God works to soften hearts in unusual and mysterious ways. Sometimes it is even through a tiny little kitten named Fenty.
We are a dog family. We have a nine year old yellow lab, named Brody. He was asked for, prayed for, begged for, for years. It’s a long story why we don’t have cats, but let’s just start by saying my husband doesn’t really like them. And the feeling seems to be mutual. We did have a cat at one time when our kids were little. A neighbor’s cat that “adopted” us. He was a cool cat, and he fit our family fairly well, But he got a weird cat disease and is no longer with us. After that, my husband announced, “No more cats! We’re a dog family, not a cat family.”
And truly a dog works well for us. He is sturdy. Able to keep up with our kids. Willing to play fetch all day long. He doesn’t mind being used as a pillow, and has survived eating so many “forbidden dog foods” we have lost count. So we didn’t really miss having a cat.
And then our middle child went off to college. And she asked if she could get a cat. At first our reaction was “But you can’t have a pet in your apartment. It’s not worth getting evicted. And where will it live when you come home in the summer?” Because we are a dog family. She insisted she really “neeeeeded” it. And we kind of laughed it off.
But she is an adult and she got a cat anyway. Actually she had a doctor write a prescription for a support animal. She needed a cat. And she was figuring out how to tell her dad. Wondering if she AND the cat would be allowed to move home over the summer.
Eventually he found out. Our goddaughter accidentally spilled the beans at a funeral. What could he do? He couldn’t get mad there. Teensy tiny bit of softening.
Then I heard a conversation between Nina and our youngest daughter. Lola was lamenting that her favorite TV show was depressing her, because her favorite couple had broken up. And I overheard Nina say to her, “Lola! That is NOT depression! Depression is when you don’t want to get out of bed for days and even watching ‘The Office’ seems like too much work. And then you get a cat and you feel better.”
Soooo, put my name on the ballot for “Mom of the Year.” I missed it. I didn’t realize she had been struggling to find her place in college life. Struggled to adjust. Overwhelmed by everything new and different. And just adulting. And she shut down. Thankfully she saw a doctor and that doctor wrote the prescription for a support cat. Softening and more softening. We want our daughter to function and succeed. If this little fuzzy face helps, how can we not love her too? It wasn’t what we wanted or even expected, but life messy and unmastered is the best. And it softens even the most stubborn hearts.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. ~Ezekiel 36:26
And so Nina and Fenty are spending Spring Break with us. Unmastered. Messy. And with an abundance of softening and love. And if He can soften our hearts with a cat, just imagine what else He can do. . . .