Friday, October 29, 2004


Cameron and Merci

Living at Peace
by Janice Price

"Have you considered buying a harness and a leash for your kitten?" I asked Jody recently. "Cameron is determined to follow Merci across the street and walk with us."

Merci has been cultivating a friendly relationship with Cameron ever since Bobbie and her kittens were moved from inside the neighbors’ house to their front porch. The other kittens have been adopted and Merci is finally accepting that her other friends, fluffy Kade and the black bob-tailed kitten, aren’t coming back.

Yesterday morning Cameron was hiding under a bush and this time he was determined to accompany us up the road. Nothing could dissuade him. As usual, I carried him home and tried to divert his attention, but within a few steps, he was underfoot again.

Cameron finally won the battle of the walk. He trotted proudly between us, as close to Merci as he could get without being trampled under her feet. We had a shorter walk than we usually would, but Merci didn’t seem to mind. When we reached our own block, they began to play together.

Cameron sat on the sidewalk, staring at the house, after we came inside. He looked so lonely I tied Merci outside to keep him company. He played with her chain, rubbed against her legs and eventually curled up next to her on the porch. As strange as it might seem, Cameron considers Merci his friend.

I watched them through the screen door, thinking about how children and animals can so often show us how to apply a Biblical principle without any conscious thought of what they are doing.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18 NKJV)

Merci has a strong desire to meet and greet other animals. She lives at peace with the cats in her own home and she tries to make peace with all the cats she sees on our walks. They aren’t usually receptive to this but on a few occasions a cat has followed us for a short distance.

Merci the dog and Cameron the kitten don’t appear to have much in common, but that hasn’t stopped them from being kind to one another and sharing some time together. They presented a picture of serene camaraderie as they sat on the porch steps yesterday and watched the passing cars.

Friends give each other the space to be individuals, just as the canine Merci and the feline Cameron overlook their differences and concentrate on what they can share. This is an important aspect of learning to live at peace.

The two are enjoying a drizzly morning on the front porch again today. Cameron was waiting on the sidewalk for us, and although we walked the same distance today, he stopped when we turned around. Merci tried to encourage him to keep up but he seemed tired, so I picked him up and carried him home. He purred all the way.

As I watch these "enemies" of the animal kingdom living at peace with each other, I recognize that while they are doing what comes naturally to each of them, this doesn’t come naturally to human beings. We are naturally proud, self-centered, greedy, and selfish, but God’s Spirit can change our nature so that we, too, can learn to live at peace with others.

© 2004 Janice Price

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