Two Socks and Two Boots: two six months old, or there abouts, kittens that have adopted me and my cat Orangie. You’ve seen their pictures all summer, but just in case you’ve forgotten, here’s a few more for good measure.
Autumn is setting and the weather is getting colder; the wind is starting to blow out of the Northwest, which never bodes well, and the nights are growing frosty. In preparation for the wintry season ahead, fur coats are coming in thick and fluffy, but imagine not knowing what winter is; imagine not knowing that there are months of cold and sleet and snow and freezing ahead. Unfortunately, I am not able to bring these little treasures of fur and curiosity inside the house to stay warm and snug during this brutal season. For one, they are simply too wild. Oh sure, they’ve grown accustomed to me. They know that whenever I come around, food and water are not far behind, and they know, with at least a bit of certainty, though not altogether, that I will not hurt them. But I cannot pet them (yet) and I certainly cannot trust them to not tear up the house, climb on anything and everything, use the curtains as a gymnasium and the floor as a potty (eeekkk!).
And Therein lies the conundrum. Because if I do nothing, they will be cold and miserable and possibly end up sick, all of which will gnaw at my conscience and keep me awake nights and distracted during the day. So, to remedy the situation, I purchased two fairly large rubber/plastic tubs, cut a door/hole in the lid for getting in and out, placed a box in the bottom half of each of them and filled the box with an old pillow and fleece blankets. Aaaahhhhhh, just the ticket for a kitty. Warm. Soft. Snug. Safe. One for each of them or enough room for both of them in one so they can snuggle up together.
However, this perfect set of circumstances hinges on at least one of them determining that this strange new thing in their environment is not a trap, doesn’t have some other wild creature already inside of it waiting to attack, and is, in fact, a better place to sleep than under the garden shed. Sounds simple enough, but in the mind of a kitten who has only a few months of experience to rely on and the instincts of a wild animal ever compelling it’s choices, what seems logical and rational to you or I is a frightening debacle for another.
As the nights grew chillier and chillier, being me, I began to say a prayer each evening that the Heavenly Father would send his Angels who minister to the animals (which is something I wholeheartedly believe, but perhaps is best left for another post) to guide my little babies into their new boxes so they will understand just how nice they are and how warm they can be during the cold, frosty nights. Not surprisingly, it does not take long before the discovery is made and, one night, when I go out to check on them before I, myself, snuggle into my warm bed, and I peek into the box in the dim light, I am delighted to find two little faces peering back at me.
Thank You! OH I’m so Happy! Now I can sleep without worrying…and I do.
Alas, the next morning, when I rush out the door on my way to work, I discover one kitten curled up in the flowerbed next to a large Mum plant, looking miserable, and one kitten knotted up (as I like to say when they are curled up tightly into a knot trying to keep warm) on the step.
Heartbreak crashes in on me. Why would they choose this rather than sleeping in their warm, snuggly box? Why choose Cold over Warm? Why choose misery over comfort? These thoughts distress me the day long and I spend much time contemplating how to make their boxes even more inviting so they will, in fact, use them. Perhaps I can place a small amount of food inside each to lure them in. Perhaps I can open them up for a little while longer until they get used to them. Perhaps they aren’t roomy enough. A hundred possible solutions tumble through my mind, distracting me from my work, deterring me from my prayers, keeping me on a knife’s edge of doubt and anxiety.
That same day, while I’m on my way home from work and I am praying even more diligently for guidance and an answer, I suddenly have a revelation. (again, not too surprisingly)
Is this how God feels when He provides safety, assurance, happiness, health and prosperity for me (us), but I choose, instead, to go my own separate way? Is this torrent of concern and upheaval of emotion what God experiences when He holds in His Hands every good Blessings He can bestow, just waiting for me to receive them, but I turn my head and search the world for its hollow treasures? Is this sadness similar to what besieges the Lord when He offers His Love and His Perfect Care for me (us), yet I walk away, choosing instead to live out in the cold, in misery and suffering rather than simply trusting Him and stepping into the new environment of Warmth and Comfort He has provided?
If this set of circumstances has come about and has distracted me so entirely for this one purpose; so that I might better understand God’s Love, then these two little kittens are a Blessing Indeed.
I am happy to tell you that Two Socks and Two Boots have figured out how wonderful their new box is and they sleep in it, snuggled up together, every night.