Thursday, May 31, 2012

Taking Up the Bowls

Cooper is a 9 year old grey tabby & we have history. I still remember the day my roommate & I drove out to the middle of nowhere to meet him. He was just a kitten then. He had been abandoned in the first weeks of his life & his stomach was all swollen from malnourishment & worms. It took him 2 weeks before he would even venture out from under the furniture to greet us. It was another 2 months before his swelling disappeared. Cooper spent 5 years with my cat (who has since passed due to liver failure). They were tight... so much so, that when my roommate moved out, we decided it would be best to keep them together. After my cat died however, I sent Cooper home to transition into a new life.

Cooper is like my own. I get to see him often & occasionally watch him for my friend. This week is one such time. I went to bed shortly after midnight lastnight & he woke me at 5 this morning. I got up, gave him some food & laid back down, only to be wakened by the sound of cupboard doors slamming. If I don't take up his bowls, he will slide the one all over the kitchen, tip all the water out of the other, knock stuff off shelves  & find other interesting ways to make noise. So I took his bowls & stayed up while he wound down. He wandered for a bit, came back to the living room & fell asleep. As for me, I'm awake & anticipating a much needed nap before work today.

I used to be angry that he would get me up & then go off somewhere to fall asleep, but now I think I understand why he does it. I don't think it has anything to do with him being a cat. I think it has more to do with security. Most little kids want their parents to stay with them & watch them fall asleep. Why? Is it a "look what I can do!" scenario? No. But there's a sense of security in being watched, or knowing someone is present, vigilant. If a parent leaves their child awake, the child's innate desire for food or water or some other necessity always seems to present itself. Its not so much about having food & water, but security. Sometimes I have to take up the bowls to get Cooper focused on the reality that he's been given everything he needs for the moment. I take up the bowls to remind him of the security of my presence. He's not just some cat to me. And we are not just some human to God... He is present, vigilant to watch over us, whether we are awake or asleep. Sometimes He has to "take up our bowls" to help us focus on the reality that we have been given everything we need for the moment...

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