Spiritual Lessons From Herding Cats
When people hear how many cats we have, the response is invariably either one of shock or wonderment. I admit, sometimes it’s overwhelming, particularly when they all get hungry at once. When the breakfast bell rings it can be like The Calgary Stampede meets Survivor. And often my body is Redemption Island.
As I write this, one of the “contestants” in our screwed up little reality show — Miss Weazley — is laying at the foot of the bed. Out cold. This is normally the time that the “congregation” gathers on the bed for their daily community nap, but because I’m still here and the bed is not made, the boys have chosen to wait.
You have to understand something about Weaz. She used to be a very high strung cat. We suspect she is at least part Bombay and when she was younger, she was very aggressive with the other cats. That’s started to fade in the last year. But usually when they have their community nap, she is the lookout. She will sleep paws-down and is the first one eyes-open ready to run if something or someone interrupts their sleeping circle.
Right now she is laying on her side with her paws askew all over the place in a posture of complete and total relaxation. Why? Because she doesn’t need to be the lookout because I’m here. She feels safe. Weaz and I are very good “friends” and she trusts me. She knows that none of the — shall we say “less intellectually gifted family members” — will interrupt her sleep because they will face “Dad’s” wrath.
Most of you know that I have officially declared 2013 to be “The Year From Hell”. Just when I think it can’t get any worse, something else happens. This hasn’t been a one-off. It’s been practically every day of this year since mid January. To say it has at times eaten the joy out of my soul would be an understatement.
And yet I think of this little black cat — who has now awaken from her nap and come to watch me type on the iPad — and I find myself admiring her wisdom. I wonder if she’s been reading Proverbs on my iPad and found my bookmark of Proverbs 18:10. The name of The Lord is a fortified tower. The righteous run into it and are safe. (Before y’all accuse me me of having a God complex, remember that God gave us dominion over the animals in Genesis 1:26, a verse that PETA and Greenpeace and all those other tree huggers could afford to re-read.)
It’s easy to bitch. It’s easy to complain. I do it, I do it a lot. But when it seems the mouth of hell is opening under your feet it’s good to remember who the firm foundation is and just shut off your brain — like Weazley — and take an emotional nap. In the soothing words of one of Jamaica’s most famous sons “Everything gonna be alright.”