Peter: 21 Lord, when someone has sinned against me, how many times ought I forgive him? Once? Twice? As many as seven times?
Jesus: 22 You must forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven.
Matthew 18:21-22 The Voice.
There is nothing I enjoy more than watching my fur children playing happily together; to see them tackle each other and roll about on the floor is a sight that never fails to put a smile on my face. Like children they will tease and goad one another until they get a reaction, then they will run around the house at full speed, sliding around the corners with all the skill of a 500cc Grand Prix rider. They are truly a joy to behold, and to look at them you’d think they’d never had a disagreement in their lives. But if you were to think that, you’d be very much mistaken.
They probably wouldn’t like me telling you this but to be truthful, they fight a lot, and often. The house can be a haven of tranquility then, without warning it begins. Usually the first indication that all is not well is a low growling sound that can be heard emanating from my usually very delicate and ladylike Pandora, when her brothers – Lestat and Louis – are about to launch an all out attack on her. For a little cat she makes a big noise, and when she does you know that pretty soon it will be on for young and old.
The interesting thing is these fights – while at times brutal – never seem to last very long and no grudges appear to be held, on the contrary all three can be seen shortly afterwards cuddled up in a mutual grooming session, that usually culminates with them curled up together napping.
It’s very different from the way I would naturally react if I’d just had a fight with a loved one. The last thing I want to do is get all cosy with them. No, my natural reaction is to sulk, to plot revenge and to rehash the argument over and over again while imaging all the clever things I could have said but didn’t think of in the heat of battle. Sound familiar?
I think my cats have got the right idea, they fight and they forgive. Why? Because deep down despite the squabbling over food, comfy chairs and warm laps, they love one another. They don’t let the sun go down on their anger and neither should we. The next time I have a fight with a loved one I’m going to remember how my furry friends manage their relationships, and I’m going to snuggle up, give them a hug and be quick to forgive.