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. Hmmm...now 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.