Random Blog Clay Feet: August 07, 2008
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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Another Sad Passing

Last weekend while getting ready to go to church we heard a commotion outside. We had just let all of our cats out to enjoy the nice weather and wondered what was going on. Soon my wife began screaming for me to come and help and when I ran outside I saw the neighbor's wolf-dog running around in our yard.

Usually he is kept tied up at all times just outside our neighbor's door and so it was quite a surprise to see her running around in our yard. I chased her off back to her own territory and we then began to look around for our very frightened cats. Our neighbor had told us that this dog is definitely a cat-killer and so we were worried about what might have happened to any of our cats in all the commotion.

Soon my wife found Mitsy, the youngest of our cats, hiding underneath a parked car in the yard and injured. Mitsy has been a very long time even getting up the courage to go outside with the rest of the cats but had been doing better lately. When my wife brought her in we found teeth holes around her back end and she was leaking, scared and hurting badly.

We cleaned her up as best we could and let her rest until we could get her to the vet later on. The vet sent her back home with some medication and seemed to indicate that they didn't see anything real serious. However, some time after I left for work on Monday morning she died while no one was at home and my wife found her upon returning later that afternoon. She was very upset about this and we both felt very frustrated with the way it was all handled by the vets office. We are both very sad that yet another one of our feline family has passed away in such a short time.

Mitsy has had a very colorful though short history with our family. My wife and daughter found her about two years ago nearby our home very frightened in a ditch by the road. They stopped and picked her up and for the next several weeks she was nearly unseen around the house. She was very frightened of people, particularly men for some reason. But after awhile she began to learn a little bit of trust with my wife and later my daughter took her up to Michigan to live with her for awhile.

During that time I was staying with my daughter there in Michigan while doing some work locally there, so I had time to spend getting to know Mitsy better. She turned out to be quite a little spitfire at times and rather unpredictable. Because she was often left alone all day in the house, when we returned home she would sometimes suddenly bite my daughter's ankles unexpectedly while she was walking around in the kitchen. Other times she might get on our lap and act like she wanted to cuddle up but we never knew when she might suddenly bite us and then flee before we could react. My daughter became convinced that she was simply psychotic though I continued to insist that she just needed a lot more discipline and careful attention.

After my daughter moved into an apartment where she was not allowed to have pets, we ended up bringing her back home and merging her into the family of felines that we already had here. She quickly asserted herself and tried to get the attention of the other cats, but the only one patient and mature enough to put up with her pestering was our fairly new cat Sir William. Over time they grew to appreciate each other and Mitsy would rush up to greet him when he had been outside for some time. She would sometimes jump on him or bat him about the head and generally try to play for awhile which he usually did not mind too much.

Over the past year I have seen Mitsy's behavior dramatically improve. Over the past few months she had quit her nasty little habit of hit and run biting escapades and often wanted to sit in my lap while I had my devotional time in the morning. She was starting to really settle down and take a healthy place in our cat society here when this tragic event brought her life to a very sad end quite suddenly. We took her body back to the vet for an autopsy which revealed that she had suffered a punctured bladder which is what we had suspected all along. There was not much they could have done for her there at that office, but we were still upset that they did not seem to even notice that problem the first time we took her in.

The last few days I have been greeted by our Resurrection plants that put out leaves in the early summer and then die out only to explode with these flowers later in the summer. Right now all over the yard these tall stalks are asserting themselves almost as a defiant testimony against death itself. It reminded me of a song we heard in a concert at a Mennonite church last night where they talked about renaming a graveyard to call it resurrection ground.

As I stepped through the Resurrection plants carrying Mitsy's body to her grave and buried her next to George in our front yard, I thought about what it might be like when Jesus comes to raise all who love Him. I know this might disturb some purists who don't believe in anything that can't be verified by proof texts, but in my own study and contemplation of what God is really like I have become convinced that I will once again be greeted by all of the pets I have lost just as certainly as all the loved ones that I am longing to see again. I believe this primarily because that is just the kind of thing that God would do because of the way He is.

As I walked back up to the driveway through the Resurrection flowers I took some time to enjoy Willy and Serena who were waiting for me there. I never know when something might happen to any of us and I am reminded that it is important to enjoy those we love in the present and resist the tendency to take anyone for granted. That applies to people and it applies to all the other creatures and blessings that God has filled our life with.

There is now another empty place in our hearts that leaves us with that intensified sense of something missing. When I open the frig door there is no Mitsy to jump inside and settle down defying me to shut the door on her. When we feed the cats there is no longer a frantic Mitsy underfoot acting like she is about to starve if we don't feed her immediately. When I sit down in my favorite chair there is no Mitsy to jump up and settle down to purr in my lap and keep an eye on what is going on around us.

I hate death. We were never designed to get comfortable with death and I have had too much of it lately. In the last year we have now had one daughter and two cats die and I am not at all willing to just accept it as normal. Our hearts were designed for eternity and that is what I plan to prepare for so that I can someday outlive death itself.

Then Death and the Lord of the Place of Death were hurled into the lake of fire. This is the Second Death--the lake of fire; (Revelation 20:14 TCNT)