Old Cats

Job 12:12
Wisdom is with the aged,
and understanding in length of days.

We have two old cats. Between their food and their litter, their only interest is warmth. They seek it on beds, couches, floors in front of wood stoves, and in hiding places in the house that we humans do not have high enough security clearances to know about. The concerns of younger cats have been dismissed. Rubbish. They don’t have that kind of time. And, yes, they will hiss and scratch at even small children, if necessary. Nothing personal, kid.

Apparently cats, per human standards, are the most intelligent creatures on earth behind only humans and chimpanzees. Cats are smarter than dolphins. They are certainly smarter than dogs. Look it up. What’s interesting about this is how age has made my two simpler animals. They don’t want hundreds of things. They just want somewhere to lay down and snooze. Age has a similar effect on humans. What the young ache for, the old shrug off. It turns out that some things never really mattered in the first place. Worldly ambition may grow when we’re young, but it is certain to atrophy when we age. One friend of mine requotes Isaiah 40:1 thusly…

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint;
they shall sit and not fall asleep.

Few things are more important than getting over oneself. Dreams have to die. Fantasies of self-glorification have to be cleared away, so that the real sun can rise in our lives. From this viewpoint, aging is a means of grace.

(Now I’ve got to push one of my cats away from wanting to lay on top of my laptop as I write this. It’s warm and they want to show me a better use for the thing.)

 

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