I have loved many pets in my life; hamsters, fish, dogs and most
recently a couple of cats; Watson and Zorro. Oh, how I love those two. Watson passed away a year ago but Zorro is still with us. Watson and Zorro are snugglers in their own right but are mostly a contrast of individuality. There is one memory where both are significantly different from each other.
I don’t have the heart to put my cats through de-clawing (I
once was a vet tech and assisted with the surgery) so I take on the
responsibility of trimming their nails. Yes, for their whole lives!
I flip the cats onto their backs in my lap and trim away. As you can imagine, getting a cat to cooperate with your control over any part of their lives is a challenge. Both cats started into this routine when they were kittens and I definitely had to train them on how to lie still, and tolerate, the trimming.
Watson accepted the process, would lie still, almost
contentedly, and allow me to get rid of the excess nail that would hook in the
carpet or accidentally scratch a child. He would jump off my lap and stretch happily, extending his claws and trying on the new fit. Occasionally I would hear a “purrrrr!”
Zorro on the other hand has fought me every time. When he was little it took quite a while to get through all four paws. He has eventually acknowledged that I will win and he has to lay there until I am finished. BUT, the entire time he looks me straight in the eye and moans, growls, sighs, whines and whimpers. Vaulting off my lap, he runs as fast and as far away from me as possible.
Quite the contrast, eh? It made me think of these verses:
John 15:1-2 NLT – “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.”
Trimming my cat’s claws was an act of love. Trimming their nails prevented them from getting stuck in the carpet or snagging clothes. It was also an act that protected their people. You see the people who love them the most want to pick them up and snuggle. They want to share their love. But left to themselves, they hurt the ones they love. They needed me to “prune” their claws!
It made me look at how I respond to Christ and his work in me. Have I accepted: that his pruning is for my best? That it helps me to not wound the ones I love? That it brings out in me, His love?
So I admit it, I am often a Zorro at heart. I get it… but I don’t like it. I tolerate it …but I don’t rejoice in it.
But on occasion, abiding in the vine pays off, and the Watson in me, a heart saturated in God, comes through. I am happy to give up what hurts myself and wounds others. And sometimes the purrrr even comes out in song!
©Cheryl Meakins, Meakins Speak, LLC. 2011