They have two felines that magnanimously allow them to live there. Of these, one is my kind of cat. Whenever my wife and I go over to visit, this first cat immediately proceeds to make itself scarce. It absconds to their bedroom where it literally disappears under their bed.
There it invariably remains, properly ensconced and resistant to all manner of enticement by my wife (herself a well-meaning but misguided individual who naively loves all cats) to coax it out, until the coast is clear.
Of course, this “all-clear” signal is only sounded in its mind once it perceives that any and all intruders are confirmed to have left the premises. Only then does it emerge. At least that is what we are told; for we have never actually witnessed this exceptionally rare event, as we are always gone when it happens. Needless to say, this first cat views my wife and me as unwelcome intruders in its domain and responds accordingly.
Conversely, their other cat is just my wife’s type of tabby. From the time we enter their home, it makes its loathsome presence known to one and all. Out it comes, boldly meandering all between our legs, meowing incessantly as it does. What is more, it persists in this behavior no matter how much it is discouraged by the recipient (usually me).
As if this is not annoying enough, it then proceeds to jump up on the couch. (This latter spot is usually my first destination upon arrival, thankful that I was able to secure a safe landing in spite of multiple and persistent attempts to trip me up and make me fall flat on my face.)
But then, this is all part of the master plan conceived by the diabolical feline. For it next impudently crawls into your lap, rudely rubbing its head all over your torso, and purring so loudly that your overwrought eardrums feel as if they can no longer handle the vibration. Even worse, it repeatedly dabs its wet nose onto virtually every single exposed piece of skin on your arms, neck, and/or face!
As you may have surmised by now, the little ogre and I are not on the best of terms! It obviously senses that I do not like it; and feeling is clearly mutual. Our relationship might even be said to border on adversarial! Thus, it was with a sense of satisfaction that I scored a rather minor victory over the beast on my last visit.
It happened this way. I was seated at the kitchen counter on a stool when, completely without warning, the fiend suddenly sprang up onto the counter next to me! For a moment, it was nip and tuck. We were literally eye to eye. It was a tense moment as we stared at each other! And it was only by swift action on my part that I barely managed to avoid a well-placed dab to my cheek by a fully primed wet nose.
Evidently frustrated that it had been thwarted in this assault on its primary target, it immediately let out a sharp meow, wheeled around, and zeroed in on its secondary target. Now, my son and daughter-in-law have a faucet on their sink that is designed to respond to the human hand. One slight touch turns it on while another turns it off.
Apparently, so does a dabbing with a wet nose! Having thus turned on the water, the beast whirled once more, gave me a scornful, condescending, and hate-filled look, and then exited stage-left!
It was then that I had my sweet revenge! Coming into the kitchen just in time to observe this patently heinous act, my son unleashed a verbal reprimanded on the culprit, harshly scolding it as he tapped the spigot and turned off the water.
Yet, even as the beast skidded across the floor and prepared to round the corner into the adjacent room, it somehow managed to shoot a malicious and reproving glance over its shoulder at me.
For my part, I knew exactly what it was thinking as it did: “Alas, big boy, you may have won this round! But this battle is not over! Mark it down! I will be back!” Even now, I am confident that the monster is planning its next diabolical move, awaiting my next visit with infinite patience even as it does.
All jokes aside, in the First New Testament Letter of the Apostle Peter (chapter 5, verses 8 and 9), we read the following:
8Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Thus, while my ongoing struggle with my son’s cat may be a figment of my imagination, the ongoing struggle I have with the Devil is quite real! He would like nothing more than to see me stumble and fall prey to his devices.
But praise God, I do not face my adversary alone! I have an Ally! I have One who fights by my side and empowers me in my daily struggle against the evil one! The One Who stand by my side is none other than the third Person of the Divine Trinity – the Holy Spirit! And in His power, I can withstand all of what the Bible calls the “schemes” of the Devil.
No matter how diabolic they might be, these schemes are destined to be a “cat”-astrophic failure!
SCRIPTURE SOURCES: https://biblehub.com/niv/1_peter/5.htm and https://biblehub.com/niv/ephesians/6.htm.