Pain in the Kingdom of Heaven


Well, it was bound to happen. Happy and grateful that my son has moved from Colorado (20 hrs away) to Tennessee (2 ½ hrs away), we agreed to cat-sit while he finds an apartment. His five year old tabby (Lucille) that looks more like a raccoon, is getting adjusted to her temporary abode— except for dealing with two playful adolescent cats. Lucille’s not used to sharing the domain so she hisses whenever the young ones get too friendly. Did I mention that Lucille is still packing all her claws and the youngsters are shooting blanks? They didn’t know that some cats are capable of inflicting pain with those soft pads on their feet. Until today.

     Teddy is the most persistent in his attempts to play. He irritates Lucille enough to get her to chase him. But I think Lucille finally caught him today and sunk her needles into his flesh. I heard the response at the other end of the house. “Why’d she do that?” he cried. Because she could. Anytime you get new information, you’d better pay attention.

Pain. Life’s full of it. Do you ever get used to it? No.

So what are the options? Go hide in the closet forever. Or at least until you get hungry. And make sure you eat Lucille’s food. Another option is to stay in a different room and pout, moving whenever the intruder strolls too close for comfort. But when it’s your house, i.e., kingdom of heaven, that’s unacceptable.  There’s too much at stake to give up your freedom in the kingdom just because someone else has a chip on her shoulder.

Jesus said, “Unless you receive it as a child, you can never inherit the kingdom of heaven.” I think that works for adolescent cats, too. Life is for having fun, exploring, and climbing on everything so you can look at things from every angle and develop more than a one-sided perspective.

Pain teaches you many things, but one thing you’ve got to learn is that you can’t live life to the fullest if you’re afraid of a little pain.  Some well-known person has said, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand (now).” If you’re going to receive it, live it with awe, curiosity, and anticipation…like Teddy. He’s an eight pound bundle of energy that can’t hold a grudge. We’re glad he shares his kingdom with us.

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One Response to Pain in the Kingdom of Heaven

  1. Ellen Mertz says:

    The thing is: Every day is new, filled with the potential to learn new things. Even adolescent cats will figure things out eventually. I hope.

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