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July 10, 2009

Just Ask

I know I tell you a lot of stories about my dogs and the lessons I learn from them, and today I had another "Ah ha moment." Yes, another life lesson learned from my pet -- except this time it wasn't a dog, but my cat who was the teacher.

My cat, Tina, is a terrific cat. Don't be upset with me, but after years of trying to keep her as an indoor cat, we stopped fighting her each time she raced to an open door -- and we let her go outside.

We live in an area that's perfect for us (and our pets). We're close to shopping centers and all the conveniences of a well-developed suburb and there are many neighborhoods being built on old farmland -- but our home is on a more rural country road with very few neighbors. Across the street we have a beautiful walking park, and behind our house a cornfield. Needless to say, with a cornfield behind us and so much local development displacing the country mice, the first time Tina experienced the great outdoors, she got a taste of life as a hunter, and she refuses to give it up. She's getting up there in years and slowing down a little, but she still loves to pounce and play -- but more than anything Tina LOVES to snuggle.

So here's the story -- this morning I was sitting at my desk reading my emails, when I heard Tina's meow coming from outside my window. I quickly got up and let her in, then headed back to my office. She's a "talkative" girl, and when I opened the door she greeted me with a "mew," then scurried towards the stairs, presumably to get her breakfast. (Years ago we put her self-feeder upstairs on top of our dryer so that her food would be out of reach of the dogs, and she could eat in peace.)

Anyhow, on occasion Tina won't jump up onto the dryer unless someone is there with her. I'm really not sure why exactly, but when she doesn't want to make the jump alone, she will stand at the top of the stairs and cry until someone comes to be with her. She only wants someone there with her while she jumps up, then she happily goes right to her food, and the "escort" can go back to whatever they were doing. Well this morning when Tina went upstairs, I assumed she needed an escort, because she cried the entire way up the stairs, and I heard her crying as she pattered around upstairs looking for someone to join her at the food bowl. Eventually she returned to the top of the stairs and sat there crying until I headed up.

When I got to the top of the steps, she turned and headed in the direction of the food, but then kept moving past the laundry area and into my bedroom. She stopped at the foot of my bed, sat down, then looked up at me and meowed.

"What do you want?" I asked, fully expecting her to answer me.

Tina looked back at the bed, stood up, walked around my legs then sat back down and meowed again.

"Do you want me to go back to bed?" I asked, tempted by the thought.


'You've got to be kidding me,' I thought.

"Meow," she repeated.

Puzzled by her cry, I laid down on the bed to see how she'd react. Sure enough, Tina jumped right up and walked up to my face and started purring and rubbing her face against mine. She walked back and forth rubbing her nose against mine for about two minutes, then she curled up next to me as if to go to sleep.

'Well I'll be,' I thought. She just wanted some love.

I laid there for a few minutes and pet her, and thought about this very special little furball. She knew what she wanted, she asked for it -- and she got it. there's a lesson.

How often do we want something, but for whatever reason, we don't ask. Maybe we are afraid, maybe we're too proud, maybe we don't want to appear selfish -- whatever the reason, we sit there quietly, wanting or needing something, and we don't say it.

I've been doing a lot of self-reflection lately, and this is one of the biggest lessons I need to learn. I need to learn to ask for help instead of hoping that someone can read my mind.

I know this is going to sound a little silly -- but I could tell you many stories about times when I have absolutely no doubt that God was speaking to me through my cat. In time, those stories will come -- but just for today, I'm enjoying Tina's version of Matthew 7:7 --

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."
Just so you know...I stayed there with Tina for a few minutes this morning, then headed back downstairs to work. Before I did, I opened the door to the boys' bedroom, and sure enough I heard her jump down from my bed then patter down the hall to their room. I'm sure if I went looking for her now she'd be snuggled up with one of them. I guess she just likes to be close to the ones she loves.


Brittany said...

So precious!

What a sweet fur baby. :)
And, a great lesson!

Chow and Chatter said...

what a lovely story pets are so smart and you made a great point

aquamaureen said...

Lauren, I love this post. What a lesson: ask for what we want, and Meow until we get it. God is so ready to meet our every need . .. we just forget to ask, don't we?

Crystal said...

Awww, your Tina looks just like my Shadow. :)

Tooj said...

This is a great story. :) I love the lessons that can be learned not from our own mistakes, but instead from the good things others can teach us. Others being ANY form of other. Thank you for sharing. I think I might share this on my blog, as well.

Allison said...

My four year-old loves the sleeping kitty pic.=) Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Anonymous said...

Oh, what a wonderful story and lesson. I need this lesson as well. Thanks. Plus I do not have a cat any longer and your precious story brought back some extra sweet memories of cats and their mice, cats and their so-cat-behavior!!
~ linda

singedwingangel said...

as a pet person myself I hear ya totally. I have 4 kitties and every morning i awaken to them walking the bed telling me the sun is up and so should I be...

w said...

what a great story. and lesson. with bible verse, too!

visiting from sits.

Hear Mum Roar said...

This is something that has been ringing true to me for the past couple of years now, if you want something, all you have to do is ask. Great post.

sweetjeanette said...

Precious story! and perfect scripture reference!!! Thank you for the thoughts - even though God knows our petition before we ask (IF we ask), he still wants us to ask...not for His benefit, but ours)
Happy SITS day!!!

Karen said...

excellent lesson, but not only asking for what you want but also listening to what others want too!


Miranda said...

Asking for help! Man, that's a lesson I need to learn!

Happy FB day!

Vivianne's Vista said...

Awww. That is so cute! I've always wanted a kitty but allergies unfortunately prevent me from doing it. Wonderful lesson in all of this.

Date Girl said...

aren't pets precious? I don't know what I'd do without my pup. They're just so full of love!

When did I become my Mom said...

I love this story. Nothing ventured, nothing gained right?

Young Wife said...

That is so sweet! What a great post. Stopping by from SITS.