Tuesday, May 30, 2023

A surprising lesson learned through the habits of cats

| January 20, 2022 1:00 AM

Mark 1: 16-17 says, “As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’”

Last week, I wrote about pets. Yes, I do love animals, but I’m especially fond of cats.

We keep our felines inside. This wasn’t always the case.

We used to allow them outside. However, over the years, a string of incidents (including encounters with coyotes) put an end to all that.

Unfortunately, many cats can get lazy and bored inside. In light of this, I will often play with ours using a small laser light, or small fishing pole with a cat toy on the end of the line.

I also occasionally change things up in the household to surprise them. This might be covering a different chair each day with a blanket or sheet for them to have a fort, or placing some dry cat food under a plastic cup on the floor for them to puzzle over in order to get a meal.

Cats must certainly appreciate that line from “The Love Boat” theme song: something “exciting and new.”

In my experience, cats seem to have an innate ability to spot and investigate anything that is new in their environment. It could be the smallest of changes.

For example, today I took off my wristwatch to do some exercises. I placed it near the television. Ellie, the one we picked up from the SPCA two years ago (they had named her “Sa­sha”), started to walk past me. She spotted the watch and stopped to check it out.

There are a number of cats in our neighborhood. I watch them through our living room windows. One of them I call Aunt Marie. She makes her rounds on a daily basis.

I have noticed that Aunt Marie basically travels the same route past our home and keeps the same routine. It has been like clockwork.

One day, I asked myself why this is the case? After pondering a bit, I wondered if keeping the same routine allowed her to know the lay of the land? That made sense. In doing so, she could be aware of even the most subtle differences – sights, sounds or smells, and this could assist her in finding prey or to flee from danger.

Early on in my life, I would seek out opportunities to help others in the name of Christ. As I have grown older (and hopefully wiser), I grew to realize that was not the only way to go.

In the routine of my day, through the Holy Spirit, God can set up the appointments. I trust this. They are opportunities for ministry that I do not seek out, but God provides.

I pray that my senses may be fine-tuned to pay particular attention to such.

You can as well.

Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Moses Lake and has served as parish pastor for more than 30 years.

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