Subject: Just a Cat

Lazarus was just a cat but he liked me. Not many cats like anyone let alone me. Of all the people in the family, Lazarus decided to like me. No, he LOVED me. He would climb up my chest and rub his nose against mine. We called them "nose nooshies" and he loved giving them. When I came home from work at night, Laz would hear my voice and start complaining until I would go in, say "hi" and receive the evening nose nooshies. If I failed to answer the call, Laz would jump the child gate and risk detection by the dogs to come and find me. 

Watching television? Laz was there.  Eating popcorn? Yep!  Napping on the sofa, he would sprawl on my chest and nap with me.  We were buddies and everyone knew it.

Mom fed him but he Loved dad.  Mom cleaned his litter box, but dad was special.

Lazarus got his name because we found him as a kitten, nigh unto death.  My wife has a wonderful gift of being able to nurse living things back to health.  We did not think Lazarus would make it, so when he recovered, my wife bestowed the appropriate moniker on him.

Taco, my wife's cat, came very sick and we took him to the vet.  They determined that he had Feline Leukemia and was dying.  There was nothing they could do.  We had to have him put to sleep.  I mourned with my wife when he died.  It was so hard to watch my wife in pain.  It hurts when you see a loved one in pain.

Feline Leukemia is very contagious to cats and is ultimately fatal.  Daisy and Lazarus would have to be tested. Daisy's test came back negative. <sigh of relief>  Now it was Lazarus' turn.  His test came back a strong positive.  We do not know how the cat's contracted the disease, but Lazarus would have to be put to sleep to protect the other cats.  My wife mourns with me.  It hurts to see a loved one in pain...

Lazarus was just a cat, not a brother, sister or parent.  He was just a cat, but he loved me. 

How are you supposed to be strong for others when your heart is broken?  How are you supposed to get things done when you just want to sit and stare?  I don't know.

We keep plodding along and somehow make it through tough times.  The mind, heart and soul are resilient.  They seem to be able to take more pain than we imagine.  We don't like to think so, but we can handle more than we want to.  It never gets easier.

I remember when I was going through the toughest time in my entire life.  One wave of pain after another washed over me.  It seemed it would never stop.  Things got so bad, I stopped praying for strength and began praying for mercy.  I did not think I could bear one more heartache.  I was not on my knees, I was on my face.

Should I stop feeling so I could not be hurt again?  That possibility crossed my mind more than once.  It was indeed tempting.  I was tired of being hurt.  Not feeling anything would at least protect me from being hurt again. Should I go absolutely mad?  Could I get in my car and drive into the sunset?  How far can you run before there is no more pain?

I made a conscious decision to remain vulnerable.  It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made.  I knew I could and would be hurt again someday, but I would rather know the love I had lost than never know the love I had lost at all.  Do you know what I mean?

After a long season, the wailing time passed away and the blackest night began to show signs of daylight.  That was many years ago and I can say that my decision was worth it.  Had I not remained vulnerable, I would have never met my wife.  I would have missed out on the joys and pain of watching our children grow up.  I would never have loved Lazarus.

He was just a cat, but he loved me and I loved him.

I am glad I can feel.  It isn't always pleasant, but it is always worth all that I go through.

It'll be okay soon. I know it will.

Psalms 30:5
"...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." 

- Rod

Man of Sorrows

Lazarus Page 2


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