Friday, May 1, 2009

Ding-a-Ling

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. Isaiah 11:6 NIV

When we were given a Siamese kitten, my eight-year-old brother was given the privilege of naming the cat. Mom suggested that Siamese are given musical-sounding names; perhaps something that rhymed with ding-a-ling. “That’s it!” my brother shouted, “His name will be Ding-a-Ling.” And that was that. (Mom took the cat to the vet for the annual exam and shots. When the vet assistant called out “Ding-a-Ling Robinson,” Mom had to stand up in humiliation.) At home we called the cat Ding, except when introducing him to visitors—or the vet! Then it was “Ah-Ling.” Snobby? Maybe.

Ding was protective of his family. He would calmly face down big dogs, who would back off, looking everywhere but at the cat. You could almost hear them say, “Cat? What cat? I’m just dropping my tail, and moving off slowly, slowly…” The humorous graphic of a pussy cat seeing a lion reflected in the mirror, says it all for Ding-a-Ling, a very brave cat.

You’ll not find pet cats in the Bible of the Hebrews, although the Egyptians had cherished and worshipped domestic cats for thousands of years. In fact, the only felines mentioned in Scripture are leopards and lions, fearsome beasts. (Isaiah 11:6, Daniel 7:6, Revelation 13:2, Jeremiah 13:23, and others.) The evil one is depicted as a lion seeking people to devour. But Jesus is symbolized as the Lion of Judah—regal, strong, and mighty.

Some of my friends dislike, fear, and/or are allergic to cats, which is almost incomprehensible to me. I marvel at the beauty of the cat’s graceful physique, the texture and colors of fur, and not least, their individual “personalities.” My heavenly home will be furnished with cats, cats, and more cats.

In Jesus’ kingdom, The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox…They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD. Isaiah 11:6, 7, 9 NIV

How our Creator loves us, to fill our world from Eden to the New Earth, with such delightful, mysterious, inspiring creatures as felines.

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