I wake early and come out to the room where he is usually snoozing on the back of the couch, in the window. It is odd not to have him there.
Blessed are those who mourn, I remember, for they shall be comforted.
I was telling her about when he was a kitten.
How we had Crate and Barrel both jump from one papasan chair to another, moving them father apart each time.
How no matter how cozy they were, curled up in balls in one room, when I walked to the other room of the apartment they would rise immediately to follow me. Even if I told them not too, that I’d be right back. “They weren’t obedient, were they, Mom?”
How I would tick my tongue (tsk) at them if they were doing something wrong and they would freeze, and look at me!
How I prayed over them when they first came, that their lives in our home would somehow serve God. They blinked at me, I remember. They were pretty wild.
We hadn’t done research, didn’t know how many of our friends were allergic to cats. So we lost some chances for hospitality, or had to take it to restaurants and other places.
When the baby came I threatened the cats, mama cat style, “If you harm this baby you will die!” Crate stayed away from her. Barrel let her lie all over him, fall on him, hug him.
When Barrel died, Crate became more of a lap cat. He still stayed away from children, but he loved an adult lap. Especially during a Bible study!
He flew on airplanes twice, coast to coast.
He hated car rides, but became resigned to them after an hour in the car.
He fled the wildfire with us, and was a refugee in a friend’s home and in a hotel bathroom.
He got to be an outdoor cat in the 4 months here before the fire but pretty much all his life with us he was an indoor cat.
In the end he staggered around.
He’d had antibiotics, bloodwork to check where the problem might be (It eliminated his major organs except lungs or intestine, so probably it was one of those.) and still his health declined pretty rapidly.
The vet kept offering lifesaving measures. Science to find out what was wrong and prolong his days.
I found myself fighting them.
It was as if I knew somehow that his time had come.
Now it is time to practice life-giving grief.
We do not grieve as those who have no hope, Paul writes in I Thess. 4 and while that is about believers who die, we practice it as believers ourselves.
We trust Jesus who said that there will be a new creation, a new heaven and earth, and there will be animals.
If all creation is longing for the sons of God to be revealed, do they not partake in our redemption? Would not the animals of a believing household partake in that hope of resurrection?
As far as we can see it, we have hope.
But we know and rely on the love God has for us, whether or not we see Crate again in the land of the living.
In thanks for Crate’s life, I look to God.
In hope for our family’s strengthening through the pain of loss, I look to God.
In acknowledgement of my inability to bring about righteousness, I look to God.
For his work in me through all things I thank and praise the Lord.
How about you? Are you grieving?
Have you walked through the valley and come out rejoicing?
May we pray for each other here, in the comments?