Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dog/Cat Theology

Have you ever heard of Cat/Dog Theology? It is a thought where dogs say, “You feed me, give me water, nurture me, treat me like royalty, take me to the vet and so much more. You must be God.” A cat says “You feed me, give me water, nurture me, treat me like royalty, take me to the vet and so much more. I must be God.” Some say cats always have this attitude and some people are like cats. Recently I learned something else from cats, and it is a little different than the traditionally held beliefs regarding Dog/Cat Theology.

As a family, we love pets. They are usually named after close friends, unique situations, or something related to the real sport of wrestling, (not that fake stuff which I refuse to call sport). We had an older cat named OJ. His name went back to the night OJ Simpson was in escape mode in the white Bronco. It is a long story but yes, OJ is named after OJ Simpson.

OJ was older when we got him; he had been adopted from an animal shelter and was approximately 11 years old at the time we got him. While he was neutered, you couldn’t tell it by his actions. He acted just like an old Tom. We suspect he was abused previously. When we first got him he was terribly afraid of shoes, and would have nothing to do with men. This led to issues in my house as I am the cat person and my wife doesn’t really like them but OJ preferred to spend time with her when he was around, which wasn’t very often. OJ preferred being outside and was his own individual. During extreme weather moments, especially in the winter we saw him more than not. During the summer or other times of the year we would go for weeks without seeing him. He was also is a great mouser catching all kinds of wildlife and killing it, rabbits, mice, moles, birds, snakes, whatever. Sometimes he ate it, sometimes he didn’t. He brought us presents through the doggie door whenever he killed something. There were the times we found rabbits feet, other times, feathers, and even once a rabbits head. There was always this concept of pride he exhibited when he brought these things into the house and left them just inside the door. Of course, my wife didn’t like it. She scolded him but he didn’t care.

During a recent move we couldn’t find OJ, we looked for him, tried to find him but he wasn’t around. Then on a Friday I was at the old house to pick up the last of the remaining items and there he was. I put him into a pet carrier and took him to our new house. Something unusual started to happen though, after 2 ½ weeks he wouldn’t quit meowing. He was a very quite cat except when wanting something to eat, but he just wouldn’t stop his meowing. There was something else unusual though, he was constantly crying for, wanting, and seeking out our touch, not just my wife’s touch, but my touch. OJ changed.

Over a period of days OJ didn’t want to go outside. Instead, he demanded constant contact, to be touched, petted, loved on, all unusual attributes for him and something he hadn’t exhibited in over the 7 years we had him. Our cat was not who he used to be. He taught me a lesson.

I believe animals’ desire and want love and affection. I believe OJ wanted to be independent until he realized what it was he had lost. He realized in that almost 3 weeks, he had things better than he realized. He longed for love, touch, affection, and yes, even family.

I wonder sometimes how different are we as human beings. We often seek independence, even independence from God, yet sometimes when we loose it, we are the stubborn ones as we refuse to go back home to the place God wants us to be. We refuse the help and love of family and the lessons life has for us. The truth is; like OJ, love, and a better life is there, we just have to want it. Sometimes we have to do the simple things, like say I’m sorry, or to make decisions to go back home.

There is a story that Jesus tells about a rebellious son in the New Testament. The story is in the later stages of Luke Chapter 15. Ultimately, after loosing almost everything the rebellious son who wanted to live his own life realizes there are better things for him if he just goes home. Eventually the son does home and finds a totally loving and accepting father waiting for him, in fact, the father comes running to him.

I question for myself, am I willing to accept the good things in life or do I run from God, seeking to be independent. Do I value the things I have, like a loving father my God, a loving wife, friends and family? I suspect there are others like me; if so, you can learn the same lessons I have learned from our former cat named OJ. I enjoyed the times with that cat prior to having to let him go. Like the times he sat with me when I originally wrote this. But it was shortly thereafter that I learned another lesson. That is, when we get to the place we should be, then we can get to the place we were meant to be and destined to be.

For OJ that place was to be a farm cat, a mouser. He got to the place where he was miserable wanting outside all of the time. You see, while he needed his family while he needed that touch and love, he also needed to be free to be who God had created him to be. That Ol Tom whom neutering couldn’t even take away the desire, the desire to catch those mice was in his blood, it was in his DNA, it was who God created him to be.

We eventually placed an add on Craigslist and it was amazing, within an hour, we had a phone call from a lady who used to live near where we did in the country. She in fact needed a mouser to help keep the pests out of her barn. I can imagine now, when it is cold, OJ still gets to go inside, but he is at a place where he is being and accomplishing the very things God created him for. I have learned to realize, that those last months OJ sat on my lap, wanted my hand caressing his back was in reality more for me than it was for OJ. Sure, OJ got benefit from it, but so did I. For a period of time, I got to enjoy and share with him my love for cats. Even now, that old orange cat lingers in my memory. It is amazing, that cat desired my love, I was blessed to give it. I know God wants me, wants us to give it to others. Yet in the giving of love is also the understanding of the differences that exist among us all. Despite those differences, we can still for a time, both offer, and receive the love God intends, so that we can ultimately, like OJ go on to completing the purpose of which we were created.

My Lessons From A Dog Video fits in part this topic. To see the video just click on it, if the video doesn’t appear, click on the following link:

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