December 1, 2010
OK, so the last one is a little off-color. Big deal, it's a cat. A cat that is on my bed! (Ironically, the book you can see at the top right of the picture is by Ray Comfort.) Basement Cat (also called "Pay Pay", but that is not my idea) likes to lay on her back, and is showing off after getting a haircut. Someone told me that laying on the back is a sign of trust, or contentment. I have lived with cats off and on for most of my life and never seen that behavior before this one came along.
So many of my articles come from springboards in my daily experience. Several times, I have marveled at the responsibility that pet owners are accepting. This is a living thing, and it's life is in your hands. (If you drop a domesticated creature off in the wild, so help me...) I had some rats for a while. Their lives were literally in my hands, and they were trusting me not to squeeze too hard or do some other unthinkable thing. "Gentleness" has been defined as "strength under control".
Kids do not know that having a pet is both responsibility and work; Mom and Dad should not be doing the chores that Johnny or Suzie promised to attend. Instead, the kids should be strongly encouraged to learn this responsibility and live up to their promises to "take care of it".
Wow, I went away for a while, huh?
Aside from being struck by their dependence and the responsibility of pet ownership, there is another little thing: Contentment. Sometimes, it all hits me at once when I see that trusting look or get some affection from a creature that is depending on me to meet its needs and keep it safe. It's a nice feeling. God gave us dominion (Gen. 1.26, 28) over the animals, as well as stewardship (Psalm 8.6-9). We are being held responsible to him as well as our own consciences for the care we give them.