We have a lot of pets; two large dogs, two cats and a tank full of fish. In our house, the policy with cats is that they are allowed, well encouraged, to go outside. On most days this means leaving the house early in the morning while it’s still dark, returning when the sun rises, and then seeing how many times in a day they can get us to do the dance of going in and out. We believe that cats are meant to roam, and are happiest with that freedom.
Whenever we go on vacation and have someone take care of our pets, our attitude about the cats makes them uncomfortable. We assure the caregiver that they have no responsibility to the felines, and to simply respond to them if they see them. It especially makes professional pet care people crazy because they worry the cats will disappear on their watch.
Our family has a cat named Nala. She is tiny and beautiful, all black with the sweetest heart I have seen in a kitty. Everybody loves her, and she seems to love us equally. We have had Nala for a year now, and she craves time outdoors as much as she loves sleeping with one of us every night. Yesterday she went outside after school and didn’t return before bedtime like she normally does. We called for her, looked all around and eventually went to bed with that unsettled feeling. It may sound silly, but I woke up a couple of times through the night and prayed for the safety of the cat.
This morning I went to the door, hoping to find her there, waiting. No kitty. I did the usual morning routine and suddenly the dogs were jumping at the door, making a lot of noise and there she was: Nala had returned. I threw the door open and grabbed her up and loved on that silly cat. I was really happy to see that she had returned. Again.
We really are no different, are we? God allows us to roam as we want, hoping that we will return to Him, ready to receive us with open arms. Life would be easier if we kept our cats in the safety of the home, always wondering what was outside. But, like God, we believe that the best relationships are the ones that choose to be there.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20