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Paint Your Cat??
by Loretta Leonard
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Paint your cat? This must be some type of joke. Certainly no one would ever consider painting his cat. Or so I thought. But the article was right there and examples of ways to paint your cat were graphically displayed. It was unimaginable to even think that someone would have the time or incentive to consider painting a cat. The cost could easily amount to $60,000--the cost that many people consider a major portion of their mortgage. Could the expense be better used for other purpose? Of course.

I enjoy cats and especially like to study each breed, whether it is domestic or pedigree. Each breed has unique characteristics to make it special. Colors are probably the most easily identifiable qualities. Tuxedo cats are basically black and white; tabbies are orange or gray striped and mixed cats from breeding between two different cats have features of both parents.

Pedigree cats like Persians have a distinctive facial feature while the Maine Coon is a large long haired cat that has a great personality. Siamese have a light cream-colored fur with distinctive blue eyes. The Sphinx cat has absolutely no hair with a wrinkled skin that needs bathing regularly. A Bengal cat looks like a small leopard and is energetic, very vocal, but can be quite lovable. The Scottish fold has the most interesting ears. They are very small and look like the ears are actually folded behind the head. Yes, cats come in all shapes and sizes.

Yet as I scrolled through the email, I discovered some of the most unusual cats I have ever seen. Some cats were painted with black and white stripes to resemble a zebra or skunk. One cat’s face was painted to resemble an owl while two other cats slinking across the ground had the traditional plaid colors of a giraffe. One cat was painted in two shades of blue around the eyes to resemble a blue morpho butterfly while some cats boasted butterfly masks in shades of purple and blue with tinges of red.

Painting a cat was much more than imitating an animal. One cat was painted with red and green stripes; another cat was painted in blue and green plaid to match its owner’s kilt. Other cats wore purple and yellow colors around the face that resembled a mask. One cat was painted white with blue heart over the main body part. And, yes, there was a patriotic cat that was painted red, white, and blue. Stripes were painted horizontally over the main body and the posterior of the cat was done in blue with white stars. If you could come up with an image that interested you, then you could paint your cat accordingly.

The most obvious question that hovered in the back of my mind was why would anyone ever consider painting a cat? The process has to take quite some time so how long does it take? How do you ever manage to keep a cat calm while painting? What kind of paint is used? Could the paint be harmful to the cat? Where does someone go to get his cat painted? How much does a trend like this cost? I know I love my cats and they are a part of my family, but you wouldn’t ever find me even considering the option to paint my cats.

Cats are basically independent animals with a personality all their own. They don’t come when they are called. They may be finicky eaters and have no set boundaries. The kitchen counter or top of a table seems to fascinate them but try keeping them off and you may find it somewhat difficult. Cats love to climb and furniture can be a wonderful place to exercise and sharpen their claws. Cats show love but according to their own whim. Just try to pick up a cat and give it a hug when it has a mind of its own. But when you are the busiest and really don’t want to be bothered, the cat will twist between your feet or jump into your lap and insist that you spend time with it. For me, I love the challenge and the personality of having a cat. In fact, I have five cats right now—two tabbies, two tuxedos and one Bengal.

If you really want to find out about a person’s true character, watch the way that he or she reacts to a pet. If they reach out in kindness and love, they are someone who is loving and kind to others. If the person gets frustrated or angry because the cat doesn’t mind, then it is quite likely that this person will easily become angry or frustrated when they interact with humans. If the person goes so far as to throw or toss the cat into the air this same person will be prone to violence. And yes, I have seen cats literally tossed across the room much to my chagrin. Even such an odd prank as setting a cat’s tail on fire (and, yes I know someone who did this) shows insensitivity. If I have to choose someone to make friends with it would be the person who was able to show love and kindness. And if I had to choose between some people and a cat, the cat just might come out ahead.

For the Christian we can make a parallel between the painted cats, our lives and sin. Although the cats were painted in various colors and styles, the basic animal was the same. Underneath all that paint, the cat was still a tabby, tuxedo, Siamese, or Persian. The paint only disguised the outside. It was done to appease the owner and probably as a status symbol. Cost didn’t seem to be a factor and it certainly was a way to get a conversation started.

We can put on the outward appearance of being Godly but underneath we can be role- playing. As children we are taught that our heart is black with sin before Christ comes into our heart. When we accept Him as our Savior, his red blood washes our heart clean or white as snow (Psalm 51:7 and Isaiah 1:18). If we are Christians who only go through the motions then our heart or parts of our heart are dotted black with sin. No one is perfect and we don’t always reveal everything about ourselves to others.

Every little thing that I have tried to hide from others will be seen under the microscope of God’s eye. All aspects of my life will be open before God and He will judge accordingly. The Bible has many references to sin but there are two references that I like which goes along with this theme. Psalm 69:5 reveals that “O God, you know my foolishness and my sins are not hidden from you”. I Corinthians 4:5 tells us “Therefore judge nothing before the time until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the heart.” We may fool others but we can’t fool God.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The cats were painted for various reasons and they came in all sorts of designs and patterns. What pattern and colors are being traced over the pattern of our life? Will the pattern and completed picture be one that will honor God? Will our life really be pleasing to Him?

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