How Kittums, Smeagol, and Princess Buttercup taught me to love

Please read this article by Ben DeVries on Kurt Williams blog. It has a wonderful, beautiful point, and adorable animals. You can’t lose. Read it!

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thepangeablog/2011/09/14/the-nonviolence-of-the-kingdom-towards-animals-ben-devries/ 

This post of mine is a response of sorts.

I’m an animal lover.

There’s no denying it.

If you don’t believe me, check out my Facebook page. Chances are, my profile picture currently has at least one cat in it. I love animals.

It’s actually weird for me to say that.

I used to hate animals. I used to think they were smelly, and kind of stupid and they gave me allergies.

Come to think of it, I used to hate people.

But God used three cats to change my heart. To teach me how to love.

How to love animals AND people.

In high school, I had some bitterness issues. No…that’s a nice way of putting it, but it’s not really accurate. I’ll be honest, I was hateful, cynical, and cruel. I wrote bitter, nasty things on the internet. I beat up my siblings when they bothered me. I said horrible things about my friends behind their backs.

The world had hurt me, and I was going to hurt it back.

And, sadly, I probably did a pretty good job of that.

Then, one day, a stray cat showed up on my parents’ porch and never left.

I tried not to love Kittums (….a bit of a cruel name for that poor animal, but it just stuck). But I couldn’t help it. She was ferocious. Fearless. She’d walk around on our neighbor’s roof like she owned it. She’d attack your leg in the middle of the night when you got up to go to the bathroom.

But then she’d curl up in your lap and look up at you with those big, beautiful green eyes that say, “Love me!”

So I found room in my tightly closed, heavily fortified heart to love one cat.

“Just one…” I said.

And then, Kittums became a mommy.

She decided to have her babies in the ceiling of our basement. I guess she thought they’d be safe up there. But she was wrong.

One little guy managed to find his way out of the ceiling. He fell about ten feet and landed on his head.

I saw it happen, my stomach dropped in sickening horror.

I hadn’t even met it and I loved it already.

Smeagol somehow survived that fall. We named him Smeagol because, well…because he looked like this when he was first born:

Smeagol needed a little extra care. He was a little slow and sometimes he walked into walls. And then backed up. And walked into walls again. And then backed up…

So I decided there was room in my heart for one more, and Smeagol became my baby.

And then there was Princess Buttercup, the other kitten that we kept. She was a princess alright. She constantly wanted attention, she loved to eat Cheese-Its and Cheetos, and she had the smelliest farts ever.

here she is with her head stuck in a Cheetos bag...

 

I didn’t realize I loved her until she ran away and didn’t come back.

I remember crying after finding out that she still wasn’t back after a month and thinking, “What’s happened to me? I’m crying over a damn cat!”

By the time Princess Buttercup showed up at our doorstep again, half starved to death and as needy and smelly as ever, I knew how to love.

Three adorable cats had somehow snuck their way into my heart and unlocked it from the inside.

The change from who I was then to who I am now has been drastic. I can’t even describe the difference in words.

If I could take a basket and put my old hatred and bitterness in it and then hand it to you…

…and then take it away…

You’d understand.

But I can’t, so you’ll just have to trust me when I say I can’t describe this in words.

Love and compassion, for animals and humans, comes easily and naturally to me now. I’m a pacifist. I haven’t gotten in physical fights with my siblings in years. I’ve stopped cutting people down with my words (though, I’ll be honest, this one’s still a struggle sometimes). I can’t even bring myself to kill spiders anymore (my 3 year old cousin and I like to think of them as “small, eight-legged kitties.” Spiders need love too!).

I know how to love. I know how to love like I was made to love.

I guess if God can knock down the walls of Jericho with some marching and some trumpets then he can knock down the walls of Sarah Moon’s heart with a few adorable kittens.

Say, “Aww.” You know you want to.

 So, readers, how has God used animals to change your life? Let’s spend some time thanking God for making animals! Oh, and if you want to see more ADORABLE pictures of kitties, take a look at my facebook page! 

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