Meet Frehley, my clingy kitty who’s named after my favorite guitarist. This amalgamation of fur, claws and eyeballs intruded on my life about four years ago when I finally caved under the pressure a co-worker had been leveraging for nearly a year to take one of the many kittens his mom had. On the surface Freh seems like any normal kitty, but if you look closely you’ll find there’s something not quite…right.. about him. He’s just a little…special.
Despite all the cooing and baby talking this little beast howled like a banshee the entire ride back to my apartment.Yet, as soon as I swung open the door to the cat carrier this jerk sauntered out, immediately relieved himself in the litter box, jumped on the couch and plopped himself into my lap like he owned the joint. This was not an ordinary cat.
“Hey! Get off the couch!” The only response I got was this look:
He leveled this look at me for a good 30 seconds before promptly curling up and falling asleep. As if he took my measure, and found me not to be a threat. I should’ve known then what I was in for…
The past four years this animal has not left me a single moment’s worth of peace. Each morning it’s the same routine; I awake to find four bony paws rammed into various soft places on my body and his head on my chest, brainlessly purring away in contentment. He stays in bed only until he hears my foot on the top stair, as I begin my descent to the bathroom. He then leaps up, cuts in front of me (nearly murdering me) as I stumble blindly down the dark, narrow stairwell. From the moment he bounces from the bed to the moment I rudely close the bathroom door in his face, he talks to me in a variety of meows, yips and chatters. You’d think having a bathroom door closed in his face would deter him. Nope. By some amazing feat, he jimmies the door open and joins me in my washing ritual.
He talks to me while I shave my legs, wash my hair, brush my teeth, and towel myself off. He meows while I cook my breakfast and drink my coffee. The moment I’m not in his line of sight he begins pacing, ranging from room to room in our 1200 square foot duplex yowling – stopping only when he “finds me.” Where I am, he is – there is no escape. He snubs everyone in the house, save for my fiance and only pays him attention when I’m not home. As soon as I arrive home he bounds back to my side.If, for some reason, he’s not next to me all I have to do is utter the words, “bye bye Freh!” and he comes running to me from wherever he is in the house. Often, I’ve said that this cat will outlive me for about 30 seconds before he dies of heartbreak and joins me only to torment me in my eternal afterlife.
While I’m sure that all of this is amusing to you, dear reader, you must be wondering what my co-dependent kitty has to do with the love of God. If there is any single word that could describe both Frehley and God’s love it would be this:
Much like Freh, God haunts us pouring out his mercy, tenderness and care with such constancy that we are overwhelmed – often to the point where we must shut God out. Yet, despite our literal ignore-ance of God there is never a moment that he is not with us, loving us ferociously. This is the beauty of the Resurrection -our God is not dead, he is not distant. Our God is alive and he is imminent – speaking and responding to us in real time!
Like Freh, God is constant in his love – but (also like Freh) he wants to be acknowledged and loved back. Simple lip service is not enough – we must perform the actions of love. The first step in doing that is to listen – to open ourselves to God’s love and to trust him to show us the way to him via a path of love, mercy and care for each other.
Peace my Friends!