funny thing happened. My cat was so excited about this newfound source of food that she went and rounded up all the neighborhood strays. I suddenly found myself feeding five cats (just counting the ones I know about) instead of the one I signed up for. This is the first lesson my cat taught me. She had found a good thing in her life - a benevolent being that provided her with her daily sustenance. Instead of keeping this to herself, she shared it and brought her friends so they could experience the same blessing.

Some of the strays were friendly, but most of them were afraid of humans. There was one particular kitten who would watch me fill the bowl, gingerly eat from it if I was far enough away, but would run if I tried to approach. It hurt my feelings that I was feeding this kitten, but he would run if I tried to have a relationship with him. I'm sure we similarly wound God's heart when we run from Him in fear, even knowing the good He does for us.

Last week, I finally convinced my roommate that bringing another cat into the apartment would be a good plan. My cat finally got to move in! I took her to the vet to get a checkup and to get her shots. When I put her in the carrier, she tried to scratch me. As I drove to the vet's office, she meowed loudly, voicing her clear displeasure at the situation. When we got there, she whimpered as she got her shots. When I brought her home, she ignored me the rest of the day because she was mad at me. This is the third lesson. Sometimes we have to go through painful things in life. It looks to us as if God is mistreating us. However, we lack the big picture, and we don't fully understand the reasons behind our suffering.

I'm sure my cat will continue to teach me important lessons. Do any of you have lessons or parables learned from your pets?

=^. .^=


Stephen said...

Very sharp analogy.

Our current cat forgets he has been fed, comes begging for food, I walk over to check to see if he still has some and he then rediscovers it and celebrates.

Two to three times every morning. Reminds me to look for the blessings God has given me that I've forgotten.

Nikita said...

An interesting post!

We Cats consider it one of our missions in life to impart wisdom whenever we can. ;-D

The Faithful Dissident said...

Great analogy. I'm a HUGE animal lover, especially cats, and I never really saw the parallel that you just pointed out. I'm going to look at my cats in a whole different way -- all 6 of them. :)

Zulueta said...

Inspiring post. Sometimes we ignore the good things that had happened to us. through these little innocent cats, they gave us reasons to appreciate all the things around us. And be not afraid of it. Love your story. Thank you for sharing.