The kitchen looks like a war zone—plates and pot lids strewn about, towels on the floor, a blade from the overhead fan dangling precariously. Blood is seeping out from my husband’s sleeve, dripping onto the kitchen island. Our foreheads are drenched in sweat and we’re panting with exhaustion. The cat’s ears are flattened back, and his eyes seem to be spinning wildly.
I look at my husband for support. We nod in agreement—break time is over. We’re going back in, this time with even more determination.
We’ll get this medicine into him if it’s the last thing we do…
OK, it wasn’t that bad, but it felt that way. Aslan, our sweet kitty from the Twilight zone, fought like a wild tiger for about ten minutes before we gave up, and we had to give up, to keep him from hurting himself.
The most disheartening part was that we were fighting over pain medicine. He was in great pain from a bladder infection. We were struggling so hard because we love him and don’t want him to be in pain. But he was afraid.
You cat owners out there would agree, the veterinarian’s instructions were almost laughable (and by laughable I’m talking about that hideous, fear-based, strait-jacket laugh):
“Just measure out 3 milliliters with this plunger and squirt it under his tongue twice a day,” she said. “Do not squirt it down his throat.”
Under his tongue. Riiight.
So we all know how that train derailed, don’t we?
When Aslan wouldn’t open his mouth voluntarily (I hear you snickering), hubby tried the grip & pry method, which instantly brought out the claws.
Then we tried wrapping him, cajoling him, and bribing him with treats, all to no avail.
Then we tried brute persistence (“the heck with under the tongue; this is going down the throat!”) Naturally, more medicine went into my own mouth than his. Tastes as nasty as you’d expect, but my neck doesn’t ache anymore, thank you very much.
We even tried putting it in his food, but apparently the odor is easily detectable, and thereby initiated a hunger strike.
And after all this struggling, we still hadn’t even touched the antibiotic—a rather large purple pill that he needed to ingest in order to cure the infection.
So finally, we gave in. Setting aside the pain medicine, we managed to get him to take the antibiotic by disguising it in a bit of tuna. After about a week of only antibiotic medicine, he is back to his old self. The pain medicine is still in the vial. It makes me sad to think he was in pain much longer than he had to be…if he had only let us help him.
When I think of how hard Aslan fought us and the stress he put himself through, I wonder if that’s what it’s like from God’s perspective as He directs our paths. Does He feel frustrated, or does He watch in amusement when we fight Him? Does He try to force us, or does He give in and let us stay hurt just a bit longer than we might have been?
We’re such goofy kids. We turn away, hide, make deals—anything to avoid THAT, because it’s painful, or different, or scary. How sad to think that all along we’re not only making things worse, but we’re missing out on wonderful gifts He wants to bestow upon us. Because we think we know better. Because we’re afraid. Because we’re mad at Him.
I struggle with the irony that I only want to curl up on His lap and purr when all is well. However, it’s when all is NOT well that He wants most to hold me. For more than ten years I was particularly angry at Him because I lost many loved ones before what I thought was their time, despite knowing that as long as I’m on Earth I never will understand why. By not trusting that God knew what He was doing, I spent years wallowing in anger and hurt before I came back to Him, exhausted from the struggle. He wanted to hold me but I wouldn’t let Him.
I can assure you that whatever pain you’re going though, God is certainly aware of it, and He knows the reason for it, and He knows what will come of it. Trust that He doesn’t want you to be in pain. Why would He, who loves you more than anyone could possibly love a cat, want anything but good for you?
Don’t fight the arms that hold you. His touch can heal. Sit still, already! The best is yet to come.