Today, we are without a pet for the first time since 1975. We had to put our cat Moses to sleep. He had a tick disease and there was nothing that the vet could do for him. Over the past few years Moses had decided that he was an outside cat. Because he didn't like it when our grand dog, a yellow lab named Sally, would come to visit; Moses spent most of his time with the neighbors across the street. When they had to move away, Moses wasn't sure what to do with himself. I think that it may have broken his heart when they moved away.
We never intended to have a cat, but sometimes things happen that you just aren't planning for. My daughter Cynda helped me write this story of how Moses became our cat.
Meow, Meow, Meoooooooow, "Do you hear that" my wife asked. Yes, it sounds like a cat.Meow, Meooooow, Meooooooooow. Richard, you better go check it out. It sounds like it is in trouble.
We walked down the hill to the creek behind our house. The pitiful cries grew louder and louder. They were coming from a small gray kitten. He was caught in a tangle of roots on the creek bank. The kitten was on the far side of the creek. This meant that I had to walk down the creek to a place narrow enough to cross. I found a place where I could wade across the creek, then I fought my way through a mass of bushes and briars. When I finally reached the drenched kitten, he frantically held on to the roots. I had to pull with all of my strength to get him out.
I was afraid that the kitten would fight like a little tiger because of how fiercely he had struggled; however when I held him close, he melted into my chest. Almost immediately I heard a soft, gentle purring. Hello, Moses I said, Your name will have to be Moses because I drew you out of the water.
What were we going to do with a kitten? Our family had never owned a cat. We had always been dog people. Our dogs have always been pampered pets. Some people have even said that our dogs are the masters of the house. Now we had a tiny helpless kitten. What was to be done with it? I guess it was ours.
We carried Moses to our back porch. My wife Regina brought towels and an old pet taxi. We dried him off and made him a soft bed in the pet taxi. I put Moses down and he immediately climbed up my leg and perched on my shoulder.
MOSES AS A KITTEN
Our back porch became Moses home. He was firmly attached to it. The world beyond the back porch was a strange and scary place that he would not venture into. He would not leave the back porch. If I carried him into the front yard, he would begin desperately clawing, fighting, and basically freaking out. He wanted down so that he could get back to the safety of the back porch.
As I remember how Moses came into our lives, it reminds me of how my relationship with God developed. I remember being in the creek. In Psalms 69:1-3 David wrote about his experience in the creek. "Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the deep mire, where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary with my crying; my throat is dry."
When Moses cried out someone came to rescue him. God has made a promise to us. "Call to Me, and I will answer you".(Jeremiah 33:3) When God answers our call he will bring us to a place of safety.
Moses found a place of peace and safety on the back porch. He knew that as long as he was on the back porch nothing bad was going to happen to him. God has provided a place of peace and safety for us. "Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble." (Psalms 119:165) We need to look at God's law the way that Moses looked at the back porch. He realized that it was his place of peace and safety and he wanted to be there. Anyplace else made him very uncomfortable.
Many times we look at God's law as a jail. We feel that it creates uncomfortable restrictions. We need to ask God to give us a love for his commandments, to instill in us a desire for the peace and safety of His law. No one forced Moses to stay on our back porch; he stayed because he loved the feeling of security. That is how we should view God's law.
"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome." (1 John 5:3)
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I was born in 1956 in Madison, Tennessee, while my parents were attending Madison College. I grew up along the Front Range in Colorado, attending schools in Longmont, Brighton, Boulder and Loveland, Colorado. Two years after graduating from Campion Academy, I married my sweetheart, Regina. We lived in Loveland, Colorado for six years before moving to Mena in western Arkansas.
I love the people of Mena and the friendly easy going way of life here. I have owned and operated my own business since moving to Mena. I enjoy the natural beauty of western Arkansas and being out of doors.
My newspaper column in The Mena Star, An Arkie’s Faith, premiered on January 7, 2016. In March 2017, I published my first book, titled An Arkie's Faith, using articles from the column.