Thursday, August 10, 2006


The first time the scanner program opened on its own, it scared me. The second time it annoyed me, but I laughed about the computer being “haunted”.

Then I discovered that my kitten Cyndi had figured out a route up the back of the computer desk, across the second shelf, onto the scanner, through the opening, over the mouse where she would step on the keyboard so she could climb on my lap and cuddle on my shoulder. She was so lightweight it didn’t occur to me at first that her step could fool the scanner into thinking it was in use. As she quickly grew and gained weight, she stopped bedeviling the scanner, but she hasn’t stopped her circuitous trip to purr for me.

Each of my pets has its own way of showing appreciation for being rescued and given a home. Cyndi is just the latest and the youngest. She purrs as the male cat Crystal roughhouses with her, as Merci the dog chews off her long hair, as Cotton spits at her, as Jenny defends her position beside my pillow or as she eats. She purrs much of the time and seems content with her adopted “family”. I hope she never outgrows PHS (Purring Heart Syndrome).

In human terms, PHS stands for ‘Preciative Heart Syndrome. How often do we let others know how much we appreciate them? Who they are, what they do for us and for others, what they stand for, what we learn from them, how glad we are to be related to them or to have their friendship? It can be hard to express those sentiments but an occasional word of appreciation can put wings on another’s feet at a time when that person’s road is dark and unstable.

Every day should be I Appreciate You Day, a day when we give gifts of loving words and deeds to those we appreciate. A remembrance card for a retired teacher that inspired us to study hard and pursue a dream. A home-cooked meal delivered to the preacher’s family. A pitcher of fresh lemonade delivered to the neighbor who mows an elderly or disabled person’s yard. A bouquet of flowers for the shut-in relative – delivered in person. A visit with an aging parent at a nursing home.

Expressing appreciation to God first and foremost should become as natural to us as purring is to Cyndi.

Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:19b, 20 (NIV)

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