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Are You a Grump?

How do you feel about having pets in the house? Some people, I suppose would not have an animal of any kind in the house, some not even in the yard. But, others of us either like it or at least, tolerate it.

We have two dogs that live outside. They are too big to be inside, and besides that, they don’t smell real good. Inside we have a cat, Duchess.

Duchess is not an ordinary cat. This is quite possibly the most anti-social cat on the face of the earth. She is moody and very demanding. Jeff found Duchess on the highway late one night on his way home. At that time, she wasn’t even old enough to wean. He stopped, looked around for her family and then scooped the kitten up, brought it home and made a place for her in our family. If he hadn’t, the kitten would have most likely died.

We don’t know exactly why, but this cat has the most peculiar personality of any we’ve ever seen. When she is with us, most of the time she is ok. She can be so sweet, so loving and so adorable. You would think that she is the sweetest thing on earth. She has her moments, however, when even we cannot please her. She’s made advances at us a few times, so, we just put her down and act like she is not there.

Recently, we got a new dog. She is a house dog and just full of life. Our concern when getting this dog was not whether we could take care of her or not. It was whether Duchess would accept her and behave herself.

The first day the new dog was in the house, it was hilarious. Duchess hissed and blew all day. You would see her easing around a corner, carefully looking to see if the dog was in sight. Shhhhhhhhhh… Pshssssss came from her every time the puppy walked anywhere close. That cat was so miserable. She spent her whole day hissing and blowing, occasionally lifting her paw and swatting the air. By the end of the day she was completely worn out from all her aggression.

The little dog, well, she just bounced from one to the other happy as a lark. That cat didn’t bother her that much. She was happy and was not about to let some ole “sour puss” spoil her new family.

I thought the cat would get over it in a day or two, but she hasn’t. Every once in a while, wherever she is, you will hear a growl, a hiss and a blow, just to let everyone know that she is dissatisfied with the way things are. But, to tell you the truth, it has gotten to the point we just say, “It’s just Duchess. She’s just miserable and wants everyone else to be too.”

The more I watched this scenario, the more it looked like something else I’ve seen. Actually, I’ve watched church members do that for years. In every congregation there is at least one or two families like that. They hiss, blow and growl at everything and everyone that comes along. They have their moments when they are sweet and serving, but you let one thing crawl across the floor that they don’t like, and their whole world falls apart. They prowl from one place to the other hissing and blowing, occasionally lifting their paw to take a swat at something or someone, and then lie down and wallow in their misery.

We’ve considered getting rid of Duchess a few times. Our only option is to kill her or give her to someone else. Since killing her is not an option, the only thing left is to give her away. The problem is, nobody wants her. We’re stuck with her. We love her. We appreciate her so much when she is sweet and loving. But, when she hisses and blows, we just ignore her, knowing that almost every time she opens her mouth something negative is going to come out of it.

What about church members who are like this cat? What do you do with them? Nobody else wants them. If someone tried to give me another cat like Duchess, I would run. You couldn’t pay me to take one. Why would another church want someone who growls and hisses at everything? They already have at least two they can’t get rid of.

Because Duchess is a cat, I can somewhat excuse her behavior and love her anyway. She doesn’t understand the Spirit of Jesus. As a matter of fact, she doesn’t understand much more than eat, drink and sleep. Christians, however, have been given a capacity to think. We have been given freedom, yet are owned by the same Lord. You see, that is my house and If I want a dog in there with the cat, it is not the cat’s choice. It is mine. The cat has no right to complain!

In the body of Christ, it is Jesus’ complaints that matter, not ours.

This morning when the puppy passed by the cat, once again she hissed and blew, lifted her paw to swat and I laughed. I said to the cat, “Go on and take a nap, be miserable the rest of the day if you want to. It is your loss.”

Check your paws!