Ruthie and the New Guy

March 20, 2017

Just as Ruthie was getting settled into her new home (along with us) something very unexpected happened. Our daughter, Vicky, learned that a former roommate was moving away. She thought she had accommodations for her cat, a 10-year old male tabby named Boston, but the housing fell though and, at least temporarily, the cat needed a new home.

Vicky knew this cat from when they were roommates. He had a mostly sweet and mellow disposition, so she was happy to bring him home. There were just two problems. Boston was very traumatized, as a ten-year old cat, to lose his home and mistress and come to a strange place. He spent days forcing himself into tiny spaces and sitting stiffly, only sneaking out to eat a little and use the litter box.

Gradually he began to get over his fear and come out for rubbies and exploring. That was when the second problem erupted, literally. Ruthie was not happy to share her house and her people with an invader. She still bristles up, chases him, and sometimes goes at him with claws bared. However, they seem to be slowly adjusting to their life changes.

So what lessons did I learn from this phase of life with Ruthie? Just a few things.

5 Life Lessons from Ruthie and the New Guy

  1. We don’t like change, and the older we are, the harder it is to adjust. (Or even want to adjust.) As much as I love our new house, sometimes I want to crawl into a tiny space like Boston and not deal with the cleaning, the paying for stuff that a new house needs, and all the rest of the changes. God needs to grant us older people (based on cat years, Boston and I are about the same age) energy and focus to keep on working, and to want to face the world and its changes.
  2. We get jealous and angry sometimes when someone demands a share of our time and our space. Ruthie is going through that right now, and in some ways so am I. I need to get the house shipshape and ready to show hospitality. We had some family and friends over a week ago, and our first try at entertaining went pretty well. But it really wiped me out, and I still wish I didn’t have to let others into my sanctuary. Hospitality is a strong principle in Scriptures and I need to get over that, just as Ruthie needs to learn to be hospitable to Boston.
  3. Boston was pretty dull and droopy when we first welcomed him in. Gradually he has perked up and started grooming himself and looking healthier and more energetic. I am going through that too, trying not to spend so much time in dumpy old lady mode. I want to smile and dress up a little and look more attractive to attract people to my Lord. Boston and I are working on that together.
  4. I need to stop being jealous of my time. For years hubby has been on the road as a trucker and I sleep alone a lot. Even when we are together I almost get annoyed when he wakes me up for a snuggle at night. Okay, yes, it’s not almost, I do get annoyed. And now I get awakened, sometimes several times a night, by kitties who need rubbies. (Yep. Both of them show up on the bed. That is the one place and time where they rarely get growly at each other.) You may say that I could just close my door, and I did that once or twice. But it’s better to learn a lesson I think God has for me here. I need to be generous with my time, even with my most jealously-guarded time, and know that people need me to be available as much as kitties do.
  5. I really can grow in unselfishness because that is what God wants for me. Life gives us difficulties like big changes, invaders of our personal space, and general life adjustments that can be hard to put up with. But He wants to purify us, and that is seldom comfortable. It’s a process, and we have to give up impurities.

I am tempted to avoid hard jobs, to fight others over what I think of as mine, to fall into careless and sloppy ways when I don’t like how life is treating me, and I am especially guilty of being selfish with my time. Ruthie and Boston both have given me examples of my own failings. All three of us need to change our thinking. I hope the cats don’t beat me out in making such necessary life adjustments.

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17 Comments

  • Reply Heather Hart March 20, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Thanks for introducing us to Boston, Mary! I was reading in Matthew this morning about when Jesus withdrew to be alone after finding out John the Baptist had died, and the crowd followed Him. Instead of being insistent for time to grieve, He got out of the boat and healed their sick. What an example to follow!
    Heather Hart recently posted…Candid MomentsMy Profile

  • Reply Terri March 20, 2017 at 8:36 am

    This sounds like a great book to read, lets follow these life lessons

  • Reply ANdrea March 20, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    I’m always amazed as to how God can use anything to teach us stuff
    ANdrea recently posted…Greater Is The God That Is In You – And No Other!My Profile

  • Reply Grace March 20, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Change is hard for all of us to accept! But my mindset is we can either run from it (but only for so long) or we can grow from it, and while it might be hard we will be better for it!
    Grace recently posted…10 Ways to Help Anxious Children Calm DownMy Profile

  • Reply Amy Christensen March 21, 2017 at 7:21 am

    What great life lessons! I love how God teaches us those things through the most unexpected circumstances. – Amy

  • Reply Jaime Hampton March 21, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    I love your stories, Mary, thanks so much for sharing! Those are all lessons I needed to hear today. Makes me want a cat. Or two 🙂
    Jaime Hampton recently posted…BirthMy Profile

  • Reply Tara March 21, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    I tend to really like change, but I notice that the older I get, the harder some changes are. I need to grow in unselfishness too–especially with my time.
    Tara recently posted…Five Powerful Ideas for Filling Up Easter BasketsMy Profile

  • Reply Maria Hass March 21, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Oh man. I’m currently accepting hospitality in the form of living with my friends in their condo. Two families, nine people and three dogs in an apartment. I’m definitely very protective of my space and my time. I have no desire to share my sanctuary when I get my own home, or practice any semblance of hospitality. Thanks for the reminder that God’s will is not the same as my selfish desires.
    Maria Hass recently posted…The ADHD Friendly ChurchMy Profile

  • Reply Mary Findley March 22, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Wow! Hard lessons there, Maria. God bless you through this time.
    Mary Findley recently posted…Actual Dates and 14C Dates — Michael J. FindleyMy Profile

  • Reply Aleida Lane March 22, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Yes to #5! That one is for me!
    Aleida Lane recently posted…4 Ways to Have Victory Over Your ThoughtsMy Profile

  • Reply Mary Findley March 23, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Aleida, I am being convicted so often about selfishness lately. Hoping I can share my lessons in progress. 🙂
    Mary Findley recently posted…Actual Dates and 14C Dates — Michael J. FindleyMy Profile

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