Friday, September 17, 2004


Merci's friends

Scattering or Drawing
by Janice Price

"Calm down, Merci, and they’ll play with you," I was telling my dog for the third time, when movement caught my attention. I raised my eyes to see my neighbor fumbling to close her blinds without looking toward the window directly in front of me.

Merci and I resumed our morning stroll up and down the sidewalk, staying close to home because central Georgia was between spurts of heavy rain and wind gusts created by Hurricane Ivan.

Call Tammy and apologize just as soon as you go home, I was admonishing myself, when Tammy opened her front door and came outside. We laughed as we discussed the incident.

Tammy was sitting in front of a window, watching a friend’s young son, when he suddenly announced, "There’s someone outside the window." Unnerved, she closed the blind without turning her head. Still, she caught a glimpse of me, which is why we were apologizing to each other.

Tammy and Jody knew Merci and I visit their mother cat and kittens. The cats have been staying on the front porch, but yesterday they were playing in the yard. As usual, Merci tugged on the leash and whined to see them. I was oblivious to where I was standing or how my presence might appear, as I tried to contain Merci’s energy. It never occurred to me that anyone might be home at the time.

Merci loves cats, possibly because she lives in a house with several of them. She was playmate to Cyndi, a rescued kitten, and presently has a kitten of her own, Percy, that she found and rescued. They love her and delight in her attention, even though she sometimes gets overly excited when playing with them and starts rolling them around like they are sturdy puppies. They’re buddies that chase each other around the house. So she rushes at all cats, as if to say, Hi, I’m your friend. Let’s play. She doesn’t understand that her size and enthusiasm are intimidating to smaller animals. Plus, in her excitement, she whines and yelps.

The cats are becoming accustomed to Merci’s presence. They kittens come to greet her occasionally now, but then run away. When Merci is calm, the cats are curious and more receptive to her.

If Jesus had been loud, argumentative and overbearing, people would have run away from him too. But he was humble, with a servant’s heart, and so he drew some people close where he could teach them about God the Father. He set the example. Are we drawing people to God, as Jesus did, or are we scaring them away, as Merci sometimes scatters the cats?

© 2004 Janice Price

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