You may wonder if I am a cat lover - not really. When my husband decided our children needed kittens I was opposed, yet God had a spiritual plan for us in getting a pet. The cat [Harry] pictured below became a great visual reminder of how God loves me as I am. As a family we were not good about grooming Harry, so much so, that he would develop gnarly mats in his mane. One got so big that when we finally got it clipped off it looked like Harry had had a kitten. Harry also had two different colored eyes, which made him look more scary than special. In his later years he did not smell sweet at all, he was the living definition of “dingleberry”. Through all of these stages in Harry’s life my daughter unconditionally loved him. She cuddled with him, allowed him to sleep on her bed, and kissed him. This went on for 12 years! Even during his last weeks when he lost control of his bodily functions, she cleaned up his messes - still all the while bestowing continuous love upon him.
Through my daughter’s unconditional love of Harry I have come to realize that this is how God treats me. When I turn from God’s love, I can become gnarly, smelly, and scary in my sinfulness. Yet God does not leave me. He still bestows His love, His forgiveness, His embrace throughout each of my life stages. Where I would pet Harry only when we had him shaved and cleaned – God holds me no matter how repulsive I may turn in my pride. Where I would lose patience with Harry’s potty accidents - God endures my bouts with the world’s temptations. Where I would lock Harry up in his room when he “misbehaved” - God opens up his merciful heart and forgives me when I sin. There is no condition that deters God from reaching out to me. And better yet, He gave me the Blessed Mother who also holds me and carries me when I stink of my pride, lust, and ego. She reminds me I am loved as I am and there is a better life for me in communion with Her Son.
I am thankful for Harry’s life, for the lessons he and my daughter taught me about God’s unconditional love, and for my Blessed Mother - for it is hard for me to believe I can be
loved as I am - yet in Her arms She shows me this truth, and it is setting me free from being
a “Scaredy Cat”.