I believe that God can send us messages and reminders through anything, even a cat, like I feel he did through my male cat Smokey on the day I came home from my trip to my sister a week ago this past Sunday. It was then I found him acting very distant and depressed. Normally he’s a very unconditionally loving and high energy-based cat, even more so immediately after returning from a trip away. But not this time and it didn’t take me long to discover the reason why when I saw him sitting in his litter box for over 10 minutes struggling to pass urine.
You see, Smokey has had an issue with his urethra ever since his birth in which it was discovered it was much tinier than most cats making it harder to pass urine. We’ve tried a number of specialized diets to fix it, but it only made things worse and even with increased water consumption, the unpleasant condition remained. Eventually, we were told by our veterinarian the only solution was an extremely costly surgery to permanently correct it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford it. In light of that, our only recourse whenever this condition arose was to show him some TLC, pray over him, and give him a quick couple of drops of something called “Bach Rescue Remedy for Cats”, which helps him to relax. Typically, within an hour or two after this course of action, he’s always become able to pass urine leaving him afterwards just as spunky as ever. But not so this time around.
I watched as Smokey spent hours and hours pacing the house, laying on the floor meowing in pain, and trying to pee in the weirdest of places. He didn’t want to be held. He didn’t want to play. He just wanted to be left alone. Even holding him didn’t create his usual deep purring. On the outside he looked as normal as could be, making any onlooker think he was totally fine. But on the inside, I knew he was feeling extremely uncomfortable, making him have very little desire to live the joyous and overly social life he usually does with his human companions. And boy, I could relate.
Having long suffered with a number of health issues myself that can never be seen from the outside of me, I’ve quite often become depressed and unsocial. Frequently, that’s led to me getting told by others to just push on through it by forcing myself to do things such as getting out of myself and helping another. It’s rarely helped though, especially when the physical pain has been at a high level. For the longest time, I thought maybe I just needed to try harder, achieve mind over matter, or find some alternative path to feel better. But after watching my cat during his 12-hour urinary ordeal, I really do think God was trying to provide me a little guidance for my own healing journey.
I say that because Smokey doesn’t have the thinking processes that I do. He, like most other cats and even dogs, exist to simply show unconditional love and comfort to their owners. Yet, when my cat Smokey had this urinary issue arise to the level it did that night, I watched as he simply took care of himself until he felt better. He didn’t get out of himself and try to please his masters. He didn’t try to play or even purr. He didn’t try to force joy either. He just curled up in a ball and took care of himself, until suddenly for whatever the reason beyond his or my control, he became able to pass urine again and once he did, he immediately was a barrel of joy once more.
So, thanks to Smokey, I decided I’m not going to listen to those erroneous voices anymore who keep on telling me I need to rise above my pain and just get out and do more things. Instead, I’m going to take a page out of his book and trust it was a reminder from God letting me know it’s ok to take care of myself whenever I’m feeling a lot of pain. I know there’s deep joy and exuberance below it somewhere, it’s just waiting to surface for when my pain levels become far less than they have been. I’m just thankful I’m open enough to see how God can use even something like my cat Smokey to remind me it’s ok to be still when I’m hurting and leave the healing to Him, because I know if I do, I will get better just like Smokey did, and when I do, I too will become a barrel of joy once more.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson