The Pest



Grace, our not-so-aptly named (I was the one who chose it) 9 year old cat, has been a pest today. She fusses vocally, pushes, and bumps me with her head to get my attention on her empty food bowl. Failing that, she pushed a bottle of prescription medication onto the floor three times in less than a half hour. Grace wants her dinner! Now!  But it is only 2:45 and she does not get fed until 5.  When we give in and feed her early in the afternoon she thanks us by waking Nancy up very early the next morning for her AM feeding. Grace is feline of substance so she will not melt away to nothing nor fall over in a faint from lack of nourishment. But she does not like to have to wait.  Some days when she and her sister do everything to force us to do what they want I almost wonder why we share our life with these two feline fussbudgets.

But in the moments where they settle dreamily into slumber next to us, or in our laps; or when they greet us when we come back in from work – vocalizing their pleasure in seeing us (even if it is because we open the cans of food for them) I know with certainty that despite their shortcomings there is an ongoing depth of relationship and even love between us. On our mantle we have pictures of other cats who have shared our lives. And even now I can get choked up thinking about them and their special ways – and some of the frustrations they caused that are now endearing memories.

It occurs to me that God may actually feel as we do when I get insistent that things in my life should happen on my schedule, based on my whims, my sense of timing and my idea of what is good. I may be the human pest storming the gates of heaven with plaintive prayers and querulous questions, with shouts of outrage and pleadings.  I muse that at such times God may wonder just why this frail and limited human creature called Don was brought into the household of God. Yet I hope that there are also times when I am able to rest in the peace and presence of God – that God smiles knowing I  recognize that deep bond of relationship and love formed and marked by water and sealed by the Spirit.

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Grace's version of the Cat in the hat


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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