It’s been a weird few days at our house. I decided on Sunday night that our black and white cat, aptly named Oreo, needed a trip to the vet. He was acting oddly, well, more oddly than normal. He was trying to urinate all over the house, but apparently was not able to. I figured he had a kidney stone gumming up the plumbing. TMI?
So off to the Veterinarian’s office we went on Monday. A hundred and seventy dollars later, I brought him home with a week’s worth of antibiotics to treat an apparent urinary tract infection. Great. Ever try to give a cat medicine? It’s great fun. Should be an Olympic event.
When I let Oreo out of his carrier in our den, one of my other cats, Butterscotch, went completely nuts. (Yes, we name all our cats after snack foods. Have you met Brownie?) Our little orange cat didn’t seem to remember Oreo at all. There was hissing and growling, and further unusual otherworldly sounds emanating from Butterscotch. It was like Invasion of the Body Snatchers
No amount of placating or explanation could convince Butterscotch that he actually knew and loved the cat now cowering before him. We do understand that the cats cannot understand us. Still, we explained it all to him, again and again. We even stooped to insults and name-calling.
Honestly, these cats are the best of friends. They sleep together, bathe one another… its all quite embarrassing most of the time, this relationship they have with one another.
I decided that Oreo must not smell right to Butterscotch. So I bathed him. Bathing a cat ranks a close second to giving a cat medicine as a potential Olympic event. It was all in vain, however, because even though Oreo no longer smelled like the vet’s office, he now smelled of vanilla and lilac and this seemed to confuse Butterscotch even more.
It’s been quite the ordeal. It’s not completely over, either. It has settled down some, but it has been like introducing a new cat into the mix. I’m exhausted. Butterscotch just could not trust what he was seeing with his own eyes. Oreo looked the same, but his smeller told him this wasn’t the right feller.
There is a lesson in all this. (Somehow you knew there would be, right?) How many times have I not been willing to trust what I know to be true? God’s promises are true, no matter what my feelings tell me. How many times have I just not been able to add it all up? Things aren’t working the way I think they should, and I just figure that God’s not paying attention, he’s not busy working all things for my good. If he were, then things would appear much differently, wouldn’t they?
Not too long ago, I was pretty desperate for God to move in a big way. I told him exactly how it needed to work, just so he would get it right. We had moved our kids to the second new town in less than two months. I needed them to connect with the youth leaders in our new church. Our BIG new church. It wasn’t happening. Not the way I told God it needed to. I needed someone to help us get our kids through a really trying time. They had always been used to having access to the church staff where Matthew served. Now Matthew wasn’t on staff at the church and I was coming up dry in finding any way to get anyone to help me help my kids transition to yet another new town, school, church, etc. Nothing I tried worked. NOTHING.
I was beyond frustrated. I stopped trusting what I knew to be true. God was busy working all things together for my good, for my kid’s good, too. Just not in the way I expected or had told him to. Imagine that
We are coming up on three years since that trying time. Matthew is celebrating two years on staff at our church, and several months on the student ministries staff. In a church of 20,000, the youth pastor(s) know my kids by name. My kids are in a place spiritually that blows my mind. The youth staff, both paid and volunteer, have poured into my kids in ways I could never have orchestrated myself.
Once again, God had to show me that he had it all under control. He didn’t need my help. I just needed to trust, again, in what I already knew.
I just wish I could get Butterscotch to do the same.