Love elicits love

by Craig on September 21, 2011

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dying
As I write this Laska the love Kitty…
who originally came to me looking for food…
because I know that look – and that me-now meow…
has instead chosen to sit by my side as I write…
and he closes his eyes but he’s not sleepy…
and he keeps opening them – as if to check on me.
It’s been an unrelenting hurricane of sad…

and the eye of the hurricane is the face of this cat.

How does he know?

It’s 4AM now. I’ve prayed for Sara. My heart has room for little else. The tears. Still. Won’t. Stop. Falling. I know I’ll have some smiles ahead when I take the love kitty out for his morning walk. He’ll pounce, chase after wind, climb trees (his squirrel impression) and pull me into the moment.

He’s a smile factory…
a break in the clouds…
camped at my hip…
keeping watch over me.

Of course, the minute I say the word o-u-t-s-i-d-e he’ll know it’s his turn. Until then it’s patience – which, for a cat…not the norm. Even the love kitty has a strong me, me, me, and also me, streak.

Sara’s got a love kitty too. His name is Riley. He looks like this:

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dying

Sara's 2008 Christmas card

In June of 2008 Sara wrote:

Have you ever seen a face exude more sympathy? I see this expression when he snuggles with me at least once a day. To clarify, I get the look once a day … the snuggling is non-stop around here. He’s very co-dependant. And I just want to make him happy.

Now those with husbands and babies have other things hanging around your home to make happy. I have one. Sara has one. Someday I’ll share my biblical argument that beloved pets go to heaven. This is one plank of the platform – they elicit love.

And the weight of sad is massive now…
and he just lays there and looks at me.
He’d usually be attacking toilet paper.

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dying
What makes him want to stay by my side right now?
Does God put that in our animals?

His eyes are wide…big circles…
he’s never seen me cry.

And as I type this he yawns wide, and stretches out his paws to my arm with a trill, and he won’t take his eyes off of me. He doesn’t realize that when I’m done posting this I’ll say the magic word and all his compassion will disappear like chocolate on a dreary day.

But until I say o-u-t-s-i-d-e there he stays, gazing at me.

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dying

They make us love – these animals. They’re like little love magnets, attracting love. It’s a good line to have on a resume for heaven. No?

And now – the magic word…

and there goes the compassion…

like a bird set free from the cage…

and he races, paws blazing, to the door…

and out come the me-out meows…

and I smile…

and love…

love elicits love.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria September 21, 2011 at 9:59 am

they just know, don’t they?

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Craig September 21, 2011 at 7:06 pm

sometimes, Victoria, I wonder if we just read human emotions into them – but his behavior IS different now – he’s staying closer. All I know for certain is how comforting it is. Thank you Victoria, and God bless you!

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Cora September 21, 2011 at 10:20 am

Buster knows! He learned the art of unconditional love when I went through cancer treatments, when I had very little to give back. And now, if I don’t feel well, or feeling down and dark and alone, it’s Buster I want by my side. He just seems to understand and knows how to wait.

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Craig September 21, 2011 at 7:08 pm

I learn a little more of you all the time Cora – and I’m glad you have Buster. God Bless and keep you!

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Lisa notes... September 21, 2011 at 11:13 am

I don’t even like cats, but I love yours, Craig. Love elicits love. Yes. Praying for Sara too. So hard to understand things sometimes.

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Craig September 21, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Lisa, thank you, and thank you for praying for Sara. I totally understand this – in a broken world this kind of thing happens. What still stuns me a little is how deeply I FEEL this. You remember way back when I named this year “connect” – my heart has never been this open – never – and I hate how it now lies wounded – but I love it too. Again, thank you, and thank you for liking Laska the love Kitty. That makes me smile. God bless and keep you Lisa!

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Mari September 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm

They really do give unconditional love. Would love to hear your thoughts about pets in heaven, sounds like a great topic =)

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Craig September 21, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Mari, I really, really, really heart when I know you read. And pets and heaven? I think that will be a Deep into Scripture topic – the short of it – well – it’s good news – and totally biblical. Thank you for reading, and commenting, a heavy heart needs smiles – and you have provided one. God bless you Mari!

