I still remember the day I found my kitten, Lavender. To be honest, it wasn’t that long ago – less than a year. But I think it will be one of those days I will never forget.
My sister had suggested to my parents and I that we go to CatCon in Los Angeles. It was June 23rd, a sunny day in Southern California. Dressed in my sister’s Lil Bub t-shirt and rolling my eyes every time my dad joked about how we were about to get a new cat, I had no idea I was about to meet my own “child.”
When we got into the convention center, my sister wanted to look at all the booths with merchandise. Feeling claustrophobic, my dad and I headed up to the third floor to see all the cats up for adoption. When we got there, a lady at the head of the line asked us to fill out paperwork while we waited. I didn’t understand – we weren’t intending on buying, so why did they need our information? Once that was squared away, my dad and I looked around at all the kittens in cages. They were all incredibly cute, but no one stood out to be “the One.”
There were also side rooms, where either kittens or cats were playing inside. Only so many people were allowed in at a time, so my dad and I would have to wait around until a room was clear enough for us to go in. We went into a couple rooms, but still didn’t feel any kind of click. Finally, we were able to go into one of the kitten rooms. As we had waited, I looked at the posters on the door that showed the kittens inside. One that stood out was a Siamese mix named Dede, who looked awfully cute.
As soon as we got in, a worker asked us if there was a particular cat we were looking for. I asked if the Siamese was around. She said yes, but the Siamese kitten was hiding under a couch. I tried to coax the kitten out with toys, but she was too scared of the noises, other kittens, and people to come out. Finally, a worker just stuck his hand under the couch and grabbed her. He handed the kitten to me, but gently warned me to not let her go since she would probably run back under the couch. (She did)
The moment I had that kitten in my arms, I was hooked. I knew she was mine. There wouldn’t be any other cat for me – this was it. Other people would walk past and remark what a beautiful cat she was, and asked if I was going to buy her. I said, “Yep. Probably.” No one was going to take this cat away from me.
As people often say when recounting how they met their spouses, “the rest is history.” We adopted her and another kitten, who looks a lot like a Maine coon. We named my cat “Lavender” after Lavender Brown from Harry Potter, and the other “Minerva” or “Minnie” for short, a name also from Harry Potter. We brought them straight home, and had them stay in the guest bedroom for a couple months while they got acclimated to their new environment.
Lavender is my little buddy. She follows me around the house, sleeps next to me at night, and lays on me sometimes when I watch TV. Lavender loves catching bugs, watching cartoons, and sleeping in “her chair” (a chair in one of our offices). Her favorite place to be pet is the back of her neck. Overall, she is shy, scared of strangers, but completely loyal once she trusts you. Her best friend is Minnie, who is, honestly, much more outgoing and playful.
It struck me recently that I really needed Lavender. When we got her, I was going through a lot of issues at work, and feeling incredibly lonely there. After we got her, my situation at work got even worse. I remember holding her when she was tiny, and saying, “You’re my baby.” I felt like everyone I knew was getting married, finding boyfriends/girlfriends, or getting pregnant. So, here was something that mine. No one can take her away from me, unless she runs away or something truly bad happens to her (like coyotes or a car…oh gosh, I don’t even want to think about it). Otherwise, she is totally mine.
Then, it struck me even further. Isn’t this how God sees us? I mean, when I walked into that room of kittens, I knew exactly what I was looking for – I wanted the Siamese. She was hiding under the couch, where no one could see her which made no one care. But I wanted her. When I look at her now, I love her unconditionally, not because she has done anything for me or she’s particularly special, like she does some incredible trick. I just love her because she is mine.
It’s the same with the Lord. He says…
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 49:1
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16
“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.'” Isaiah 41:13
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Just like Lavender, God chose me. Even though I was nothing special, God called me by name. He loves me just because I am His. Friend, it is the same with you. Ephesians 2:4-5 tells us that even though we were “dead in our trespasses,” God loved us nevertheless. Hence why He died for us. Isn’t that a beautiful kind of love?
Normally, when people say, “JESUS LOVES YOU!” it sounds cheezy or silly to me. Like Jesus is some hippie or mushy-type. When I read the Old Testament (and New, really), I see God as a man’s-man and tough. I feel like He loves me in the way my dad loves me. (Which is true) Friend, if you are like me, and feel like God’s love seems silly or built in fantasy, think of something in your life that you love unconditionally. Maybe for you, it’s like a pet you had or have now. You chose that pet just because, well, that was it for you. Or maybe you love your child, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, friend… Whatever the case may be, don’t undermine God’s love for you. It is extraordinary and mind-boggling.
I would love to hear your story about a pet in your life that gave you glimpse into God’s love. Let me know in the comments!