We’ve recently adopted an abandoned cat. Someone dumped her, and we suspect a sister or two, in our neighborhood. Truly feral cats will have nothing to do with people. But this cat, we named her Miss Kitty, willingly allows us to pet her. But that is only the background, for a few weeks later we discovered she was pregnant.
In the course of time she disappeared for a couple of days, it was evident that she gave birth. We didn’t know where but knew in time the kittens would make an appearance. A few weeks later, we caught sight of them in the hostas surrounding our decked front porch. There were six altogether each with its one unique color and temperament.
Knowing we couldn’t keep them all, we began to consider which ones to keep and which to seek new homes for. I chose Boots, an orange tiger with white socks. She has a temperament like her mama and was always the first of the litter to greet you. Betty chose Callie, a longer-haired calico. But Callie wasn’t her first name, that was Spooks since she was always the first of the litter to run and hide.
The interesting part is what happened about six weeks later. In the in-between time, we did find a home for the other four. We also tried hard to win Callie over. While Miss Kitty and Boots willingly let us pet them Callie wouldn’t let us close. She’d even stay out of reach while the other two were eating and would only join once we were back inside.
One day Miss Kitty showed up for breakfast, but the kittens didn’t show up. The same thing happened that evening and the next morning, Miss Kitty but no kittens. We were worried and not worried. They’ll show up when they get hungry enough. Later that day, we saw them playing outside our metal Morton Building shed, which is about 50 yards from the house. But they still stayed away until the next morning when Boots showed up for breakfast. Callie held out until that night.
Callie changed at that point. It’s like that whole staying away until she was ready was a way of choosing us. It feels like she adopted us more than us adopting her. She was still easily spooked but did allow us to pet her during feeding times.
And then the coyotes howled. One night, a week or so after I had written the initial draft of this piece, Miss Kitty went missing, and the kittens clung near our house. At the time we thought that either she was weaning the kittens or the coyotes got her. That was nearly two weeks ago, and the coyotes now seem more likely. I’d like to think that she sacrificed herself to save the kittens, but I don’t know that. Since then Callie as fully bonded with us. She will come up to be petted and does not run away when we open the doors.
Yet, this is more than just a cat story. Callie’s journey asks us about our relationship with Jesus. We often accept the good things from Jesus, like Callie, but not let Him get too close. In a way, He’s adopted us, but we have yet to adopt him. Perhaps we come around only when we’re hungry but fear to let Jesus get close.
We need to make the same choice of adopting and bonding with Jesus as Callie did to us. Choosing Him as our Lord instead of only nibbling on the morsels of faith. It means letting Jesus come close to touch us and hold us. Even seeking out that touch and allowing Him to heal our deep secret heart wounds we hide from ourselves. So often all we want is to be fed and satisfied when Jesus has so much more for us.
Paul put it this way, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20, NASB95) There’s a line in a song I heard a long time ago, “I’m yours Lord, everything I’ve got, everything I am, everything I’m not.” That, in essence, was Callie’s choice. That should also be our choice and declaration to Jesus.