A few years ago my son and daughter and I went on an adventure to the Philippines. There were so many amazing sights. One thing that made me giggle and almost roll my eyes was that in the extremely wealthy areas people dressed their dogs in clothes, shoes and hats. Yet much of the Philippines were so poor that many people did not have proper attire, food and clean water. Those diverse sights still run through my mind. Some things just do not make sense.
One thing for sure, in my reasoning, I would never allow a pet to have higher honor than a person, period. I am a people person, not an animal person. I have said it for years. My opinion is pretty set. I believe people put too much emphasis on their pets and not enough on their people. Scriptures tell me that the Lord came to save people not animals. My focus needs to be on people, to love people, yet care for animals. Lord, help me. He did.
After that visit to the Philippines, I noticed the priority we Americans give to our beloved pets as well. Surely we were not so extravagant to dress our animals. Then almost as soon as I returned from that trip five years ago, I began enjoying videos with goats in pajamas. I could not help, but watch them. They made me smile ear to ear. One friend takes his dog to work on the road and posts pictures daily of his dog’s adventures on the road. I cannot wait to view each of his dog’s trips to various places.
My own family started a collection of outfits for our beloved Shih Tzu, Snickers, about three years back. Snickers actually had a pink Tutu and she did not dance. Have we all gone animal nuts?
This past year a friend told me his cat, whom he owned for eight years started to attack him routinely. This information amused me at first, then I realized he was distressed over the ankle bites at random.
Now, I still won’t admit to being a pet lover. I am a people lover. So I asked my friend if I could take his cat and see if she would settle down with me. I consulted a few long time cat owners and discovered female cats can be quite temperamental. Sometimes a female cat will refuse a man owner. I became a cat owner.
This cat was perfect for me. She was older and preferred being left alone, fed routinely and a clean soft place to nap. I provided what she wanted and we got along. After a couple weeks she actually began to follow me or need to be near me. I reminded her she was not a people person anymore than I was a cat person. Being a typical cat, she ignored me. She began watching me sleep and sat near at all meals and under my feet when studying at my desk. There were certain movies she liked better than others.
The pandemic created a situation where the only other being in my life for days would be the cat. I began to understand her agitation with flickering lights at dusk. She actually communicated that she hated mice and we agreed together she would rid the house of mice if I gave her small bites of my tuna regularly. But in no way was I ever to put clothing or a hat on her. We had a firm agreement.
My work area shifted and the decision to move in my work area was made. No pets allowed. I began to pray for a good home for my cat. Her former owner also began to pray for her future home. Comforted by the fact the Lord cares about what we care about kept me searching for my cat. I did make sure I prayed more for the people in my life twice as much as the cat in my life.
Through a Facebook post a Facebook friend agreed to take my cat. The day I took her to her new home was a hard day. What had happened? Did I become a cat lady? The cat and I pulled up to her new home and I realized she had arrived to my dream home long before I did. Her home was on twenty acres of beautiful land, surrounded by woods and ponds. The long lane leading back to her nine-bedroom log cabin was lined with mature trees. The home was a picturesque working farm with llamas, horses, goats, chickens, dogs, and other cats among kind children and much family love. As I carried the cat in, I commented, “Forget this cat. Please let me stay here!” The family I believe would have taken me in as well. My cat made it to the best cat home ever. I drove back to the city and planned the move to an inner city apartment behind dumpsters. My new home is also a blessing and I am quite content here. The unnerving thought is I became a pet lover, prayed for a cat, and saw an answer to those prayers. The Lord taught me patience and more understanding for all those pet lovers I come across in my line of work. Thank you Lord.
Written by the Rev. DeVon Davis, Chaplain Heartland Hospice, Pickaway County Ministerial Association for The Circleville Herald.