“Texas is the handsomest cat in the whole world, right?”
His coat is patchy and he limps.
“Texas loves his Mommy, so-o-o much, doesn’t him?"
I’m his meal ticket.
“Texas is my sweetie-comes.”
He drools and he has bad breath.
For some, their love would long since have cooled for an object like Texas. But to me my pet seems less the old shoe to be cast aside- much more, our family treasure.
“All I can say is Texas is one lucky cat to have you for a mom,” my husband is fond of saying as he looks disparagingly at the raggedy old man. “He wouldn’t last a day on his own outside our fence: some coyote or fox would have him for dinner.”
I lift my pet to eye level, careful of his dignity and fragility. “I double-dog dare them.”
Cuddling him for a moment, I tug one ear and then the other. Gently, I put him down.
When he was a tiny kitten with out-sized paws and a fluffy orange coat, Texas lived in a cave back of our property. We brought him in, sheltered and civilized him. He became part of our family.
From the beginning, the little scamp had power to call forth my most tender and protective feelings. This morning I sense God’s presence and He tells me I have that same power over Him.
“There was a time when you also ran wild in the world, at the mercy of any predator on the prowl," He causes me to understand. "Just as you pitied a helpless kitten, when I took you under my wing I became your refuge and your shelter.”
Now I wouldn't be so foolish as to compare the earthly affections we humans feel for our pets with the illimitable love God has for His adopted children. But I do believe He gives us tiny earthly beads of light affording just a glimpse of Heaven's rich borealis.
Unless Jesus comes fairly soon, or I go to Him in the meantime,, I too will grow old and feeble, like Texas. My chin will dribble and my hands tremble: my flesh will gradually weaken. But God’s love for me will never diminish, never grow old. When I have creases and dents, snaggles and snarls, Jesus assures me I will not lose my place in His heart. When I'm huddled under my blanket of old age and long for a touch of human kindness, He will make things better for me somehow: ease my path in ways I cannot now foresee. When I peer into the lens of my latter years, it seems murky and foggy, and fearsome. But He promises. Nothing can stand in the way of His love.
But for the moment I must shove my reflections aside and return to the task at hand. I am now ready to rinse the porch. I activate the spray nozzle on the hose, something which would cause most cats to sprint for their lives. But Texas has his reasons not to get in a hurry. To begin with, because I have never subjected him to the indignity of spraying, he has little to fear from the spit of water needles. His life with our family began with a startling trust, and it appears it will finish with a more mellow version of that same sweet faith in the humans who took him in.
Secondly, at his age moving too fast can be mighty painful.
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