Obsessing over what matters

Tales from the front pew

“Hi. My name is Kim and I’m a crazy cat-lady.”

Okay, so far as I know, there’s no such organization as Crazy Cat Ladies Anonymous (CCLA), but if anybody decides to start one, I’ll be in the front row of every meeting.

My path to cat obsession began one feline at a time. Our first cat, Minnie, belonged to my son, Buddy’s girlfriend. Steph only lasted a few years, but Minnie’s been with us going on nine. Next came Boots, then Patches, and after that, Tiger, our latest addition.

While my husband, Bob, and daughter, Val, have become immune to my kitty obsession, it’s a bit jarring to those outside our immediate circle, such as my older sister, Debi.

Last week Debi, her daughter, Hannah, and Hannah’s two children came for a visit. With two children under the age of four in an unfamiliar environment, both my sister and niece were naturally cautious. Our home is far from baby-proof. Unfortunately, neither are our cats.

Because of this, the visit had a two-fold concern — Debi and Hannah worried about the kids, and I worried about the cats. Would new-walker Maise trip and fall against the bricks around our fireplace? Would three-year-old Lincoln have trouble falling asleep in a different bed? Would either pull one of our cats’ tails or pet them a little too enthusiastically? Would said cat respond good-naturedly or with sharp claws unsheathed?

Perhaps the greatest area of tension involved the front and back doors. Shortly after joining our family, Tiger managed to dart past us twice and run out the front door. Not wanting to risk a repeat performance, we developed a system to thwart escape attempts.

There is a door separating our kitchen from Bob’s home office. The office itself has a door leading to the backyard. When we prepare to leave the house, we first make sure that no cats are in Bob’s office, go into the office ourselves, shut the kitchen door behind us, and exit through the back door into the backyard. As you might surmise, it’s quite a hassle.

Debi found it particularly annoying.

“Kim,” she said, “I’m gonna run out to the car and grab our suitcases.”

“Remember to close the door to Bob’s office before you head out.”

“You want me to go out the back door? My car’s parked in front of the house.”

“I know, but I can’t take the chance that Tiger will get out.”

“Well, why don’t you put Tiger in Bob’s office and shut the kitchen door long enough for me to run outside?”

“Because Tiger might get nervous if we do stuff differently.”

“Are you serious? She’s a cat … and it’s pouring down rain. If I go out the back door and walk all the way around the house, I’ll get soaked. But, hey, no problem. We can’t let the cat get stressed.”

“Thanks. I knew you’d understand. Would you like an umbrella?”

Obsession isn’t always a good thing, except when it comes to faith.

The Ten Commandments tell us we must put God before anyone and anything. Are you obsessed with Jesus?