Thursday, March 27, 2008
We have two dogs (Nyute and Madison) and a cat (Bagheera). Although Naomi counts the fish as pets, and has even named them all, I don't count them as pets, per se, because you can't interact with them. The other animals, however, are very interactive; especially the dogs. Nyute's pretty big (pictures at left) and Madison is medium sized. Still, they're both rather large to be sleeping up under our chins every night (which they do). They are spoiled rotten. Nevertheless, they're a real pleasure to have in the home and interact with. It becomes easy to forget that they are possessions; that we're their "owners." It would seem more accurate to suggest that we're living in a Star Wars reality where these "other life forms" cohabit with us. Sure, they obey the humans, particularly the large male one among the human pack, but they're not "possessions" in the manner that we "own" a table, a computer or a bed.
The cat on the other hand (Bagheera), is living proof of the old adage that "dogs have masters, but cats have staff." He likes to be around family members, but only when he's ready. He'll let you pet him if he's in the mood. He glares at you in a manner that seems to size you up, determining whether you're worthy of his time. He's neat to have because he keeps a sense of mystery in the house. Some cats may be "lap cats" in that they snuggle at any opportunity and let you pick them up all the time. Not Bagheera. He's got his own rules, and only those who follow them are graced with his company. Nyute and Madison both seem to respect him and keep their distance.
How interesting that God makes creatures such that will add this dimension to the human experience; that he made a whole realm of the animal kingdom that is domesticable. Some aspects of the animal kingdom have assisted in human work (horses, sled dogs, falcons, etc). Some have assisted in human sustenance (farms animals, cattle, deer, fish, etc.). Some serve neither of those, but just seem to keep the created order in balance (spiders, snakes, sharks, vultures, etc.). Some, however, seem to have been created to enhance the human experience; to be objects of human care, kindness and responsibility, while also being sources of human pleasure, joy and company. My pets remind me of God's grace woven into creation...yes, that means Bagheera too.