Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 18, 2013

Life Lessons from Abby Cat, by David Bower

A New Member of the Family

Seven years had passed since our last cat died of old age; we had tried to convince ourselves we were too old to add another cat member to our family and that had worked for awhile until a fateful day in July of 2009. I had taken my wife’s car into the dealership for routine maintenance when during a stroll around the used car lot I happened to see a black and white clump that looked suspiciously like a kitten sleeping under a used car.

Being of a curious nature I walked over to the car and saw a small black and white kitten who just happened to have one of the cutest little faces I had seen in a long time. When I spoke to the kitten she looked up and my heart melted; I knew my resolve not to own another cat was in grave danger. Just about that time a used car salesman walked up behind me and asked me if I wanted a cat? He went on to explain that this little stray had been hanging around the lot for about a week and they would feed it scraps from their lunches occasionally.

About that time the kitten emerged from under the car ready to play; she came out in what we later came to call her ninja cat position standing on her back legs with her front legs stretched out over her head. Here is a picture of her in her ninja cat mode harassing a piece of paper on a string:

Ninja Cat

Ninja Cat

Recalling our agreement I knew I had to call home and see what my wife thought about having another kitten; I called and told her I was in trouble, hastening to assure her that I was OK but had come face to face with one of the cutest kittens I had ever seen. We quickly agreed that this one would be an exception to our resolution and that I would bring her home. I then faced the problem of trying to catch her and finally, with the help of a nice lady, was able to get her into a box to carry her to her new forever home.

When we got her home she disappeared behind the washer and dryer and wouldn’t come out. Not wanting to rush her adjustment to her new home we decided to let her take her time getting acclimated to us and her new surroundings. Because of our seven year old resolution we had gotten rid of all of our cat equipment so we had to start over and get her everything new. One of the items was a scratching post bunk which she still uses and just happens to be in this afternoon as I write this.

Abby in Her New Bunk Bed

Abby in her new bunk bed

The photo above was taken on July 22, 2009; the photo below shows her ladyship reclining in the same bunk. Don’t let that calm expression fool you though; she still likes to run and play in a very kittenish way and could be out of that bunk in a half second.

Abby in Bunk 8-20-12

 Abby today (her fur is even thicker and softer than it looks)

Just like every other cat that has been a member of our family, Abby has a unique personality that is hers alone. She is a very special family member that brings her own combination of personality traits to our family and has greatly enriched our lives. The fact of the matter is that Abby has taught me a great deal about my relationship to my Heavenly Father.

Life Lessons from Abby Cat

From time to time I reflect on the progression of events that brought Abby into our lives and began to see some interesting parallels between her life in our family and the believer’s life in God’s heavenly family. Initially Abby was living in a used car lot on the frontage road of US 59 and this became a point for consideration as we quickly debated her future with us. We both had mental images of her wandering out on the frontage road and getting injured or killed. Before we join God’s family we too are living in a dangerous world and are exposed to dangers and threats that can continue into eternity.

When Abby joined our family she was moved into a protected environment and has since lived her life protected from the dangers present in the used car lot. When we, as Christians, join God’s family we are eternally protected from the second death and the judgment to come. Although we, at present, still live in the world and are surrounded by dangers we have the eternal spiritual protection provided by our loving Heavenly Father.

We are left in the world and exposed to many trials and temptations as a part of God’s process in each of our lives to conform us to the image of His Son. We are all works in progress and can be assured that this work in our lives will be completed perfectly by God in His appointed way and according to His predetermined time table.

A Scaredy  Cat

Promise me you won’t tell Abby I told you, but she’s a scaredy cat. When just the three of us are at home, most of the time you would think that Abby is a mighty ninja cat who doesn’t know the meaning of fear. Let the door bell ring and she retreats under the bed and won’t come out. Visitors to our house have to take our word for it that we even have a cat because Abby is nowhere to be seen. Her keen ears can detect when everyone is gone and she reappears within seconds of the last departure.

We are so much like that and our Heavenly Father must be either amused with us of saddened by our behavior when we react fearfully to circumstances. We would love for our friends and family to see and enjoy Abby with us but this is not to be as Abby seems to think anything out of the normal is a fearful threat to her personal safety.  How often do we go around suffering in anticipation of things which never happen?

The Bible tells us in  Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” This is just one of many verses that seeks to reassure us of God’s love and hand of protection over us; why do we so often act as if we don’t think He really means it?

Our Commitment to Abby

When we brought Abby into our family we accepted an obligation to love her and care for her. She is totally dependent on us for her food, water, and general care. We take that obligation very seriously and regularly devote the needed time to her well being; in the morning she eats first, has her litter box cleaned, fresh water poured and her floor swept before anything else gets done. We do this because of our love for her and our feelings of responsibility for her well being. We too are totally dependent on our Heavenly Father for all things; there is nothing we will ever have independent of His grace and mercy.

If we, with our flawed sinful natures can do this for our Abby Cat then what can we reasonably expect from our Heavenly Father who is perfect in His love for us? First of all the eternal heavenly things are all prepared for us. Second the Lord is working all things together for our good. Third the Lord is conforming us to the image of His Son and fourth the Lord’s love for us is absolutely certain and eternal. All of this is promised in Romans 8:28-39 which I encourage you to read again.

Abby in her bunk 3-25-2010 017

Abby in her bunk

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!


Responses

  1. Amen. Thanks Uncle David. I would like to see this amazing Ninja cat someday.

    Warren Taylor
    202-375-9282 (M)

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  2. Thank you, David. Our hearts are in total agreement! And I love the photos of your fur baby. 🙂

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  3. Oh… what a treat this was to read this morning! I just loved it. I need to be reminded sometimes how much the Lord loves and cares for us. Especially when I let “fear” creep in to my thoughts!
    Thank you so much for sharing! I also shared with all my FB friends!

    Have a wonderful day!

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  4. Interesting piece. So now you are a part of Abby’s staff. D. Subject: [New post] Life Lessons from Abby Cat, by David Bower

    davidbowerkingwood posted: “A New Member of the Family Seven years had passed since our last cat died of old age; we had tried to convince ourselves we were too old to add another cat member to our family and that had worked for awhile until a fateful day in July of 2009. I had tak”

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  5. THIS is beautifully written…thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful thoughts with me… I enjoy them so much and they are all so thought provoking and I reread each of them often….I thank my daughter Kirsten for introducing you to me……  

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  6. Wow David, what an analogy! I love animals so I could feel your emotion. Thank you! Elaine

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  7. I wonder if Abby Cat knows how famous she is. I don’t know many who are painted, quoted, photographed and offer life lessons on a regular basis but remain so humble and shy. Thank you Abby Cat for today’s lesson. David you did a nice job of transcribing her thoughts. Great team work!

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  8. What a GREAT article and the analogy is so perfect! Thanks David!

    Like


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