Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Least of the Strays

A few months ago I observed something really interesting. For the past few days this really tiny, malnourished and mangy kitten had been hanging out on our doorstep, much to the chagrin of my cat and dog who try to chase it away. We know it's there at night because it sets off the motion sensors all night long.

When I came home from church that Sunday it was hot and so I put some water out for the poor creature. It immediacy ran away and then slowly came back. A few hours later, I went out to check and it had drunk all the water. I gave it some more.

The next day I went out and this time the kitten would come up to me cautiously and started to meow. He wouldn't let me pet him but he would brush up against my leg.

The next day I found my dad had started giving it Spotacus' left over tuna. Spotacus is “the cat in residence.” Spot is spoiled and won't eat anything but tuna. So the poor little cat outside was getting a treat. At this point the kitten will now let you pet him. And will meow if he sees you walk past the door.

This whole time my dad is saying, "Don't get attached to the cat, we aren't keeping him."

A few mornings later I went outside and my dad was brushing the cat. It was no longer mangy looking. There was enough hair to make another small cat. I put antibiotics on its ear were the other cat would attack it. It cuddled up next to me and purred.

The funny thing was the whole time my dad was out there, my dog Rudy and the Spot paced back and forth inside, Rudy was yapping at my mom as to say, "Do you know what your husband is doing? Don’t you think you should get up and stop him before he’s allowed in the house?" Spot just sat on the table looking out the window indignant and giving off disapproving looks of disdain.

When my dad came in the house, the new improved cat, now about a pound thinner of hair and no longer bony looking sat on the porch the dog ran to the screen door and snapped at it. However, this time it didn't run away. My dad yelled at Rudy and the dog looked my dad and ran to me mom to hide.

I thought about this. I love my dog and cat. I think they are the most loyal and neat animals out there. Well maybe the dog, I think cats are just out for themselves. I think in the cats mind, it owns us. But at any rate I wasn't really proud of how they were treating this new cat. I realize they may just be being territorial, or protective and that's what animals do. I remember how Spot first reacted to Rudy when he came here. That was a less then hospitable welcome.

This poor kitten for some reason or another picked our house over all the other houses on the drive, for some reason it felt safe, even if it was constantly being attacked by Spot and Rudy. We fed it gave it some shelter and it started to trust us. My dad brushed it and it looks like a completely new cat. Now we need to figure out what to call it.

The other two animals don't want to accept it and for some reason or another exclude it even attack it and make no effort to try to include it.

I wonder how often I act like this? I have a loving Heavenly Father, but He isn't just my Heavenly Father He is everyone’s Heavenly Father, even all the stray cats and dogs out there. And yes even those people who may not believe in him.

We show Him we love Him by loving "one another." I think sometimes we instinctively act, the natural man takes over. The difference between us and the animal kingdom is that we have intelligence far beyond these house pets who act on instinct. But even with these we can be very choosy about who we find worthy of loving and showing that same Christlike love. I know eventually the two pets will adapt to this yet to be named new member of the family. But are we always that willing to do the same with each other?

"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matt. 25:40.)

1 comment:

Sean said...

I know that I can sometimes be hasty in my judgment. I have been trying to work on this so that I can be the most Christ-like person that I can.

It is interesting how our actions so closely relate to animals when we follow the natural man. I never really thought about that before, but I can see it looking back at past experiences.

Thanks for the post! :)