Biting Cat didn't come for breakfast yesterday, but that's not unusual. He lives life on his own schedule, and it has nothing to do with mine. I assumed he'd found a mouse that was more tasty than his canned food. He does that sometimes, but he usually shows up for dinner.
I went about my morning routine and headed to work.Almost to the stop sign at the corner of Highway 9 and County Road 278, I saw a large lump of roadkill in my lane.
As I swerved to miss it, I got a better view. It looked oddly familiar. Long, fluffy striped tail. Dense, heavy dark fur.
Was that Biting Cat?
When I was back in my lane, I looked in the rear view mirror. White belly surrounded by dark fur. My heart sank. It was Biting Cat. I felt sick, and started slowing to pull over, then changed my mind. "Lord, this seems unfair. I just cannot deal with one more loss this morning. I'm gonna have to get back with You on this cat carcass."
I drove on, leaving my dead cat in the middle of the road.
Half a mile down the road, I thought better of my decision, but I was already late. I just can't deal with that dead cat right now, I kept telling myself. I drove on to the office and sneaked into prayer time a little late.
When we were finished with Bible study, Lyle reached for missionary cards so we could pray for them. "I hope you pull my card," I told him.
Chuck looked over at me. "Do you need prayer today?"
"Yes, I do. I just left my dead cat in the middle of the road," I announced. There were surprised expressions on every face. It sounded like I'd dumped my cat, but I hadn't, so I explained the situation. "When I get finished with my work, I've got to go back and get that dead cat out of the road to bury it."
"Do you have a shovel?" someone asked helpfully.
"Yeah, but I sure didn't want to dig a grave today."
We had special prayer for me, because the more I thought about the dead cat in the middle of the road, the more I needed a divine intervention.
Several hours later, I'd finished my pressing work, and left to deal with the sad situation.
I wasn't madly in love with Biting Cat because, as his name implies, he's bitten me quite a few times. However, I'd spent years teaching him not to bite and he'd finally learned the lesson. In addition, he had learned to purr and let me pick him up. After those victories, I hated to lose him, even if he wasn't a good cat.
Biting Cat was also the least concerned about appearance of any cat I've ever met. He refused to groom himself at all. Over the winter, when his fur grew super-long and dense, he'd get dreadlocks. In the spring, I'd have to shave him slick to get rid of them. Unless you've shaved a near-wild-cat before, you can't imagine the size of the job.
Biting Cat was a lot of trouble.
Anyway, I drove home, filled with dread about the task ahead of me. I was dressed in my old leather skirt, tights, boots, and a nice sweater. I decided I'd rather get finished with the job than change clothes, which could've been a bad decision, but turned out okay.
I grabbed my shovel and a garbage bag and headed to the site. I parked at the pottery shop, waited until no cars were coming. I marched toward Biting Cat's body with black garbage bag in one hand and rusty shovel in the other.
When I squatted down by poor old Biting Cat, I got the shock of my life. It wasn't my cat after all.
It was a raccoon that looked just like Biting Cat.
I can't describe the emotions that surged through me. Relief. Aggravation. Embarrassment.
We'd had special prayer for me over a dead raccoon carcass in the middle of the road. It wasn't my cat at all.
For a millisecond, I wished it had been my cat.
I loaded my burial equipment up as quickly as possible and headed home, grateful no cars had come while I was squatted by the roadkill coon.
There's probably more than one lesson in this story, but the one for today is how skewed the view is from the rear view mirror. Considerable agony came from my backward view. It was only when I took an up-close look that the situation became clear and I could view it accurately.
There's a reason the windshield is large and the rearview mirror is tiny. We're supposed to move forward, both when we're in a car and in life. Are there difficulties and sorrows in the past? It's important to deal with and learn from them so that we don't repeat our mistakes, but there comes a point when forward motion is required.
Are we moving ahead or looking back? Today, let's get our eyes off the rearview mirror and put them on the road ahead. Move forward, to the future God has planned.
"Brethren, I do no regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14 nasb
In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: A Very Un-Missionary Like Thanksgiving
photo courtesy of freeimages.com