This morning, my cat Hafiz crawled up on my stomach as I was lying in bed reading and paid homage to me. Despite the fact that I was out of town over the weekend and then upon returning had to fast him for fourteen hours so he could have an ultra-sound at the specialist’s, he still worships the ground I walk on. It’s mind boggling.
I was talking with someone the other day who said that when he travels sometimes his cat punishes him for his absence by pooping on his expensive Persian rug. This narrative is not unusual and yet my cats have never done this. Instead of torturing me for being gone, they seem to appreciate me even more because of my absence. Again, mind boggling.
As Hafiz nestled his head into my belly and stared at me with the trusting eyes of an infant, I wondered, “Why don’t I have this kind of trust and devotion to my Caretaker? Why can’t I surrender in faith that the One watching over me really is, even when it feels like abandonment, or being asked to fast for fourteen hours when having a thyroid condition?”
The poet after whom Hafiz is named once wrote:
A Cushion for Your Head
Just sit there right now
Don’t do a thing
For your separation from God,
Is the hardest work
Let me bring you trays of food
That you like to
You can use my soft words
As a cushion
What would it be like to let God’s soft words be a cushion for my head in the same way that Hafiz rests his upon my belly?
Hafiz’s ultra sound revealed that his plumbing parts are getting a little rusty which is why he is getting chronic UTIs. Now we have permission to use antibiotics prophylactically. But the specialist recognized something going on with his stomach, which would hint at why he has gone from 12 lbs to 7 lbs in the last year. Sigh. That test will be $1,500 to reveal what? Cancer in a 14 year old cat? So we’re going to wait and see if he can maintain at 7 lbs for the next few weeks as both he and I are tired.
And so the sweet little guy rests and trusts in me, his mother. May I learn to do the same.