As many of you who often read my blog know, I have indoor cats. One of my cats is a ragdoll cat named Buster. He has long hair and is hot ALL the time. He lays around on the stone in front of the fireplace or just hangs out on top of the air vents when the air conditioner is on. For awhile he has needed to be shaved. I have been very leery of this idea because one of my best friends and neighbor as a child had a chow who…well I guess you would call it…went into shock from the grooming and never was the same afterwards.
Well Buster, he is pitiful. He grooms himself constantly and leaves what looks like big cottonballs literally all over the house. I had to buy a special vacuum (the Bissell pet hair vacuum) just because of him. He often gets sick from the hairballs and he thinks I am the ENEMY when I give him hairball medicine, but it HAS to be done to keep him from choking….and I feel so helpless when he is trying to get rid of one…nothing I can do but just hope he doesnt get it on my carpet…seriously, it is scary to see a cat gagging and choking all the time.
On my facebook page this week, one of my friends had posted a pic of her mother’s Himalayan cat who looked a lot like my Buster, but was a lot lighter. When I asked her about the cat, I found out that the cat is shaved twice a year and she was lighter because it was her undercoat! She said the grooming changed this particular cat’s personality for the better because she felt so much better. She became more sociable and just LOVED the haircut. She gave me the info for the veterinary clinic who shaves her. I decided to make Buster an appointment.
That is the background for my story today. I want to tell this as a life lesson because Buster’s actions to the entire preparation process really hit me as how we act as God’s children a lot of times.
The instructions I was given seemed simple enough…no food after 6 pm and no water after 10 pm. Make sure Buster is at the clinic between 7 am and 8:30 am and pick him up any time after 3:30 pm. because he would have to be sedated for the procedure. He also needed his shots (just a side note…but he got those while sedated, so no trauma there!)
Of course everything looks simple written down, but for a cat like Buster, putting his food bowl up at 6 pm was a MAJOR EVENT! I feed Buster and Sassy with an automatic feeder, so they just take a nibble here and there, but mostly in the evening and night, then go to bed and do not usually eat again until suppertime because I also give them treats at designated times. No sweat, not much to do… Put their automatic feeder in the large container that we keep the bag of cat food in…the water is in our master bathroom, so at 10 pm just close the door and we are all set!
[X] FOOD BOWL TAKEN AWAY
Well at first Buster attempted the loving approach. He jumped up on the back of my recliner and just leaned his whole 18 lb body over on my head and purred, purred, purred. He did this literally for about 30 minutes. I feed them in the den, about 10 feet from my recliner. There is a little sink, refrigerator and bar in that area that is “their” domain. Sassy (gray tabby) just quietly sat on the edge of the bar, patiently waiting. I think she knew that I have never withheld food for very long, so she was just simply not too worried about it, just waiting. She is a wise and patient kitty.
After Buster attempted the loving approach of nuzzling my head for 30 minutes or so, he finally gave up and huffed VERY LOUDLY and jumped down, then raced down the hall in a tantrum. He acted much like a very angry and spoiled child. He is a vocal cat, so he was fussing the whole time.
When he jumped down, it scared Sassy, so she ran, too. This was a bad idea because he took his frustrations out on her. I could hear them wrestling (they are both declawed on the front, so their fighting is usually pretty harmless) and Sassy started whining. This meant Buster was really mad because usually he does not get the best of Sassy. I told Buster to leave her alone. This got his attention long enough for Sassy to go hide. She is only about 8 lb soaking wet.
[X] Water Taken Away
Bedtime was pretty much a repeat of loving/anger/loving/anger. When I went to bed, Buster immediately jumped up beside me. I have a king size bed and Buster sleeps on the corner. Most of the time he starts out at the foot of the bed on top of the covers, and then by early morning, he is laying beside my head on the corner. I even lay a blanket out there for him. Well this night he went straight to his blanket purring and loving. He wanted a treat. I always give them a treat just before bedtime. When he realized I was not going to get up and get a treat, he huffed VERY LOUDLY AGAIN and then took a GIANT LEAP clear across the king size bed to the floor, never touching the end of the bed, and started chasing Sassy again. She finally got away and hid under the bed. He will not go under the bed, so she was safe there.
