For many years, I swore we would not have cats in our house.
“My Dad is allergic, and they are a lot of trouble, when it comes to kitty litter, etc. Plus, if we ever go out of town, we have to pay someone to feed them.”
And for years, my daughters prayed and pleaded. “Don’t you think kittens would be fun? They are so cute! We will take good care of them, we promise!”
I wasn’t buying it. We had a couple of guinea pigs, but one died, and the second wasn’t very affectionate, so we ended up giving him away. I felt vindicated by the short attention span of my children and the relative lack of value we had enjoyed from these pets.
Then, suddenly, my resolve crumbled, and we found ourselves with not one, but two kittens.
Since then, two years have passed, and one cat (Miri) died, but was replaced (in some sense) by Marco. They are ‘inside’ cats, but are fascinated by the outdoors, especially birds and the occasional enemy cat that dares to trespass our yard.
And in a strange way, I am thankful for them. As selfish and utterly contemptuous toward us as all cats are, my heart warms at the sight of Marco stretched out on his back, belly exposed, paws curled in contentment. Even Misty, who is a classic introvert, is pleasant to have around when she deigns to curl up with me. There is a deep satisfaction in petting them, and they are (at least) very appreciative whenever we feed them.
I think the way I most enjoy our cats is watching them when they sleep, and gaining vicarious pleasure from their total abandonment to rest. I imagine Heaven as a place where college students and parents of newborns, and even weary programmers, can rest with all their heart, for as long as they need.