As angry as I know this will make some people when I point it out, cats, as in "the common, domesticated feline," are not mentioned so much as a single time in the Bible. Mind you, this is likely because whenever any of the penmen of Scripture called one so he could write about it, it would not come. Dogs, though, are mentioned 41 times.
Biblically disqualifying snootiness notwithstanding, there came a day when Dana and I determined to get our obedient, patient, good-natured daughter the longstanding desire of her heart. We put out a note online and were quickly inundated with kittens for the taking. One beautiful white ball of fur immediately caught my eye, and we arranged to pick her up the next day.
Our two girls had no idea where we were going. When we arrived, I had everyone stay in the car, while my friend and I made our way to where the kittens were being cared for. I found the little snowball, picked her up, thanked the owner profusely and made my way back to the vehicle with her.
When I opened the back door, my daughter's eyes got as wide as saucers.
When I put the kitten into her lap, she cried.
This was our introductory few moments with Duchess, as Karis named her, a name that she quickly began to live up to, demanding near-constant fawning attention from all of us, "her subjects." This was something I had to adjust to, since our dogs have always been more of a "Just one quick pat, dude; I have skunks I need to go play with" kind of thing.
The differences between them have grown starker as the years have gone along. Constantly muddy versus constantly clean, noisy versus never makes a sound, "please pat my belly" versus "I will deign to allow you the privilege of stroking my back, unless, of course, I choose to take offense at it on this particular day."
Our furry family members are very different indeed. But they are different by design, and that is what makes the entire arrangement so special.
From the very beginning, God the Creator tended to make pairings of very different things. In Genesis 1, we find him making day and night, land and sea, sun and moon, man and woman. Each one of those complementary pairs has a beauty and a wonder all its own, specifically tied to the things that makes one unique and distinct from the other.
Many years ago, I grew old enough to begin to notice the wonderfully different creature called "girl." I count it as a blessed day when it dawned on me that such a thing existed and that it was indeed very different from "boy!"
As the years passed and I grew, though, I often found that "girl" could be such an unusual and, at times, even irritating creature. They seemed to think completely different, in what I deemed to be an almost erratic fashion. They were often emotional for (in my foolish view) no valid reason. They got their feelings hurt at things "the guys" just laughed about.
Thankfully, I kept growing, especially in my understanding of how wonderful a creature God had actually created. By the time I watched Dana walk down the aisle toward me, a vision in white, I was ready to say "I do" to that beautiful, brilliant, once-in-a-thousand-years kind of woman, even if it meant "I do take you as my lawful wedded wife, through chick flicks that you for whatever reason watch even knowing they will make you cry. Through times when you inexplicably do not want to talk and then an hour later are as cheery as the sunshine. Through situations in which you do not think my plans are such a good idea after all. Through days when you need extra rest when I am raring to go and do. Through whatever, wherever, whenever, I will let you be who God made you to be, and I will embrace the differences rather than ever trying to change a thing.
At least she (usually) comes when I call her.
Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com. Email him at email@example.com.