FINALLY, I fell asleep, so I have no idea what he did during my sleep.
I got up at 6 am and Buster was laying beside me asleep. I quickly got a bag of cat treats and although I felt guilty about it, I pretended to throw a treat into the cat carrier. He ran in and I closed the door. Then I got ready to go to town. The ride to the vet that morning made me think of what I heard called Chinese water torture when I was in elementary school. I do not know if it is true. I think it is where just a drip of water falls intermittently nonstop for hours and drives one insane? I did not call it that to offend anyone reading this that may be Chinese. That is simply the name I heard it was called…ANYWAY, the noise Buster made all the way to town was like that…just an intermittent tone that sounded like a meow of the word “no” every few seconds. No matter what I did, he would not stop. He did not know what was going on. He was hungry and thirsty and MAD, MAD, MAD! SO he wanted to torture me.
I dropped him off and I filled out the necessary paperwork. when I looked in to the front of the cage to tell him bye, he curled himself up in a ball as far away as possible to really make me feel guilty for leaving him. Just seconds before, he had been at the front of the cage looking at the vet tech, so I know this was done “just for me”.
Several hours passed and I was back that evening ready to pick Buster up. I was so ready for him. I had thought about him ALL DAY. I was excited and nervous all at the same time. They brought him in to me and he looked like a lion! He was SO CUTE! He looked like he’d lost about 10 lbs, too! I was SHOCKED! Everyone there just kept gushing over how cute he looked. They left his mane and the hair on his feet and end of his tail. He is just adorable! SO I sat in the back seat and put a big towel in my lap and let him out of the carrier for most of the ride since he was still groggy. FORTUNATELY, he was glad to see me and let me hold him. He enjoyed watching the traffic on the interstate.
Sure enough, he HAS been like a different cat. He has never been a cat to sit in the den all evening or in my lap or even to let me pet him much. BUT now he curls up on the blanket right beside me on the couch and stays in the living room all evening. He LOVES for his back to be rubbed where the hair was shaved. He purrs every time I touch him (in a good way, does not run off). I have not seen him fight with Sassy even ONE time since he has been home. It has been 4 days now! His whole demeanor has changed. He did not hold a grudge toward me. He still follows me around the house like he used to. I have always called him my Butler, but now that he looks like a lion, I hate to give him a servant’s role! HAHA. In the summary below I will refer to myself as master only to make the lesson clear.
There are SO MANY LIFE LESSONS in this story of Buster. Buster did not know WHY his master was treating him this way. Buster tried many approaches to get his master to do things Buster’s way instead of his master’s way. Buster did not consider that the master knew best and was looking out for his good. Buster did not know how much better his life was going to be once the master’s plan was carried out. Buster fought and fought against the master’s plan. Buster’s anger hurt his master as his master had to show tough love and go against Buster’s wishes for his own good. It is too bad he did not enjoy the time with his master, that he did not simply be patient like Sassy. Buster put so much unneeded stress upon himself by NOT trusting his master. He also hurt those around him in the process (Sassy). But now look at how happy he is! He is cool, calm, his belly is full and he has all the water he could ever want…plus now he can enjoy closeness with us, which he could not do before because he was just simply too hot to sit with us! THE MASTER KNOWS BEST! TRUST THE MASTER!
Why do we so often want to do things OUR way instead of God’s way…why as Christians can we not see that God’s Plan is that we trust Him so much that our Will becomes the SAME as His will? My cat helped me really see just how much I have to learn about keeping with God’s Will and not following a different path. HE is not the enemy, so why in the world do we so often treat HIM like HE is? The song “Trust and obey, there is no other way”…sounds easy, but is so hard….oh but that sweet peace and joy we will find if we trust and obey our Lord! He DOES know best! His ways are not our ways, but HE is teaching us and guiding us….we must LISTEN and NOT RUN THE OTHER WAY, do not be a fickle Christian…be steadfast…it is all part of the process of maturing as a Christian.
I love this pic because he looks mad, but it is just because he has ice blue eyes. It is so hard to get a pic of his eyes! If I put it on the red eye reduction setting, he blinks, so instead I get a pic like this! He’s a cutie, though! He’s a gift from God and I am thankful for him!
I hope you enjoyed this little tidbit from my life!