Do you find cats inspiring? As I reminisce about the sage felines my husband and I have been privileged to share our home with, I realize that over the years they have taught us valuable life lessons.
Our huge, black Maine Coon, Baxter, thinks he is a dog. He plays fetch, runs eagerly to the door when the bell rings, and loves company, kids and dogs. Bold to the point of brash, Baxter finds great pleasure in the simplest things—scooting the plastic ring from the milk jug around the kitchen, galloping through the house with the drawstring from my pajamas in his mouth, and lapping up a dropped dollop of whipped cream. Baxter’s philosophy, “Be content”, comes from Philippians 4:12: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation . . . “—something I need reminded of occasionally.
Just looking at our gorgeous Russian Blue, Daniel brought me pleasure; to pet his plush silver fur was like stroking a luxurious mink. I loved when he crawled up on my lap and purred himself to sleep while I read. Every time I had surgery he lay on the bed with me as I recuperated. And when I wrapped Christmas or birthday gifts, the crinkling paper thrilled him and he often ran down the hall in joyous abandon with the bow I had planned to use. Daniel was my devoted friend for 16 years and reminded me that, “Some friendships do not last, but some friends are more loyal than brothers.” (Proverbs 18:24)
Our gray-striped tabby, Esther definitely rated as the best Christmas gift ever, pouncing, hiding, and playing dress up for hours. Finally needing a rest, she discovered an inviting napping place all her own. We had placed our manger scene under the Christmas tree. A light scattering of straw covering the sloped roof of the stable appealed to Esther and she climbed right up on top of it. With the light bulb underneath providing extra warmth, and the woodsy smell of the tree making her feel right at home, Esther draped her little body over the peak of the roof, rested her chin on her paws and slept. Seeing her sleeping there brought to mind the Scripture from James 4:8, “Draw close to God . . .”
When we visited the SPCA, Isabelle pranced her feathered feet and puffy tail right over and adopted us! We had no choice but to bring her home! Isabelle courageously lived each day to the fullest. As though she understood Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it,” Isabelle found joy in each new day. She played intensely, loved unashamedly, and faced the unknown fearlessly. Tragically taken by feline leukemia before she turned two, Isabelle taught me to appreciate each day God gives.
Molly, a lovely tri-colored Maine Coon, thought her indoor life perfect until the day her owners moved away, deserting her to a harsh and unfamiliar outside world. Rescued by a sympathetic neighbor, she came to us infested with fleas and haunted by fear. Though she quickly recovered physically, Molly’s wounded spirit continued to bear the scars of abandonment. Like the parable Jesus told of the ten servants and the gold coins, this gentle, submissive beauty challenged me, “Be trustworthy—someone is counting on you.”
How about your precious feline? What intrinsic truth or bit of wisdom is your furry mentor trying to impart?
©2011 Pamela D. Williams