I am an animal lover. I have a problem with cuteness. There’s nothing better than the sound of a cat purring or soft fur beneath my fingertips. So as I write this post about my animals, I have a sweet 1-year-old kitty named Sugar lying on my belly. She’s going to sleep. The Chihuahua, Kahlua, has finally stopped snoring in her doggie bed, and Monday the 10-year-old cat has dragged his stuffed sheep upstairs to one of the kids’ rooms.
It is quiet in the animal house. But I’ve started thinking about my animals. I learn so much from them. God did something beautiful when he created cats and dogs, didn’t he? He made them to be wonderful companions for us, and as such, if we pay attention, we might just see ourselves in their reflection, compliments of our Creator.
My kitten Sugar used to dart outside. Once out in the yard, she would freak out over everything, the breeze, a leaf, a bug. The first time she went out, she bopped a wasp down and it stung her on the mouth. I spent last summer chasing her for 20 minutes to get her back in the house. She wasn’t old enough, I told myself. She’s a baby. She could get hurt. She can’t defend herself. Well, now she’s one. I open the door and let it linger. She won’t go out. She sniffs and looks at the sunshine. She watches from the window, but she’s lost her interest in going outside. She almost seems afraid, and in a strange way, that makes me a little sad. I kept telling her to wait until she was more mature and stronger and then now that she finally is, she’s afraid to go outside anymore.
Do I do that? I wonder. Are there things I’ve always wanted to do…perhaps asked God for long ago, and He said to wait. That I wasn’t ready yet. And now…have I let time pass? Is there a world out there to be sought and explored, but I am now on the inside content with just looking through the window?
My cat Monday was a stray and found us when he was about 3-years-old. He’s always been in and out, but since we moved to this new neighborhood, he has to come in by dark. We had many vet bills when we moved here because of bites from other animals. The other day, I heard a terrible noise. A man walking his dog and pushing his baby stroller let go of the leash accidentally when the dog wanted my cat. A chase ensued and the dog got him behind the neck. He’s fine, but it could have been worse. Monday can handle himself. He’s street smart (and chubby and cuddly and the sweetest boy). He’s also a little restless. He always wants out. Even if there’s a big dog out there, he wants to go. Maybe even because there are dogs out there.
I wonder. Am I like Monday? Are you? You gotta get out and keep going even if you should take a little time to rest and heal in the quiet of the indoors for a while?
And then there’s Kahlua or Lulu. She’s a 15-year-old Chihuahua. She can no longer go up or down the steps on her own, so I take her outside. She has accidents in her bed. She is blind in one eye and can barely see with the other. She can hardly hear and sleeps through my coming home in the afternoon. But nighttime is the worst. Every few hours she barks for me. I need water. I had an accident. I’m lonely. Where am I? I need to go out. Last night at 1:10 am, I heard barking. But it was distant barking, not at the foot of the stairs. I found Lulu in the sunken dining room. She’d fallen in and must have gotten discombobulated in the darkness, because when I found her, she was barking incessantly under a chair. The legs and wood pieces had boxed her in like a jail. She was in doggie jail. I turned on the light, but she couldn’t quite figure out who I was, so she still barked at her rescuer.
I wonder. Am I like Lulu? Do I wander off and get lost in the dark? Do I lose my vision and when someone shines the light on my difficult situation, ready to gently guide me out, do I recognize the helper who’s come or do I continue to bark and bark and bark at my little doggie jail I’ve found myself in?
Oh, the Lord teaches me so much through my animals. I see myself in their sweet little eyes. In their own animal ways, they are just so doggone…human.
Do you have a pet in your life who teaches you things about life? If so, what a blessing, and tell me about it!