Cat lovers know there’s nothing like snuggling with a soft, purring feline. Unless that feline is a feral cat like mine in which case, snuggle is not in their dictionary.
My son, who was eight at the time, chose her from a litter of free kittens at the post office. While the other kittens slept, she romped and batted my son’s index finger with her paw. “I want that one,. She’s feisty.”
He called the kitten Target because there was a white ring on the side of her grey fur. But soon, we called her Mistake. She did not want to be held. She hid under furniture, preferred the outdoors. Never purred. My son’s interest waned. So for ten years, I’ve been the caregiver for a cat that could care less I exist.
Sometimes Mistake jumps into my lap while I’m sitting outside, but her rule is “hands off” which is why today was a marvel.
A clear blue sky, oak leaves rustling in the summer breeze, made for a lazy day. My hammock beckoned me…rest. So I did, and felt my eyelids grow heavy.
That’s when Mistake brushed the edges of the hammock with her tail, pestered me with her meowing. I assumed she was hungry and fetched canned cat food. When I returned, Mistake was prowling for field mice.
“Here, Kitty, Kitty!”
Like a mother coaxing her toddler to eat, I walked towards Mistake waving the bowl, purring words of affection. She turned away, showing me her plump, grey haunches. I set the bowl on the grass, hoping she’d venture over to eat. Instead Mistake shunned my offering as though it belonged to Cain, and walked away.
Wasps circled the dish and dove in to eat. I grumbled. “Be that way! I’ll let the wasps have your food.”
Is that how Jesus felt when he came to the Israelites? He was their Messiah. He offered them eternal life, abundant life, but the nation refused to acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God. So He invited the Gentiles, who were detested among the Israelites, to come and eat the Bread of Life. (Luke 13:34, Matthew 15: 21-28)
Okay, maybe the spiritual lesson behind my cat story is a stretch. But that honestly went through my mind as I begged my self-satisfied cat to come to me. I sank back into the hammock.
Mistake had returned. She put her paws on the hammock and stretched towards me. I helped her up, expecting her to push away from me. Instead, Mistake rubbed her head on my chest, kneaded my forearm with her paws, and curled up on my stomach. Was this the same cat?
I guess you can’t force relationship on cats, or people. Even God knows there’s the fullness of time before some folks seek Him. Meanwhile, God is patient, waiting for individuals to heed the Divine call and follow Him.
Mistake and I dozed in the shade of the tree until she decided enough was enough. Perhaps I was too lumpy or she needed her space.
My coral t-shirt was covered in grey cat hair and burrs, but I remembered why I love cats.
This sinner saved by grace is grateful the Lord never calls me a Mistake. His love and mercy endures forever, even when I’m faithless and can’t sit still like my feral cat.