Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, NC, a widely traveled evangelist, and the author of several books. His books are available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com
All cats are more or less psychotic. Please, spare me the notes of protest; your dear Muffy is not the exception to this rule. She may bear a very different form of psychosis than my cat or someone else’s, but all cats are somehow psychotic nonetheless. Mind you, I am not anti-cat; I am merely pro-truth. I have had both cats and dogs my entire life, and our family always takes royally good care of every animal in our household.
Even our current cat, the root of my evaluation that all cats are more or less psychotic.
I have written of Duchess before, the lovely white fur ball with beautiful eyes that we got for my wonderful eldest daughter. Her name, chosen by said daughter, is a good reflection of her feline view of the world. It is clear that she views all of humanity as her subjects, and all dogs, birds, fish, squirrels, raccoons, possums, skunks, deer, and other nearby creatures as far inferior life forms, something akin to moving vegetables.
Duchess has always been snooty. Recently, though, she has added a new and unique twist to her snootiness. When we pull in the driveway each night and exit the vehicle, she will come running from the woods or from the small barn, making a beeline for us as if she is beyond thrilled to see us and is going to jump straight into our arms for a warm hug.
And then, about six feet from us, she will slam the brakes, turn away from us, and casually saunter away as if she did not see us. No amount of calling out “Here, Kitty Kitty!” will compel her to so much as acknowledge our existence. She has, in her mind, successfully accomplished her mission of not just snubbing us but of making sure we are well aware that she has snubbed us.
The next morning we will be allowed to pet her as we feed her. But the next night, she will again run to us to make sure we know we are being snubbed.
If Duchess were the logical, rational sort, she could simply continue to watch us from the woods or the barn rather than making such an effort to express her disdain. But, again, all cats are more or less psychotic. Just consider it one more proof that God has an excellent sense of humor.
If Duchess were a human being and had social media, she would be the queen of the passive/aggressive post.
I often marvel at how people relate to each other, mostly because it is usually far more cat-like than Christ-like. I mentioned social media, and that truthfully is one of the most common arenas these days in which Marys become Muffys, Toms become Tiggers, Garys become Garfields, and Mitzys become Mittens. But even in real life, there often seems to be a whole lot of hissing, snooting, and condescending amongst humanity. My wife will often hand me her phone at night as she is scrolling social media and say, “Here’s another one,” and I pretty much know that I am about to see a post from someone who wants to make sure that someone else, or even a group of someones, knows they are being snubbed.
It’s a purrfectly horrible way to live.
My cat often seems “satisfied,” but she never does seem to be really joyful. My dogs, though, and their buddies from next door, may growl or bark every now and then, but they quickly get over it, run and play with each other, and are always truly glad to see us.
In Matthew 18:15, Jesus said, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” A few years later the apostle Paul, in Philippians 2:3-4, wrote, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
If I could paraphrase and zoomorphise those verses, I would say, “Relate like dogs, not like cats.”
From the moment we get up in the morning until we turn off the lights at night, we will interact with people in the home, at school, at work, at play, and online. And for any of us who are born-again children of God, we will one day stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ and answer for all of those interactions. I can only imagine how awkward it is going to be to have to face the Lord as He says, “Let’s discuss this passive/aggressive post,” or “Let’s roll the tape on this really cutting comment you made to so-and-so.”
Our words speak. Our facial expressions speak. Our posts and tweets and shares and likes speak. Our tone of voice speaks. Everything we do sends a message to people around us, either directly or indirectly.
You can be catty if you like, but you will never be both catty and joyful at the same time.
Pastor Wagner can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and his books and audio downloads are available by clicking the “Store” link above.
Feature photo by Pastor Bo Wagner