Kitty logic

            For years one of our cats Emma, has had dandruff and has loved to be scratched.  But she also has regularly scratched herself hard enough to cause open sores.  We have treated the symptoms – which she does not like – washing the sores and putting cream on the affected area.

            Seeing a different veterinarian on our last visit Emma was taken off all regular cat food and put on a prescription diet of hypoallergenic food. (I joke that her dinner costs more than ours, per pound.)

            It seems to be working as her coat feels better and her skin in healing nicely, and she seems calmer and less itchy. Both she and Grace (her sister) keep begging for their familiar rations of normal food and preferable table scraps.  So far we have resisted because we see the improvements, and know this is best for them in the long run. But they continue to plead and beg and try to “guilt” us into giving them what they want, but which is not good for them.

We had to give her some medication recently as the antibiotics given her for the sores had caused diarrhea. Emma doesn’t like to take medicine and fights us (I have the scratches to prove it.) And we now know the difficulty of trying to “herd cats.” Last night we struggled to catch Emma and get her to swallow the medicine. Emma then stalked away obviously mad at us for this assault on her sense of how we are supposed to treat her. Nancy, with some exasperation, said “If only she understood that this will help her – that it is for her good that we do this.”

 I had a momentary inkling of what we humans do in our prayers to and relationship with God.  We pray to win the lottery rather than learn to be content and generous with the resources we have. We rail against the teaching of Jesus that go against our values of being good to ourselves because we do not want to learn to be generous with others. We don’t wish to forgive others and thus release ourselves from our own expectation that the other will do as we want them to, even though forgiveness will free US from the prison of anger and resentment that hurts and inhibits us.  We, like these wonderful cats who companion us, want to have God as a servant to do our bidding rather than as a companion on the journey who can help us find the best path to live a life that is full, free and abundant even if this path goes in a different direction from the one we would prefer to tread in our human version of Emma’s kitty logic.

Lord, keep on loving us when we don’t understand, even as we love Emma and want what is best for her. Help us to realize that no matter what we are going through, we will not be overcome because you are with us to help, sustain and strengthen us. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen


About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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