tuxedocat

Catvent: It’s Advent with Cats! Day 1

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I often act as if I have no need of you,

You enfold me in your arms, I struggle free.

Your overtures of love are met with coldness,

In spite of all of this you still love me.

 

When I’m scared you’re always there beside me

Watching over me throughout the longest night.

Your love is right there waiting when I need it

The darkness overwhelmed by your light.

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those cat ladies – you know, the crazy kind – who likes to speak to my cat and then answer in his voice. So when I wrote this poem about Lestat’s relationship with me, I was kind of surprised when I realised just how much his relationship with me, parallels my relationship with God. It’s a sobering thought, particularly as we are entering the Christmas season and I contemplate the enormity of the gift that God gave us.

At this most special time of year, I am once again reminded of God’s incredible, unfathomable love. A love so all-encompassing that the king of heaven was prepared to put aside everything, in order to walk the same dusty, dirty road of life that we do. Imagine that for a moment. It’s pretty incredible isn’t it? As I sit and watch Lestat stare open mouthed at the sight of a bird on the wing, I am reminded of the words of the Psalmist:

I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewelry, Moon and stars mounted in their settings. Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?*  and I realise that my jaw has also dropped in amazment.

photo(10)Psalm 8:3-4 (The Message)

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Crazy Love for Crazy Cat Lovers

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Loving a cat is hard work – have you noticed that? When you want to cuddle, they don’t; when you want to sleep, they’re wide awake; when you want to play, they get all bitey. At least that’s how it is with my cats, and yet I continue to persist – my love undimmed and my spirit undaunted. I am always there for them – even when they’d prefer I wasn’t; my watchful eye is always on them – even when they think I can’t see them.

It’s like the way God watches over you and I – he is always there – infinitely gracious, loving us with a love so outrageous we simply cannot comprehend it. A love so far removed from our human experience that many have difficulty believing such a love could even exist. Fortunately for you and I the reality of God’s love does not require our belief or our understanding – it just is. From the very beginning of time he knew you, he saw you and he loved you – he still does and he always will.

People often think that cat lovers like you and I are just a little bit odd; they can’t understand how or why we could possibly love a creature that is independant and aloof, but we can and we do – and so does God.

Can I go anywhere apart from Your Spirit?
    Is there anywhere I can go to escape Your watchful presence?

If I go up into heaven, You are there.
    If I make my bed in the realm of the dead, You are there.
If I ride on the wings of morning,
    if I make my home in the most isolated part of the ocean,
10 Even then You will be there to guide me;
    Your right hand will embrace me, for You are always there.
11 Even if I am afraid and think to myself, “There is no doubt that the darkness will swallow me,
    the light around me will soon be turned to night,”
12 You can see in the dark, for it is not dark to Your eyes.
    For You the night is just as bright as the day.
    Darkness and light are the same to Your eyes.

Psalm 139:7-12 (The Voice)

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I Think My Cat is Trying to Kill Me!

Last December I celebrated my 50th birthday. My husband wanted to get a gift that would have special significance for me. So instead of choosing diamonds or other such baubles, I chose a pair of roller skates. Now I know this is probably not the type of gift every women craves, but I had wanted skates since I was a little girl. So being the fantastic guy he is he bought me some, and I got to learning how to skate.

We are blessed with a home that has lovely wooden floors and rooms spacious enough for me to skate around in, so I assumed – incorrectly it now appears – that this would be the ideal place for me to practice.

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While being able to skate at home has it’s advantages,  it now also appears to have it’s disadvantages. On the one hand – or I should say foot – I can practice whenever I want,  on the other it means I have to manoeuvre around my cat. This was not a factor I had taken into account when I imagined myself gliding gracefully around.  You see my cat Lestat is extremely lazy, and I have often thought that a sloth would move more often than his is likely to. Well all I can say is, never underestimate the speed and stealth of a cat that is jealous and is plotting against you. He’s got that killer look in his eyes – kind of like De Niro in Taxi Driver – and I’m beginning to get a little worried.

I suspect Lestat has been watching too much TVLet me tell you, there is nothing guaranteed to cause your life to flash before your eyes quite like having a cat dart out in front you while you’re trying to keep your balance on skates.

