I have a loudly purring cat sitting on my lap. If I stop petting her, she gently nips my arm. Ahem, she says, keep scritching those ears!
In spite of the purring, this is one majorly disgruntled kitty. Usually quite friendly, she’s currently furious with me. I had the audacity to scoop her out of her kitty bed, where she was happily dreaming of tuna, and shove her into a pet carrier even before she had her eyes open. Even worse, I put that carrier into a car and drove for 45 minutes. She hates being in a moving car!
Once she arrived at some unknown destination, she was carted down a flight of stair and unceremoniously dumped out into a scary, dark basement. Yeah, there was canned food (not the usual kibble) and water and a comfy bed, a litter box and friendly people. But it wasn’t home. In all her 18 years, she’d never had to put up with this sort of indignity!
She promptly wedged herself into a corner of the room, between a storage box and a cement wall, and refused to budge. She actually looked pretty ridiculous, with her head and upper body crammed into a space much too narrow for her, and her hind quarters and tail fanning out in back. I wish I’d taken a picture!
A week went by, a week in which she had no idea why she was living in this not-home place. I visited, petted, fussed, and fed her treats, but she was not a happy kitty. Then finally I came back to take her home.
The basement was quiet. “Here kitty, kitty….” No cat. “Ssswi-ssswi-ssswi….” No cat. “Here kitty, kitty, come on out now!” No cat.
“She was here this morning!” my friend Linda assured me.
“Here kitty, kitty….” We hunted all over the unfinished basement, in storage boxes, under tables, on shelves. No cat. We checked upstairs, in case she had somehow escaped while we were carrying the food and litter box to my car. No cat. She couldn’t have just vaporized, could she?
Finally, almost an hour later, Linda moved a bag of quilting supplies so she could lift a partially inflated wading pool that was lying on some foam rubber pads. We separated the pads and there she was, glaring at us. Hello kitty.
Poor kitty suffered though another humiliating car ride in the pet carrier, howling all the way. Happily, this ride only lasted about ten minutes, as the roadblocks were gone. I toted her into my converted-garage office, where she has lived since last year when Pete discovered he’s allergic to cats. She wouldn’t leave the carrier.
Finally, she came out to sniff at her food and water dishes, check out the litter box, and finally settle down in her fur-lined bed. She looked pretty content, until I walked over to pet her. She bit me. Think she’s still mad?
Of course, what our cat doesn’t know is that she was evacuated from a deadly forest fire. Yes, our house survived, but we had no assurance of that when we left in such a rush last week. No one was home to feed her, refresh her water, or clean her litter box. Temperatures in the house soared with all the windows closed up and days in the high 90s. She would have been much worse off here than she was in our friends’ basement. But how do you explain that to a cat?
The analogy is obvious. How many times do we complain to God about our circumstances, when we really have no idea what the big picture is? We can complain about being in the basement, but maybe that’s because we’re being saved from burning. It’s a good reminder for when I feel like grumbling. I don’t want to be the one howling all the way home.