Stray Cats

There’s a certain part of a man that is particularly susceptible to puppies and kittens, a part of him that softens the whole man, takes him back to innocence and wonder, back to a joy and tenderness that often disappears way too early in life. My son-in-law helped me gauge that part a couple of weeks ago.

While he was here from Kentucky a couple of weeks ago, Eli wanted to check out the local non-catalogued inventory of indigenous people artifacts. Which is to say, he wanted to look for arrowheads. Knowing that one of our church brethren owns some farmland pretty close to here, I asked him if Eli and I could come over and try our luck. “That would be alright,” the farmer assented.
So, on a hot and humid Sunday evening, too late in the day for actually looking for arrowheads, we decided to go find the place. Between my unclear recollection of directions and a slight discrepancy between my odometer and the distance I thought the farmer’s wife had told me, I drove past their road. I slowed down and took the next left, which was only a few hundred feet past the road I should have taken.
As Eli and I made the turn onto the gravel, we saw a small critter in the grass at the edge of the road. At first, I thought it was a tiny baby fox. As I stopped the truck, though, I could see it was a kitten. She looked to be no more than four or five weeks old and had apparently been left there by someone with no desire to continue the relationship. We could hear her loud, plaintive mewing.
She crouched slightly as I approached her slowly but she didn’t back away. I reached down toward her, watching carefully to see if she flattened her ears and began hissing at me in that delightful manner that some cats have. She didn’t, a detail in no small way responsible for the fact that this abandoned cat is now playing with the printer wires while I sit here typing.
Another detail that has contributed to this little tiger-striped calico cat finding a home here is the way she sleeps on, around or beside us on the dual recliner while we’re watching TV. When she curls up next to my neck and begins purring loudly, the deal is sealed; she’s staying here. Watching her romp and play as she races through the room or comes crab-hopping toward my feet is just part of the benefit package.
We owe both existence and salvation to a God whose compassion greatly exceeds our merit. A God who saw us in our filth and sin and loved us anyway. Knowing that we sometimes scratch and claw and hiss at the very one trying to bless us, he reached down and lifted us to him anyway.
That part of a man that is touched by kittens and puppies is also part of the reflection of the Divine Image. When that part of a person has died, I’m not sure there’s all that much hope for the rest of him.
H. Arnett
6/23/11
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About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Blair, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-five years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-one grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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