I awoke to a tap, tap, tap on my face.
I assumed this was Chloe and I assumed I’d better get up because when tapping fails, Chloe moves to biting…she will not be ignored.
As my head cleared, I also noted that my lungs sounded terrible even though they didn’t feel bad. That wheezing was scary and I grabbed for my inhaler.
That’s when I noticed that the wheezing didn’t stop and it wasn’t me that was making that sound.
That’s also when I noticed that the cat in question wasn’t Chloe…or Smokey…or any of the other regulars.
What I thought was wheezing was some strange sound this new cat made…and I quickly found my glasses to make sure it was a cat. I’ve never had the urge to pet a possum or a raccoon in the dark…
It was a cat indeed…a pretty little Russian blue cat who cleared his throat to hiss at me, just so I understood that even though he was hungry he wasn’t taking any mess from anybody.
Very well, then…let’s eat.
The feline now known as Wheezy inhaled a can of Fancy Feast and then noted that the can was small and inadequate to meet his dining needs.
I opened another and he ate it as well…then jumped on my lap for a light bath, then was out the door.
I take an inordinate amount of pleasure in these encounters with strays and I slept well the rest of the night.
Then I began to think about what happened and what has happened here for so many years.
First, for Wheezy to visit, the door had to be open.
Second, there had to be food…strays are not looking for company, they’re looking first and foremost for sustenance. If we become friends after that…well and good, but there had better be food.
Third, the cats have to feel safe…no cat is going to walk into a strange home if they don’t feel safe…even if they’re starving.
Finally…and here is the mystery…all of the above has to be communicated from cat to cat.
Another stray had to tell Wheezy that it was cool…just walk in, wake him up, he knows the drill and all will be well.
How this works, I do not understand, but I know it is true.
The Lord spoke to me in my pondering and said “it works the same way with people”…
I replied as always…”I don’t want to attract stray people”…. then kind of repented.
If we’re going to bring the strays of the world into the kingdom of God…
There must be an open door to whosoever will enter.
We have to meet their immediate need…and offer more.
People need to feel safe.
Then, they will, like the beggar… tell others where they found bread.
There are risks involved…you may get inconvenienced or even bit…but it’s worth the risk.
I told the Lord I will keep this in mind, but need to practice on cats a little while longer…
I probably also need to practice repenting.
Make your own application…