What My Cats Helped Teach Me About Pain and Struggle

cats are driving nowThe handsome feline above is my cat (don’t tell him he’s not a lion) named Olimar. We also have a female cat from the same litter named Katniss.

July has been a very busy month around here, and on several occasions the cats have been left alone for a couple days at a time. They had plenty of food and water while they were alone, but as time progressed I began to notice that they seemed upset (or bored) at the amount of time that they were alone in the small apartment.

When the next trip out of state rolled around I decided to let the kitties stay with my dad and grandma in Indiana. I would be able to stay with them an extra night, and they would have new places (and people) to see while I was away.

The Two Hour Trip

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The drive to Indiana is close to two hours long. Both cats have traveled with me before, so I knew that they could handle it. I made a point to have the entire car packed and prepped for the trip before taking the cats in the car with me.

The car was equipped with a litter box, food, and a great air conditioner. After I was all set, I put the cats in their carriers (which are big because they were designed for dogs) and took the cats into the car.

Despite my efforts to make everything as comfortable as possible, Katniss began to cry and howl from the back seat before we even left the apartment complex.

I can’t say that I didn’t understand why the cats were freaking out at this point. After all, they were taken out of their comfort zone and placed into a scary and unknown new place. If I had to guess what was going through the cats minds as they were placed into this situation, I would think it might be along the lines of:

  • Where am I?
  • How can I get back to the place I know?
  • Why was I taken out of my house?

I moved some things around and put the carriers in the front passengers seat so that the kitties could see that I was nearby. This adjustment seemed to make a big difference, and eventually the cats calmed down and went to sleep. After I was out of the city, I opened the carriers. After Olimar did a bit of exploring, he got back into his carrier and was calm the rest of the trip.

The Lesson Learned

cats like to sleep

Sometimes I feel like one of these cats. I’m being carried from one location to another, not understanding why things are changing. Sometimes I suffer, and I can’t understand why God would allow me to go through these things.

When my cats were distressed in the car, no matter how much I could have tried to explain the situation to them, they still wouldn’t have understood. I couldn’t have explained that I was doing all of this because I wanted what was best for them. They couldn’t have understood that everything would be okay soon. All I could do was move their carriers closer to me. All I could do was help to show them that I was in control, and that I loved them.

There’s a big difference between a cat and a human. How much bigger of a difference is there between God and man?

Sometimes we can’t understand God’s ways. It’s part of this life. Despite this, we need to keep our focus on Him. Even though we don’t always understand His ways, we can understand that His ways are best for us. We can have faith that if we belong to God, He will take care of us. When He brings us closer to Him, we shouldn’t resist. We need to direct our focus towards Him. We need to understand that He is a God of love.

Romans 8:28-39 (ESV)

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Read all of Romans 8 here!

The cats are just a silly analogy, but they reminded me of an important truth. We can trust God. If He is on our side, we have no need to worry.

Love you guys, and praying for you!

-Caleb

  • Did you enjoy this article about my cats? Check out this one about Helping Others! Make a significant difference! Seek first His kingdom!

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