I’m sitting at home one night; mindlessly watching TV with Cathy when a commercial comes on for a product that will cure some ailment for a cat.
They show the human and she is happy. They show the cat and it too is happy. They show the family and everyone is happy.
As the saying goes; “Happy cat, happy homelife” or something like that.
The commercial is so moving that I stand on my feet because I, too, want this kind of rich and abundant life, and I reach for my car keys and my wallet.
And then reason prevails and I think of at least three reasons why I shouldn’t pick up this product…
Number One: The side effects are devastating for the cat. They include depression, difficulty with swallowing, vomiting, and diarrhea.
“Yeah, that’s what I want”; I say to Cathy. “A cat who is now depressed, because it can’t swallow and is projecting fluids from both of its major orifices!” I sit back down on couch, trying to get that image out of my head.
The second reason why I shouldn’t pick up this product is; “Have you ever tried to give medicine to a cat?!”
I don’t care how happy the humans and the cat are, it is very apparent that whoever wrote this commercial clearly has never tried to give medicine to a cat!
Simply put, you don’t! Take it from one who has tried you can’t; period.
When I was a young lad, my family tried to hide the medicine in our cat’s food. The cat showed us what’s what and ate every morsel of food as it pushed aside the medicine we had cleverly hidden inside of the food dish.
None of us felt safe to go to sleep after the cat gave us the; “Don’t ever try that again” look and hissed at us.
When my children were young, Cathy and I tried giving medicine to one of their cats.
I told Cathy to bypass the ‘hiding-it-in-the-food’ trick because experience taught us to not even go there…
So, we tried the ‘take-two-people-to give-it -to-the-cat’ approach. That is where two people (usually the parents) are needed because one holds the cat’s mouth open as the other shoves (or attempts to shove) the medicine down it’s throat.
It’s kind of a good-cop, bad-cop trick that never really works.
We thought that by one of us speaking lovingly to the cat while prying open the mouth, somehow the cat would trust us as the other person shoved the medicine down the throat. After all, we were trying to help the cat get better; we were doing something for the good of the cat.
This, too, ends up with the cat hissing as it gave us the; “Don’t ever try that again” look.
It also includes many memories burned into my children’s cerebral cortex as they watched in horror as their beloved cat resisted our attempts to heal it by yowling to the point of being ridiculous; memories that therapists would later refer to as “billable hours” as they attempted to help us get those images out of all of our heads.
Oh, and third reason why I shouldn’t pick up this product is, I don’t own a cat or any pet for that matter….
I changed the channel on the tv and then, in true pondering fashion, I thought of God and how I act towards Him as He attempts to do something for my own good.
How I push away all that He does for my good.
How I yowl and resist and work hard to not take what God has “put in my food dish” that will help me.
How I think that at times He can seem to me to be overbearing and too demanding as I hiss at Him as I give the; “Don’t ever try that again” look.
But the truth is that everything He does is for my good; after all, I am made in His image and (as a Christian) bear His Name.
The truth is that He owns me; I belong to Him.
He doesn’t want to shove anything down my throat. He wants is asking me to stop resisting Him and stop struggling and to take the medicine.
He says to me; “…open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” (Psalm 81:10).
“So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so that He can show you His love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help.” (Isaiah 30:18)