Jennifer and I were both raised as dog people yet have five and a half cats. Yes, five that are ours and PJ is a stray that still isn’t sure.
See we live in the country so strays pass through regularly. Most are young so aren’t completely feral but aren’t all that sure about someone else being in charge.
I mean they’re country cats. They’re free to roam, eat what they want, sleep when and with whom they want. Life is good. They don’t need some master telling them what to do. I mean why in the world would they want that?
Of course there is the little problem of the pit bulls next door. And then the coyotes looking for a tasty kitty dinner.
Also mice get scarce in the winter.
And when it rains, ugh. It would sure be nice to have a warm bed.
So eventually they make their way into the garage where the food is put out and the other cats convene twice a day.
I remember when WT showed up. It stands for Wild Thing, which fits him well. He was so little he could have curled up in a small mixing bowl.
One spring morning I put down the food and he came slinking out from under a workbench. He wouldn’t let me touch him. But over the next few days I coaxed him closer and closer with food.
Finally, I touched him. He flinched and ran back under the workbench.
In the evening when I offered him food he crept out and I touched him again. He flinched but moved just outside my reach this time.
For several days this dance continued until he realized I didn’t want to hurt him but rather would feed and take care of him.
Of course I didn’t tell him that after he was tamed his first vet visit was to make sure he didn’t sire any more offspring.
This morning as I’m writing in our sunroom he’s curled up on a rug sleeping a few feet away.
His life changed dramatically. Sure he gave up some freedom. But the blessings he got in return dwarfed that.
It makes me think of what Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.”*
He also lets us creep into that relationship with him.
As I’ve learned through the years he means me no harm and in fact has an amazing life for me. And I experience it as I creep into letting him be the master.
I look back over my life and what I gave up and I think, “It wasn’t even a trade.”
An amazing life filled with every blessing imaginable compared to emptiness, loneliness and mess before. I’m amazed somehow that it was even a difficult choice.
Oops, WT is back. He’s harassing Socks who was lying by my chair. Well, as I said he lives up to his name.
An amazing life or not, the choice is ours.
How have you found this to be true?
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*Matthew 11:29 (NIV)