I never considered myself a crazy cat lady until my family gave me a joke gift for my birthday: The Cat Lady Starter Kit. It featured a figurine of a woman in a dowdy sweater, with cats all around her. I started to protest—hey I don’t even own a dowdy sweater! Then I realized how true it is. Aside from hours of wasted time watching silly cat videos, my cats bring me closer to God.

Setting an Alarm

"Wake up, wake up, Deborah! Wake up, wake up, break out in song! Arise, Barak! Take captive your captives, son of Abinoam." -Judges 5:12 NIV

Sometimes we’re tempted to hit that snooze button once too often. Even though they say cats sleep about twenty-three hours a day, they’re ready and request your service in the early hours of the morning. No one knows exactly why cats are active in the wee hours, but humans understand that our feline furbabies believe that it’s never too early to scoop fishy-smelling pate into their dishes. And refill them ten minutes later. While cats’ only seem to care that their breakfast is served on time, God often transforms kitties into alarm clocks, helping us humans greet the day without too much grumbling. While most people complain if their neighbor’s rooster crows at sunup, cat people know better than to avoid the cat alarm. Hiding one’s head beneath the covers may result in nibbled toes, so we may as well get up. And how can anyone stay mad at a cute kitty?

Staying Healthy

"It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure." Psalm 18:32 NIV

Anyone with a cat understands that kittens love to pounce and retreat, playfight and chase. Their moms encourage this, knowing that later on, play will develop hunting skills as well as great eye-paw coordination. As adults, these hunting kitties will be in fine physical shape—at least until the humans start dishing out too many second breakfasts. God makes sure that cats help keep us healthy, too. Cats may not go on as many leashed walks, but the three A.M. zoomies show off a kitty’s muscles. But wait—God thought of everything. We humans can get a decent workout as we lovingly chase cats off the counter, out of the fridge and away from the roast chicken. Whether exercise comes as we build that outdoor catio, scoop the litter box or clean up the shredded toilet paper, God is only making sure we stay on our toes—the same way all cats walk.

Having Courage

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

If you’ve ever watched your cat stalking something, you’ve seen courage in action. Kittens will often attack a large dog’s tail as it wags, and if the pup has accepted the cat, he’ll even give up his dog bed for Kitty. Cats are experts at convincing everyone around that they are in charge. If they weren’t why would we all be so hesitant to move a sleeping cat? While some may refer to lions as examples of courage, felis catus doesn’t have the advantage of size or ear-splitting roar. Instead, kitties fluff their tails and arch their backs to appear larger and more formidable. Through cats, God shows us that courage need not depend on outward signs. As long as we believe and acknowledge God’s guidance in our lives, we won’t have to puff ourselves up. With God directing our steps, we can enter any battle like a courageously cool cat.

Rescuing the Weak

"Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." -Psalm 82:4 NIV

Newborn cats are almost helpless. A newborn kitten’s mew should tug at any animal lover’s heart, and just like human babies, the cries can stimulate Mom to produce nourishment. Kittens enter the world both blind and deaf, relying on smell to guide them to their mother’s milk. Orphaned kittens must be fed a special formula every two hours around the clock until they are old enough to begin solid food. Over several weeks, cat babies learn to walk, their ears unfold and their eyes open, but they still rely on their mom (or a foster) for all their needs. Our cats can be an example of the ways that God not only rescues us but also how God encourages us to rescue others. In scripture, we’re told to rescue widows and orphans, the sick and the needy. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or childcare nursery. During cold weather, purchase warm socks and hats to give to the unhoused. While we may not formally adopt someone, our cats remind us that we can pray for that person and act in loving ways that glorify God.

Being Chosen

“Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations." -Matthew 12:18 NIV

Cats are often thought of as aloof and disinterested, but our kitties form deep bonds with their humans. God designed several feline behaviors to let us know we’re special to them, including purring, kneading and weaving in and out of your legs at suppertime. But that’s not all. Cats show their choice of persons by napping (and shedding fur) on your clothing, by sleeping with you (as you cling to the edge of the bed) and by showing their belly. These activities demonstrate that your cat trusts you and holds you in high esteem. God wants us to trust Him, too and to know that God is always with us. God uses our cats’ affections to remind us that we are His chosen people, that God delights in us. The stray cat who just walks into your house and chooses you echoes God’s pursuit, never giving up on you. When your cat follows you everywhere, even into the restroom, remember that God will never leave or forsake you, either.

Showing Love

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." -Matthew 22:37 NIV

When I received my Cat Lady Starter Kit, I thought of all the cats I’ve owned—or, more accurately, that have owned me. If I return home after a trip, Mamma Mia! might give me the cold shoulder, but only because she missed me so terribly. Then she’s back to purring, kneading and asking for Second Breakfast.

I’ve had as many as six cats at a time, but currently I’m down to one. Whenever a beloved pet must go to the Rainbow Bridge, the God of all comfort is there, sheltering me with love. The unconditional love kitties so freely give make it hard to lose them, but easier to grieve and then bring home another cat.

Cats help demonstrate God’s love for us. When my cat sleeps with one paw resting on my hand, I think of the unlimited love and care God extends to His children. And I may not be able to purr, but I can keep learning to love the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind.

After I received my Cat Lady Starter Kit, one of my favorite cats, Palladine or Pallie, age seventeen, passed away. To some, he was just a cat. But I’ve taken the loss hard and still miss him. Yet, each time I think of Pallie, I see God working in my life. Through cats, God’s teaching me how I can be healthy, more courageous, more compassionate—even more of an early riser as well as more loving in my daily life. I guess I really am a crazy cat lady, because for me, cats demonstrate God’s bottomless love for us all.

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