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Emilie September 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm

prayed for you today, Craig… and yes, pets just know. somehow they can feel it. my cat was the same. he died two years ago now, but i’d had him since i was six years old, and he always, always, always knew. even if i’d go to my room and close my door to be alone, he knew when i was upset… and he’d stand outside and tap on my door till i let him in. then he’d come sit with me and put his paw on my hand, or snuggle next to me. God was so good to give us pets. :)

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Craig September 21, 2011 at 7:21 pm

thank you for the prayer Emilie. before I named this year “connect” and then set about connecting – this all would have been met with the proper formal acknowledgment and sympathy – but things have changed – now only months after – I FEEL this – so deeply. – I haven’t cried about Sara today – not until returning these comments. To be honest I was a little worried about that – not wanting to let go too quickly – not wanting to NOT feel. Anyway – thank you. And what a time span for you – graduating – and starting things all new – and losing your cat – the one you had your whole life – and your horse – I haven’t forgotten your horse. I can imagine him wanting in your room (the cat – not the horse) :-), and then staying with you. It WAS a good idea for God to give us pets – Amen. So now – because of your comment – I have a smile to go along with the tears. God bless you Emilie!

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Maria September 21, 2011 at 5:42 pm

AS a dog owner I can attest to the uncoditional love of pets. It is funny you mentioned the pets today because I have been thinking so much about Sara’s pup and how sad that puppy will be one day missing his owner. But for now they give each other love. And he will always remember that.

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Craig September 21, 2011 at 7:26 pm

I think you are right Maria. As much as I know that Laska loves me – in his own cat way. I know that dogs are herd animals – they attach to their people. Cats attached to their surroundings – they choose their people. It’s a different thing – and you’re right – that puppy will be sad. He knows who loves him best. And I did so good today – I didn’t drop a tear all day. But returning comments – now they’re back. And that’s not bad. Maybe I just ran out of water for a while. I both love that my heart is so wide open to this – and hate it at the same time. Thank you Maria. God bless you!

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Layla Payton September 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm

My cats DEFINITLY know when I feel bad, and will even resort to sleeping on my head if they have too. <3

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Craig September 21, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Layla – your comments – both here and on the other blog – have brought smiles at just the right time. You are a treasure. And just as I type that –guess who is snuggling on the cushion of the couch and leaning against my head? God bless you Layla!

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Dawn September 21, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Dear Craig,

Today in the flood zone, handing out Red Cross supplies to (what looked to me like) homeless people sitting on what was left of porches, I noticed all the pets. They were there and they were close. Some of the houses were empty and the animals had boxes with blankets in them on the porches to sleep in till the owners came home from work. They probably didn’t want them to get into any black mold inside the house. There is such tragedy everywhere. I met a young woman much like Sara, bedridden and in a lot of pain. Sometimes I had to get in my van and just breathe (take in YHWH, as Ann says) before going to the next house.

Praying all the time: for you, for me, for Sara, for flood victims, for work, for not work, for…______,
Dawn

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Craig September 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I remember the “great flood” of 1993 in St. Louis. So much was underwater – and I remember to all the pets. God bless you Dawn for doing what you’re doing. I heart some good love in action! And thank you for praying, and I just said a prayer for you – because even though what you wrote is not an official “x”… and I have been looking for those…it made me smile to pray for you. ツ

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Debbie September 21, 2011 at 11:49 pm

So glad you have your Laska and that he is just the way he is. Here it seems God always gives my daughter therapy kitties. That’s what we call them. They let her lay with them and hold them for long periods of time. She needs their softness next to her.
God bless you and thank you for sharing about love eliciting love!

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Craig September 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Debbie, then I guess you know how important therapy kitties are – the love Kitty is definitely a therapy Kitty – but only for me – he hasn’t really learned how to trust other people yet – he has people “issues” – but he’s learning. Sorry I didn’t reply to your comment until tonight. God bless and keep you my friend.

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