Dear Stinkle

Seven days ago, for some unknown reason, you (an indoor cat) decided to escape and run outside. You haven’t come home yet. And whether you come back tomorrow, or you’re gone forever,  I have a lot to say to you.  I know  you’re a cat and you can’t read. But, hey, I gotta process this stuff.

I got the awesome pleasure of naming you.  I looked up names and found Periwinkle which means, Sweet Remembrance. As a kitten,  Periwinkle was perfect. Overtime, you grew up and just became the weirdest cat I’ve ever had. I mean that in the nicest way possible. You purred all the time LIKE ALL THE TIME , you squawked instead of meowed, you had to be with me all the time,  even in the bathroom. You were such a unique kitty. For some unknown reason, you started gaining a lot of weight and you got that adorable chubby belly. That belly which stood between you and cleaning yourself, and thus you were nicknamed Stinkle. Even after you lost the weight, we still called you stinkle because it just fits your personality so well.

Whenever people would ask about my cats, I used to say “then there’s stinkle. she’s just weird.”  I remember the moment I stopped calling you ‘weird’, and started calling you ‘mine.’  It was when I realized after months of you sleeping with me, waking me up, following me around the house and up the stairs, that maybe you liked me a lot. And  that is something I’ve always wanted, an animal who loved me as much as I loved him or her. And believe me, we tried to find an animal that loved me back. We tried a dog, she followed my mom around. We tried a kitten, but he hated people and ran away. Then we found you! So, I started to embrace your weirdness.  I looked forward to going upstairs to my room, because every night you’d chase me up the stairs (or beat me up there) and make sure I was following you to my room. I looked forward to sleeping because I knew you’d make a bed on my back, or right next to me while I slept. When friends would ask about my cats,   I would say “then there’s stinkle, she’s my kitty.”

I miss you rolling around on the floor on your back. I miss you annoying me while I was trying to read on my bed (believe me, now, I’d put the book down and pet you.) I miss your constant purring in my ear as I slept, that stuff was like white noise and it’s so quiet at night now. I miss making fun of your little belly that flapped around whenever you ran around the house. I miss taking a nap/snuggling with you in the afternoon to avoid my adult responsibilities.

There’s always some sense of guilt when I’m sad about losing an animal, I’m tempted to tell myself “It was just a cat.” Because there are people out there who have said that to me in the past. Stinkle wasn’t just a cat and for animals lovers out there I know you understand. But for those who don’t,  Man, I feel bad for them. There’s truly something unique about the bond between animal and human. It’s love without words, it’s unconditional love: I loved her even when she decided to pee in my bath tub for a month, and she loved me even when I pushed her off my bed when I was annoyed by her. It’s those  moments like when I was crying one day, and she jumped on my bed,   laid down on my chest and purred. As if she was saying, “It’s okay. You’ll be alright.”

My heart hurts. Even though you could come back any day, it doesn’t make waiting any easier. I’ve done my fair share of pleading with the Lord the last few days as the denial/shock of what’s happened fades. It’s nearly impossible to think that I might not see you again. But we won’t think like that, because that’s too sad. If nothing else, I had the extreme pleasure to love and to be loved by a cat for 7 amazing years.

Stinkle, the door is always open. Your brothers miss you (yes, even Phantom). Come home, your favorite blanket awaits.


Your Human Marlie. 12071050_716166628517651_1354363181_n



A love like Gravity

Sometimes at recess, the kiddos drag me into their pretend games. One girl and I decided we were going to fly into space. “3…2…1…BLASTOFF!!!” She yelled gripping the monkeybars (our rocketship). She began to swing back and forth. A few moments later, we had landed on a foreign planet. She hopped off the monkey bar and said “come on ms marlie! Let’s go!” She started walking around, and I said “Wait a sec. You’re in space! you have to float around, there’s no gravity in space!” (Sometimes I forget these are 4 &5 year olds.) “What’s gravity??” She asked. “It’s what keeps your feet on the ground when you’re on earth.” She blinked a few times and continued to explore the planet.

I spent the rest of that recess pondering that conversation. None of those kids knew anything about gravity, yet, there they were totally being held to the planet by  gravity.  We don’t do anything without gravity effecting us. It doesn’t change based on our mood, our circumstances or our ability to acknowledge or understand it. It just is. All of Earth is effected by gravity. every person and creature.

One time during school, a girl and I were talking about all the people who love her. she began to list the people:  “my Mommy loves me. My daddy loves me. My sister loves me.” I asked her: “You know who else  loves you?” “Who?” she asked. “God loves you!” “Why?” she asked. ‘Because He made you!” I responded. She blinked a few times and continued to list other people who loved her.

I spent the rest of the day pondering that conversation. None of those kids could grasp just how much God loved them, yet, there they were totally being loved and cherished by the Lord. We don’t do anything without God’s love effecting us. God’s love does not change based on our mood, our circumstances, or our ability to acknowledge or understand His love. He just loves because He is love. All of Earth is effected by His love, every person and creature.

His love, like gravity, is unwavering despite man’s depravity. I was going to write a poem instead of a blog post about this idea. But I couldn’t come up with anymore rhymes. So there’s a one-lined poem  for you. But seriously. The gravitational pull doesn’t change day to day, it’s not based on your actions or beliefs. You don’t experience more gravity one day, and less gravity the next. It’s constant. So is the Lord’s love. He has loved you and will always love you as much as He does right now which is more than we can fathom. The Lord’s love has nothing to do with us earning, or deserving love. But it has everything to do with God who IS love, who wants a relationship with us. Gravity doesn’t do much more than just keep you on the ground. The Lord’s love saves you, gives you hope, transforms you to be more like Christ. My prayer for you and for myself, echoes that of Paul’s.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:17b-19