I have been thinking about change: how life runs along the same pathway for days, weeks, maybe months at a time but then one day, without warning… something happens, something changes and life is never quite the same again.
Yesterday our family grew bigger. Riley the Burmese cat joined our menagerie. Riley probably thought her life was quite stable: she’d been living in the same house with the same people, eating the same food for days, weeks, maybe months and then one afternoon, without warning, she found herself moving out. Did she suspect as I picked her up and carried her down the road to her new home that she was off on an irreversible adventure? What did she think as I opened our front door and deposited her into a house already populated by three other cats? Was she prepared for change?
We already had three cats. Poppy our long-haired bought-at-the-pet-shop cat joined the family as a kitten. She probably thought she was going to be the one and only, the princess of the house. She got a shock when along came Jenny and Sammy, two grey and white adult originally-from-the-animal-shelter moggies, in need of a loving home. I told the story of our first three cats in Mother Teresa, Love and Three Cats. Poppy protested.
But eventually the three cats got used to each other. They stopped hissing and growling and glaring at each other; they stopped stalking each other around the house; they learnt to live together and peace returned to our home.
Until yesterday.
I wonder what Poppy, Jenny and Sammy thought when they saw Riley for the first time. Like Riley, they probably woke up yesterday morning not suspecting that life was about to change. They expected a predictable day, a comfortable day, a day no different from any other day. They woke us with their meows, as usual, as they demanded their breakfasts. As usual, they all gobbled up the kibble as quickly as they could and then, as usual, they all collapsed full and satisfied in a patch of warm autumn sunshine without a care in the world. They were all, as usual, perfectly happy… until the new feline intruder was carried through the door.
Riley had only been over the threshold a few minutes when Jenny leapt upon her. Jenny thinks she is the boss of this house. She is not happy. She hisses and growls. She is going to fight the change every inch of the way.
Sammy, the biggest of our cats, the supposed king of the house, is scared. He is keeping well away from Riley. Every time he enters a room and sees her, he retreats quickly. Though, in a rare moment of courage this morning, he jumped on top of the Burmese. Admittedly, she was sleeping under a blanket at the time, completely hidden from view. And he did make sure he had disappeared back out the door before she emerged out of her cocoon to find out who’d attacked her. No, Sammy isn’t happy with the change either. He is running away from it.
Riley keeps looking at us as if to say, “When am I going home? I’ve had quite enough of this adventure.” But she is not going home. She is here to stay. Her way of dealing with the change is to close her eyes to the situation. In other words, she is hiding or burrowing under blankets. She is pretending she isn’t here.
Poppy is giving the new cat her best Paddington Bear stare: she refuses to be intimidated. In fact she has discovered there is something good about Riley’s arrival. There was an extra bowl of food on the floor at breakfast time this morning. And when Riley didn’t appear to eat it, Poppy was quick to get in and gobble up the extra kibble herself. Yes, Poppy has not only been quick accepting the situation, she is also looking at the positives.
So now we are a family with four cats. What the cats don’t realise is that all of them will be fed and stroked and cared for. We have enough arms to cuddle them, enough beds for them to sleep on, enough love for all of them. There is no reason for any cat to worry about the change. And eventually each of the cats will realise this. Jenny will stop hissing at Riley, Sammy will stop running away, Riley will suddenly discover she is ravenous and come out of hiding and Poppy, although she may sigh when she realises that she will have to give up the extra portion of food, will think, “Hey! That was good while it lasted!”
Change can be good… if it is change initiated by me. Yes, sometimes I feel like having a change. It spices up life. But what if change comes along uninvited when I am feeling secure and satisfied and happy with just where I am at a particular moment? What if I wake up one morning and suddenly realise my life has once again fallen over the edge and is flying out of my control? Will I be a Sammy and want to run away? Perhaps I will be a Riley and try to hide and ignore the situation around me. Or I could be a Jenny and fight the change with all I’ve got. But maybe I’ll be a Poppy and accept everything that comes my way because I know all things sent by God work together for my own good.
But regardless of how I choose to react to the change, I will eventually realise, like our cats, that there is no reason to worry because Someone is looking after and caring for me, Someone who loves me very much, Someone who will always be with me, Someone who will help me through each and every change but who will never change Himself.
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  1. Great story.

    The last paragraph sums up how we often feel when change hits us unexpectedly. Do we trust Him enough?

    God bless.

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  2. Hi Victor. What would we do without the One constant in our lives?

    I will have to read your feline adventures. I wonder if your cats teach you lessons, like mine do. God bless!

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  3. Congratulations on the new family member :) I hope the cats adjust to the new member quickly! I loved your last paragraph - I still worry too much despite knowing that all things are in God's hands.

    By the way, Victor has a demon cat ;) You'll see what I mean when you read the e-book!

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  4. It doesn't seem to matter how many times we have to face change, we forget to trust!

    Mary, I can't wait to read about Victor's demon cat! All the cats here are fairly happy. No major disagreements. God bless.

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  5. You're so right Sue about how our trust in God wavers depending upon our situation. The way your cats responded to the new cat is similar to the way humans respond to change. Interesting... I hope Riley adjusts quickly and his feline companions accept her.

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  6. Yes, Noreen, I don't think we ever embrace change instantly. There's always a bit of hiding or resisting or fear before we once again start to trust. I just felt a bit sorry for Riley on Saturday when I took her from her old home. She didn't get any choice and I was struck by how the change must have been a big surprise to her. And then I thought of how many times change comes to us humans unannounced and unwanted too. Riley is at this moment tucked up snugly under my arm. She is very affectionate... and knows just where the safest place is, away from the other cats!

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  7. One day she'll probably feel accepted and loved by the cats or at the very least, tolerated by her feline friends.

    I'm buddy reading a Jack London book with my son called "Call of the Wild" and it's about the life journey of a dog named Buck. The author does a good job at explaining how the dog must feel when it goes from one owner to another. A bit of an intense read for my 11 year old but it's good.

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  8. Thank you Mary for advertising my FREE e book "Feline Catastrophes" available on my Blog.

    Sue, I really hope you enjoy this book. Please let me know what you think.

    God bless you Sue and Mary.

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  9. Noreen, I love that-"buddy reading"! Do you take turns reading out loud or do you have your own copies and then just come together to discuss the book? I have "Call of the Wild" on the shelf. I shall have to read it too. God bless!

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  10. Victor, I love your feline book! It is so funny. I haven't quite finished it (I had to put it down to make the dinner) but for a long while I kept scrolling through the pages, it was so enjoyable. Our own cats don't seem quite so bad now!

    I have been trying to work out where you live from the language in the book. 'Cell phone' definitely sounds American. We use the word 'mobile phone' here in Australia. But advert sounds very British. Our 'advertisements' are shortened to 'ads'. Perhaps you live in another quite different country altogether! God bless.

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  11. We read it together. I will read a page and then he'll read a page. Ideally, we'll both have our own copy but that's not always the case. This book is a bit harder so sometimes I read 2 pages to his 1 pate but that's ok. We've been buddy reading for awhile and it's enjoyable for us both.

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  12. Hi Sue,

    I live in the UK. Most of my readers are in the US, Canada and Australia. Hence my use of words like cell phone.

    In the UK we say mobile phone ... unless we lose it and then we use language which requires another quick Confession.

    Glad you're enjoying my book.

    God bless.

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