When I confronted him about his behaviour he feigned innocence, and actually appeared offended! He’s aware that he’s got me wrapped around his paw so I am clearly at a disadvantage.

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Anyway he can pretend all he wants but it’s pretty clear to me that he’s got it in for me – at least when I’ve got my skates on. Anyway I’d better go now because he’s giving me the look, I suspect he knows I’m writing about him. I don’t want to provoke him further. Who knows what he is capable of!

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Photo of Robert De Niro from the film “Taxi Driver” Image may be subject to copyright

Get Your Brave On

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Don’t be afraid of what’s waiting for you outside your door this morning, God’s got you covered.

“Light, space, zest – that’s God! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing.” Psalm 27:1 (The Message)

 

Sour Puss

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My cat Lestat parades around like he owns the world, I’m sure that in his furry little head he imagines that he is a panther stalking stealthily through a tropical rainforest. He is elegant and haughty, he is independent and bold; to those who observe him he is the ruler of his domain.

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If any mere mortal even attempts to touch him unbidden, they will receive a rebuff so cutting, they will be left red-faced and rejected. Of course I wish he were more affectionate and cuddly, but would I love him more if he was? Of course not. I love him just the way he is, with all his faults and foibles.

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No matter how many times he rejects me I will continue to pursue him. No matter how many times he runs away from me, I will always be ready to scoop him up in my arms whenever he’s ready to come back. My love for Lestat reminds me of the way that God loves you and I. It doesn’t matter to God how many times we reject him, it will never stop him loving us. Sure, he’d like us to love him as madly as he loves us, but he’s not going to force us into a relationship with him. He wants our love freely given not coerced, and he’s prepared to wait – arms open wide – until we’re ready. God’s love for you is outrageous, scandalous and unfathomable, and that should be enough to make any sour puss smile.

O Lord, You are good and ready to forgive; Your loyal love flows generously over all who cry out to You. Psalm 86:5 – The Voice

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The Prodigal Cat

Pandora

Pandora

This morning I felt incredibly privileged when my littlest cat Pandora, decided that she wanted to spend some time with me. This might not seem a big thing to you but believe me this is a rare occurrence. You see Pandora is usually quite aloof, if she was a person you would probably say she has witchy resting face. It’s not that she isn’t affectionate, it’s just that she likes to go all Greta Garbo most of the time.

So this morning when I walked passed her as she was lying on the table – I know she shouldn’t but cats will be cats – and she rolled over on her back, looked at me, meowed loudly and fluttered her eyes, there was no way I was going to let this moment go by. I tickled her fluffy little tummy and scratched her little black ears and in return, she head bumped me and licked my fingers. It was a beautiful moment and I was so excited!

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Then out of the blue came a loud and mournful meow quickly followed by another even louder and more mournful meow. I looked up to see Lestat – my tuxedo boy – who had been sleeping but was now wide awake and clearly unhappy that Pandora was receiving the attention that he felt should rightly be his. The more attention I gave Pandora the louder he meowed. He didn’t make a move towards me, he just continued lying where he was yelling at me for attention with a very disgruntled look on his face.

Lestat looking a little disgruntled

Lestat looking less than impressed

The way Lestat behaved made me smile because it reminded me of the way we Christians can sometimes behave when God blesses someone that we believe isn’t worthy. Like Lestat we grumble and complain. We’re very grateful for God’s grace to us, but we’re not always so happy when he extends that same grace to someone else. We whine to God and say: “What about me? I go to church, I pray, I’m a believer.” I think if we’re honest we’ve probably all done it.

Why do we do that? Do we think that God’s love is finite? Do we think that God’s love is only for some and not for others? Why shouldn’t God show his love and grace to everyone? After all the bible says God is love. He didn’t send Jesus to die only for those who go to church, pray, give to charity or lead a faultless life. He sent him to die for everyone. That means even the ones that we might think don’t deserve it. Because you know what? None of us deserve the love of God that’s why it’s called grace, and I for one am glad that I didn’t have to earn it. How about you?

Until next time friends of the fur…

” For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life.” John 3:16 The Voice.

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Cat Fight

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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.

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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.

Best friends forever

Best friends forever