Friday, August 7, 2009
Lessons from the Cat
Calvin is sick. Again. I knew something was wrong on Wednesday because he was acting puny, very quiet, and either wanted to be cuddled or hidden in a dark recess of the closet. When one of his favorite people came for a visit on Thursday, he wouldn't have anything to do with her. And he peed on our bed once more.
This morning started badly. He's locked out of the bedroom at night because of the urinating, so when I emerged from the bedroom, I was already dressed and ready to take him to the vet's. I pulled the carrier out of the closet, and he took off running. It breaks my heart when this happens because he used to love to crawl into his carrier, but now he's learned to fear it.
A chase ensued. He ran; I ran after him. Doogie took off to hide under the bed. Everything about the situation had him terrified. Calvin headed for a closet. I got there first and slammed it shut. He ran for the living room, and I blocked his way. He took off for the kitchen and painfully thwacked his leg on the counter, as he tried to jump up to race into the window box over the sink. He knows I can't reach him when he's up there. But I caught him as he was leaping onto the counter.
I had to forcefully drop him into his carrier. He started wailing the moment his carrier hit the back seat of the car. His cries escalated as we drove to the vet's office. He cried some more as I checked him in.
It was a bad morning. For both of us.
But hours later, after diagnosis of yet another bladder infection, he's home again. And remarkably, he holds no grudge against me for taking him to the bad place. He seeks me out for loving attention. He purrs his heart out while he sits in my lap. He offers forgiveness when he has every reason to be angry with me.
It could be that, as a cat, he has a short memory. But I choose to believe that it's one of the ways God gives us a glimpse of his great love and forgiveness. The Lord has every reason to be upset with me over various sins in my life. He could completely hold a grudge for all the times I've chosen to ignore him. And yet, he offers forgiveness. Not just forgiveness in name, but in action. He chooses to forget my transgressions when I come to him contrite. As a human, I struggle with the forgetting in forgiving. My cat gives me a tangible reminder of what that should look like.
Once again, I'm in awe.