Biblical Truths I Learned From My Cats: You’re Always Welcome At Home

It amuses me what God sometimes uses to teach us lessons. Lately, it seems my four cats (and others in my life) have been the source of a few biblical truths.


You’re Always Welcome At Home

So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

Luke 15:20


Jack_sleeping.JPGJack is a young orange tabby who belongs to my sister. He is a sweet, energetic young cat with unquenchable curiosity and superior hunting skills. Here in Florida, many of us have a lanai – a large, screened area of our backyard, often enclosing a swimming pool. This is Jack’s favorite hangout. Mostly because of the lizards. Jack loves hunting lizards. My sister finds them in her house on a regular basis. Sometimes they’re dead – other times, not so much. Jack doesn’t care if he actually kills the lizard. It’s all about the hunt. He loves being outside so much that she installed a “kitty door” so he can go in and out as he wishes, safe inside the screened lanai.

My sister’s previous home did not have a lanai, only a small screened porch. Jack was terribly curious about the great outdoors, and would make an effort to scoot out the door every time one was opened. Usually we were very cautious and managed to keep him indoors. One night, however, he slipped past and escaped through the open garage door.

I drove the hour to her house. We spent hours looking for that cat. My sister walked for miles, calling him, looking under bushes and cars, winding behind homes. We drove all around her neighborhood, and after dark, drove around more. At two a.m., we finally decided to try to get some sleep. She was consumed with worry about him. We made posters to put up the next morning, and fell into bed about three a.m.

At six-thirty the next morning, she woke me. Bleary-eyed, I stared at what she held in her arms – little Jack, purring away. She was so happy he was home, snuggling him and petting him. I’ll be honest – I wasn’t quite as forgiving. I was still annoyed at having to drop everything and drive an hour to her house, then spent hours looking for the little bugger. She, however, was only focused on the fact that he was home safe. Jack was no worse for the wear, and after a good meal, crashed on the screened porch for a nap.

Sometimes we all have a desire to wander off, to go looking for something more, to see if there’s anything bigger or better out there, much like the prodigal son in the book of Luke. We wander away from God in search of worldly things. Often, it’s not even intentional. We just look up and suddenly realize we’ve wandered quite a distance from God. Things that far away aren’t nearly as good as we thought they might be.  Sometimes we wonder if God would even take us back.

But here’s the good news. Just like my sister welcomed Jack, the father’s reception of his son is a picture of God’s love for us. He took his son, who had been lost but was now found, in his arms and hugged him. Then proceeded to have a party. God delights in our return to Him, too. He desires nothing more than for His children to come to Him, to be in His presence.  Job 22:23 promises that if we return to the Almighty, we will be restored. Hosea 6:1 promises that if we return, we will be healed. And James 4:8 declares that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.

If you’ve suddenly looked up and found yourself feeling far from God, all you have to do is turn around. He is already filled with compassion for you. If you let Him, like the prodigal’s father, He will run to you and welcome you back. And heaven will throw a party.

In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:10 NIV



Biblical Truths I Learned From My Cats: Enjoy Life

It amuses me what God sometimes uses to teach us lessons. Lately, it seems my four cats (and others in my life) have been the source of a few biblical truths.


Enjoy Life

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 

John 10:10


Leo_bedLeo is my youngest cat. He is the most energetic, the most playful, the most destructive, and by far the most annoying. He’s also the biggest cuddler, when he’s in the mood. He is the only foster kitten I’ve kept so far, and some days, I question the wisdom of that decision.

If nothing else, however, Leo has entertainment value. Everything is a toy to Leo. Although my cats have a basket of safe cat toys, Leo would rather chew electrical cords and steal ponytail elastics. He’ll chew plastic shopping bags, steal straws from drinks and plastic water bottle caps. I find them every time I move a piece of furniture. He’s two years old, and should’ve outgrown most of the “kitten crazy,” but he’ll still attack your toes if you move them under the bed covers. When it comes to relaxing, he is just as dedicated. He can sprawl out in a patch of sunshine on the floor or on the back of a chair near a window and just chill for hours. If nothing else, this boy knows how to enjoy life.

It’s very easy to become so busy with all the things we must do. I don’t know about you, but my life often seems to be whizzing by at breakneck speed, always another appointment, commitment, or deadline in front of me. I can’t recall the last time I was bored. The to-do list just goes on and on. And if I’m not careful, I end up using every minute of my day trying to catch up, staying up late at night to finish things I didn’t get done during the day (case in point —I’m writing this at midnight) , and spending my weekend hours doing the housework that didn’t get done because I was busy doing the other things I had to do.

When Jesus said He came so that we could have life, and have it abundantly, I don’t think He meant for our lives to be a constant whirlwind of work. “Abundant” means over-sufficient, abounding, more than adequate – but I don’t think that’s referring to an abundance of work. I think Jesus wanted us not only to have life but also to enjoy it. To spend time with our family and friends, to relax, and to take the time to enjoy the world His Father created.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m terrible at making time to play, and even worse at relaxation, but I’m trying. I need to spend more time hanging out with my husband on the beach on weekends, or playing games with my kids. I’d even love to find some time just to sit and read one of the many books on my to-be-read list. Most importantly, I need to make sure my time with my heavenly Father is a priority, if only to thank Him for all the beautiful blessings in my life.

Perhaps my Leo takes having life abundantly a bit far, but then again, maybe he’s setting a good example. Find ways to enjoy the life God has given you, and get plenty of rest. Pretty good advice, for a cat.



Biblical Truths I Learned From My Cats: Be Bold

It amuses me what God sometimes uses to teach us lessons. Lately, it seems my four cats (and others in my life) have been the source of a few biblical truths.


Be Bold

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:6, ESV


TophToph is not actually my cat. Technically, she belongs to Cat Depot, the organization for whom I foster kittens. She was only a month old when she was found running in circles on a busy street because she is completely blind. The vet said she’d probably been blind from birth, most likely from infection as a newborn. This little thing, who weighed less than half a pound, had somehow survived at least four weeks with no vision whatsoever. My children dubbed her Toph after a heroine in an animated TV series – a warrior girl who is blind.

Toph has lived up to her name. She’s never had any sight, but that doesn’t stop her from trying the same things I’ve watched many other kittens learn to do. At first, she was a little cautious, but then she learned to trust that if she were headed for danger, we would stop her. While she’s still confined most of the time to a large ferret cage for her own safety, she gets around just fine. She can find her bed, her litter box, her food and water bowls, and even her toys, by feel and sound and smell. She can climb the ramps to the other levels of the cage. When we let her out, she runs around the living room floor, and seems to know exactly where the furniture is. If you shake her ball that rattles, she will turn and immediately pounce right on it. It may take her a bit longer to figure things out such as how to maneuver a ramp, but she never hesitates to try. When I recently introduced her to another kitten so she’d have some company, she boldly began pawing all over him, “feeling” to see what he was. Then, deeming him an appropriate playmate, promptly pounced on him.

Why can’t we have that same approach to new things in our lives? We should never let fear (or our own limitations) prevent us from going after whatever He sets before us, even if it means stepping outside our comfort zones. God promises He will always be with us, that He will never leave us or forsake us. He tells us to be brave and courageous. We may not always be able to see where He’s taking us, but we know if we trust Him, He’ll take us someplace awesome. If a blind kitten can be bold, why shouldn’t we pounce on every opportunity we can, knowing our God is right there with us?

I know I’m already approaching crazy cat lady status … but I just might keep this little blind kitten to remind me that I don’t have to see where I’m going to know my God’s got this.