Just so you won’t forget about me, before my birth-month is over, I will introduce you to my PURRR-fect housemates. I have mentioned my sister-cats, Tulip and Tannin before, but I will more formally introduce them to you now. They will also introduce themselves, just for fun.
Before sin entered the world. Genesis 1:27-28,tells us, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” Before Adam and Eve disobeyed God (See Genesis 3), Adam and Eve were equal partners in procreation and in taking care of the earth and all its creatures. I believe that is why God took a rib from Adam’s side and not from something above or below the side of his body (But, that is a topic for another time.). People were created to have fellowship with God and with each other and to take care of all the earth, including animal. As God takes care of us, we need to care for the animals He blesses us with.
“A righteous man [Christ-like person] cares for needs of his animal” (Proverbs 12:10a).
I believe Jesus loved animals from the day He was born on earth, in that tiny little stable, in Bethlehem (See Luke 2:1-7) and throughout His days on earth. Jesus Himself said, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep [us]… I am the Good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep [His followers] know Me” (John 10:11, 14). When the religious leaders of that time objected to Jesus healing people on the Sabbath, Jesus pointed to the absurdity of their legalism by saying, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:11a-12). In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus answers the same objection to healing on the Sabbath this way: “If one of you has a son [or donkey] or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?” (14:5b). Verse 6 tells us, “And they [Pharisees] had nothing to say.” Jesus also talks about a lost sheep in the “Lost and Found Chapter” in the Gospel of Luke:
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent” (15:4-7). [I believe Jesus was referring to the religious leaders as the “righteous persons”.]
As a single person without children, my two cats are like family. I feed them, take care of them and I enjoy and love them. And they “love” me back. They sense when I need a little cuddling and “pet therapy”. Being a pet owner teaches me how God wants me to treat animals and people too. Through my two PURRR-fect housemates, God teaches me to think of others and their needs, instead of thinking only about myself. Most importantly, having Tulip and Tannin around and caring for them causes me to realize how much more perfectly God cares for my needs and loves me with an everlasting love. So without further ado, here are Tulip and Tannin!
“My name is Tulip. I am a long-haired cat. This is me before my summer cut.”
“Tulip again. This is me after my summer cut. Lydia sends me and my sister Tannin to “The Spa” for ‘Lion Cuts’. This takes away any mats we may have had and it’s much cooler during the summer. Lydia also takes me to the vet to get allergy shots every three or four months YES! Cats can have allergies too.”
“When I’m not taking a cat nap on my bed that I thoughtfully share with Lydia…
I like to watch the squirrel outside, while I’m safe and cozy inside my safe and cozy house. It’s a jungle out there, especially with the heavy street traffic. Sydney (squirrel) can’t see me because of the strategically placed watering can and flower plant.
Like Lydia, I’m a RED SOX fan.
“My name is Tannin. I’m the Beautiful One. I keep Lydia from becoming a “basket case” because I always hop in first. Sometimes, I like my space, as “normal” cats do. But…
…sometimes, I do Lydia a favor and have a cat nap with her. After all, she always feeds us and gives us all the water and bags and boxes and baskets and cozy plases by the windows we need. She is a pretty nice housemate too. But, don’t tell her I said that.”
For Tulip and Tannin,