(1 Samuel 7:10-12).*
My sister had a cat. I was the one who said she needed it to fight the mice infiltrating her house. I told her if she got a cat the mice would stay away. She brought home a cute orange tabby kitten from the animal shelter. I named her Ginger. Unfortunately my prediction was wrong: Ginger ignored the mice, and the mice ignored her. Sorry!
My sister also had a dog named Roxie, who was the love of her life. She took that dog everywhere. Roxie would go with her in the car and try to curl up with her on the couch, even though she was too big to be a lap dog. My sister liked to take Roxie when she went out for runs, and they always went to the dog park on the weekends. My sister wasn’t too fond of the cat, but Roxie accepted Ginger as part of the family.
Eventually, as things do, Roxie got old and died. My sister was heart-broken. Even though you know it is inevitable, it still hurts like hell when you lose them. My sister was prepared, though, and it didn’t take her very long until she came home with a new dog from the animal shelter to replace Roxie. Her name is River.
The problem with pets from animal shelters is that you take an unknown quantity into your home. You don’t usually know their history and you can’t really predict their size or hairiness, or what temperament they will have. It turns out that River, although she is a loving dog and wants to please, is wired. She is never still, always wants more play, more attention. She took an instant loathing to Ginger. Every time River saw Ginger she would start barking wildly and chasing Ginger. Ginger learned to hide in the back bedroom and never let River catch sight of her.
This continued for a few years. Then my sister decided to move away. She couldn’t leave River behind, but she didn’t want Ginger and didn’t know what to do with her. I had not wanted to take in another cat, as I already had two, but I couldn’t bear the thought of Ginger going to some unknown home. So I took her in.
My cats did not welcome a third cat gladly. Osiris, my little long-furred gray cat, used to sit with me when I read or watched TV. But he was getting old and crotchety, and he was just as bad as River had been about Ginger. Once again Ginger banished herself to the back bedroom, where she hid under the bookcase. Confrontations occurred whenever they caught sight of each other. My other cat, Isis, is a mellow white and gray tabby, who didn’t see what all the fuss was about. We had not had Ginger long when Osiris also died. I was grief-stricken of course, and I felt guilty about bringing Ginger home. Did that stress Osiris, causing him to die sooner? I don’t know.
Osiris’s death left a gap in the balance of cat power in our house. Gradually Ginger gained confidence, staying out in the living room with Isis and us, playing with the cat toys and sitting on the couch. The reason I loved Osiris so much was that he would snuggle up to me. Isis is just not into that sort of thing. But, oh joy!, Ginger is! She is even more clingy than Osiris was. She whines when I have to get up. And here is the grace! A lonely, scared cat found a person who was missing her cat, and who will cuddle her and pet her all she wants and be comforted. We cannot predict God’s gifts, but when they come, we are so thankful.
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of thy redeeming love.
Here I raise mine Ebenezer; hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.
This Post Has 4 Comments
I enjoyed your cat story. Cats seem to have a special way of creating a place for themselves in our hearts.
Yes,they really do!
I loved your excellent story with its interwoven lessons. Thank you.