Over the past few months, there have been changes in our household. Our daughter has temporarily moved in with us. She has a cat named Shadow, whom she rescued off the streets of Port Angeles. He is now strictly an inside-the-house cat.
I’m thinking he may have originally been an indoor–outdoor pet, though. To me, Shadow has behavioral traits that might indicate so. For example, he is deathly afraid of strangers, which I associate with outdoor cats. Yet, he also has “pampered” aspects to him, like constantly demanding attention.
We have two cats, Alicia (“my second wife”), and her son, Cameron. They are strictly indoor cats. Alicia is 16 years old and “owns” me. You might describe this as an unhealthy obsession. She is small, weighing only about 14 pounds, but is an absolute spitfire. She doesn’t always take well to other human beings. She often hisses at them. The vet says she doesn’t look her age. She could easily live another 5 years or so.
Cameron was one of her kittens. He is about 15 years old and grew to be almost twice Alicia’s size. Cameron is a gentle giant — once 23 pounds, now in decline. He has lost a lot of weight. He will have to be put down soon. I am dreading that day.
It all begins in the morning in the living room when I raise the shade over the east side window. The sun rises. It will cast rays of bright light onto an expanse of carpet. This draws all three cats into the same space. They love the warmth.
Unfortunately, I need to constantly intervene, to step in, “play God” and referee. Why such a challenge? Why do they have trouble getting along? Here’s a partial list of possible excuses: 1) family ties or lack thereof; 2) differences in personalities; 3) personal issues; 4) different genetic mix (tribal); 5) established or new to the land (turf).
As human beings, we consider ourselves to be of a higher order than such animals. Yet, we will often display the exact same traits.
As Christians, we are to be transformed, be of a new nature in Christ. When we receive the light of Christ, that warms our souls and very being, what form do our shadows take?
Are they cast revealing the loving nature of the giver of light?
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for 30 years.