I'm not a cat lover

I am not a cat person. Never have been. Never planned to be one. I could not have imagined any circumstances in which I would have any possible reason to be persuaded to be one. I just don’t like them – and, if that’s not enough, my whole body joins me in my resistance. I touch one, or get near one, or spend time in a car with someone else who held their cat before meeting me, and I sneeze and wheeze. My eyes itch and water and turn red. If I mistakenly touch a cat, even if I wash immediately, I get hives. Trust me, cats are just not my thing.

A few months ago, we moved into the house next door to my sister. They have an outside cat named Hudson. My daughter Anna adores him and carries him in her arms like a baby. She brushes him, feeds him, brings him cat toys. My husband stoops to pet him whenever he walks by. Did I ever touch Hudson myself? No. Did I pretend to like him? No. But, perversely, he took an instant liking to me – me over anyone else. It seems that is what most cats do.

So, anyway, as the weather turned colder, my family became worried about Hudson. Never mind that he has a thick coat of fur and that animals were designed by God to live outside. But finally I gave in to the pleading and allowed them to let Hudson into our laundry room, just inside the back door. He cannot go into the house because my allergies truly won’t permit that (however, try explaining that to a cat).

Many times this winter, I would notice Hudson looking through the door at me. He would stand on his hind legs and paw at the glass with an anxious look on his face. So, assuming he needed to be let out, I would go back there and open the back door. Hudson would sit down and look at me, or walk over to his food dish and nibble on a bite or two. He would then proceed to ignore me, pretending that the door is not being held wide open. Exasperated, I’d go back to whatever I was doing. A little later, I would notice him again, and go back to let him out. Again, he would ignore the door and come towards me, doing figure 8’s around my ankles or just looking at me. A friend of mine who IS a cat person explained it to me. Cats choose their humans (not the other way around). I am his human, and it’s an irreversible, irrevocable thing. It’s not because I wanted to be, or did anything to earn it. Not because I was nice to him or loved him first. It’s simply because he chose me. When I thought he wanted to go out, he really just wanted me to come spend time with him. She said her cat will only eat when she’s there watching him. It’s a sign of affection and attachment.

Although I hate to say it, I see a connection to God. He chose us, simply because He loves us, not because we first wanted Him, not because of anything we did for Him. It’s an unshakable thing (much more permanent than the affections of a feline, no matter how determined). Sometimes we feel Him calling to us and wonder what He wants. Perhaps he wants us to come to Him and just sit, quietly, together. And one of the millions of really great things about Jesus? He won’t make you itch or break out in hives. He might make you dance, though, or lift your hands in praise, or feel compassion on your neighbor or rethink the way you treat people. He might change your heart and mind and soul from the inside out, and transform you into someone you never thought or even dared hope you would be. But no matter what, he’ll never make you sneeze.

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