It’s a ceaseless source of shame that it’s easier to be patient with cats than with people.
I wish this weren’t so. I hope the cats are making me a better human. But it is true.
When Magdalene insists upon leaping into my lap and biting my elbow over and over and over again, I giggle. When Anneke needs to be skritched for no fewer than 37,000 hours without interruption, I rearrange my schedule. When Peachy
demands rightfully deserves a softer, peachier blanket, I scramble to delight her.
Patience flows easily here.
But then comes the test. In glides a fellow human being, made in the very image of God. She wants to tell me every moment that has ever transpired in the life of her cat. “His name is Mr. TastyKake. Because I like cake. Because it’s tasty. He has 73,987 hairs on his forehead. Here’s a photo in which you can count all his hairs. Let’s count them together!”
My mind spins. I have 400 letters to sign. I have 973 phone calls to return. I need to print that thing for that person. The newsletter isn’t going to write itself. And you are boring me unto the point of literal brain death. I think I actually just flatlined.
Then a cat walks by. Let’s say it’s Casper, bouncing in his halt. Everything about him demands and deserves patience. I happily step aside to give Casper a clear runway. And somehow, my heart turns from the people on the other end of the letters and phone calls to the beautiful, maddening, entirely human human being right in front of me.
I’m called to love right now. I’m called to spend this moment in this moment. I’m called to clear the runway for the one placed in my life at this unrepeatable junction.
And so I take a deep breath, and I listen.
At the same time, I’m quite confident that cats are helping humans to be patient with me. Although it shall come as a surprise to readers of this eminent blog, I have it on good authority that I am not 100% awesome 100% of the time. Sometimes I can see it in Other Humans’ eyes. Oh dear heavens. She’s wearing age-inappropriate large bows in her hair again and using words like ‘monumental’ to describe microwave popcorn. She is the actual freak of the week, the month, the year and the century. God grant me patience.
And He does. And He uses the cats. And it is genuinely monumental.
No cat has yet been beatified, but it’s not for lack of merit. They live in an exemplary way. They are heroic in virtue.
And, bit by microscopic bit, they work miracles in the likes of such dunderheads as I. They make us better. They plunge our roots deeper into love beyond impatience.
We are blessed to be the spiritual patients of the Blessed Casper, the Venerable Anneke, Saint Psi and all the rest.
May we love each other as well as we are loved.
Photo credits from de top: Anneke by Jess B; Psi and Casper by Mark