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CATS…have taken over as the most popular American domestic pet, exceeding ‘man’s best friend’. Personally, I have always favored the dog. But I can see the argument for the felines. Our family moved to Dallas in 1970 on our youngest daughter’s sixth birthday. We had Fritz, a miniature Dachshund, our beloved cat hater. These little guys were bred to hunt badgers and I guess cats suffice when badgers are not around. My wife suggested buying a cat to ease the pain for the girls in this move. We agreed on a newly born male Siamese we saw advertised in the paper. He came home and was given the name, Simon. I warned the family of the possible conflict. Fritz joyfully wagged his tail at his new ‘friend’. I cautiously placed Simon on the floor, and in a blink, Fritz had him by the neck, slinging him unmercifully. With wife and kids screaming, I rescued Simon from the jaws of death. We called a vet and she said the cat was traumatized and would either be alive or dead by morning. He lived, and the two became playmates from there on. All’s well that ends well.

I gained a new and loving respect for cats based on what I saw in Simon. Oh, sure, he caused a lot of lampshade and furniture covering damage with his claws, but he was loving, playful, smart, easily potty trained, and would turn over his food box to get a meal if we were not available. We could leave him in the house for a few days as he was basically self-sufficient, unlike dogs.

Today’s domestic cats have, through breeding, evolved into smaller pets compared to their original larger ancestors such as lions, tigers, cougars, and leopards to name a few. Outdoor cats on our street keep us rat and mouse free. At one point we frequently had a trophy left at our front door by the neighbor’s adopted cat.

Last week, a flyer showed up in our mailbox and all over the neighborhood. Handcrafted, these notices had a photo of a lost cat and a reward of $250. Hope they find it. This made me think of just how much this pet is loved, and how broken hearted the master had to be when it went missing.

That flyer drew my thoughts to the parable of the lost sheep. “What man of you,  having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it” (Lk. 15:4). Put yourself in the shoes of this lost cat’s owner. Saddened, anxious and nearly despondent! The shepherd too! While God would not be considered anxious, He would be saddened over so many of His creation going through life, lost in their sin. And Believers who are straying from the truth seeking fulfillment in temporal things. He wants us to find rest in Him and not to stray. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone, to his own way…” (Isa. 53:6a). But God has made provision for you to be found and to come home, home to Him. “..and the Lord has laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all” (vs. 6b). No condemnation, no ‘where have you been’, no punishment, just rejoicing! “And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray” (Mt. 18:13).

The psalmist knew well what it is like to ‘leave home’. “Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I keep Your word” (Psa 119:67). In his word, the Scriptures, you are told how to find your way home, although probably through affliction, pain and suffering. Wonder what the lost cat is going through? Wouldn’t it love to be cuddled in the arms of its master right about now? You bet! If it could speak, I am sure we would hear; ‘I’m lost, lonely, afraid, tired, sick, cold; please search for me, don’t stop looking.’ Same with us! “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your commandments” (Psa. 119:176). Through His word is how we hear His voice, calling out to us. There is a spiritual song and it goes this way; ‘come home, come home, you who are weary, come home.’

‘Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me; I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.’

It is so easy to slip out the door, chase something and eventually lose your way, maybe just like this lost cat. The signs are still up so we assume it is still not found. There is hope. The bigger question is: where are you today…lost or found?

Copyright 2013
Bill C. Dotson
Scriptures taken from the New King James Version

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