God in the Cat Box
by Jennifer Cardinal
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When I married my husband he had 2 cats that came with him. Tikki and Gracie have been very much a part of our family along with the 2 of us and our 3 kids. Unfortunately we had to put Tikki down not too long ago and about 3 months later got another cat and named him Spike. My husband and I have been together now for over 11 years. During that time he has been the primary one to change the cat box. He kind of gets delegated to most of what I call the "man jobs" in the house ... You know ... Taking out the garbage, mowing the lawn, changing light bulbs , and .... well yah ... cleaning the cat box. Now I did clean the cat box every now and then but honestly I have to admit he was the one that really did it. And I was perfectly fine with this arrangement ... we both worked ... and after all I did the shopping, meal planning, vacuuming, laundry, cleaning toilets, and you know ... all the "girl stuff" I guess. This worked out really well for us ... He never complained and I never complained ( well maybe once in while, ha ha ) .
We moved recently and with that move I am taking some time off ... A sort of sabbatical. So with that our roles in the home have changed somewhat, I am home now so obviously it makes perfect sense that I do the majority of the things in and around the home. This is different than it has been for the majority of the past 11 years. So with this change I have found a new job ... I get to change the cat box! OH JOY!
Now I think it is perfectly understandable that scooping up cat poop and clumps of cat pee is not really something I look forward to. In fact, I really hate cleaning the cat box to be perfectly honest and if I never had to do it again ... I could not be happier. I am sure that is why I was perfectly fine with my husband cleaning the cat box all those years.
So I noticed I started getting a little bit of an attitude about cleaning the cat box but knew in all fairness I could not really expect my husband to do it ... I mean come on. So instead I would make little comments about cleaning the cat box ... Oh you know like ... "I hate that cat box "... "oh joy I get to go clean the cat box." Then one day ... I don't know ... I had a revelation about the cat box ... I heard a whisper from God about this disgusting cat box I hated so much. Yah, it sucks ... It is a pretty disgusting chore ... but I felt God whisper to me ... Look this is where you are right now and changing the cat box is part of your day ... You can moan and groan and complain and have a "this sucks" attitude or you can focus on the all the blessings around you.
"This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it" which does not mean I will rejoice and be glad only if the day is perfect and I don't have to do anything that is disagreeable to me . Oh no , that means I have a choice to look at the good and see everything God has blessed me with and realize how much I have to be thankful for ... Like the sheer fact that I have the ability to even change a cat box with own 2 legs and 2 arms, in a warm and comfortable home, with a husband and family that loves me and not to mention that I have the opportunity and choice to be able to stay at home right now. Do I have to clean up some cat poop during the day ... Yah ... But what a small price to pay for all that I have. I can do this. I can scoop up the cat poop and cat pee and be content while I am doing it.
I think we all have cat boxes in our lives ... Something that we are responsible for and maybe would really rather not do ... maybe it's a cat box, dirty diapers, driving in traffic, dealing with the kids, just the day to day grind . There is nothing wrong with the fact we would rather not do it but we do have the choice on how we come to that . Will we come with a spirit of complaining or will we look at the "poop" clean it up and in the process be able to see God and sing praises to Him and be grateful for all that we have. It really is up to us. God is there , He is just waiting for us to show up.
So here I am ... cleaning the cat poop , it is still cat poop and it is still clumps of cat pee , it stinks and it is nasty. But even in the most mundane and what may seem worthless and disgusting chore I can find God. I just have to be willing to get over myself and make that choice . After all I think it is safe to say God is probably much more concerned with how we are in the world and who we are in the world then what specific thing we do. We don't need to necessarily go searching for some grandiose higher sense of purpose , the mission field is all around us ... dare I say even in that filthy, poopy cat box.
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I think this is what's called "Getting a handle on an everyday job." A lesson well learned, well stated and much needed - U did good. They do make automatic ones now, and or flushiable litter.