Cats In The Cooler
Cats In The Cooler
By: Danny Wallace
My wife and I are not pet people. Wouldn’t you know – a few years ago several stray cats descended on our house. At one time we had a three black cats, a big yellow cat, and a raggedy looking, gray cat. The combo shifts from time to time, and most of the time we are down to just one “semi-tame” black cat.
When I say that we are not pet people, I should add that we most definitely are not cat people. Please don’t feel the need to comment on that, since this is not an article about the worth, or unworthiness of cat people. This is about what a hoot our Papa can be in illustrating His love.
For years we’ve been buying cat food for these cats. They won’t let us anywhere near them, and they come and go when they please. Thankfully, a thoughtful neighbor had them “fixed” a few years ago. It is a blessing to know they’re not replicating themselves on their screaming trips into the night. From the sound of those trips we would never be able to afford the cat food without the generosity of our neighbor’s “fixin.”
This winter Lynn brought a cooler up from the basement and placed in on its side on our deck with a heat lamp pointing toward the open doors. She made such a comfy bed inside you would think we’re running the Cat Hilton just outside our back door. I was thinking this morning about unconditional love and the “cat cooler” came to mind.
Religion spends a lot of time and money telling people that Good News of absolute Grace is nothing more than a license to sin. Well, I see it differently. I see religion as a bird in a cage, and I see Grace as a cat in a cooler. You can tell the bird he is loved all you want, and he most definitely may appear to be loyal – eating your birdseed, and singing the occasional song. The problem is that he will never know if he is truly loved, and you will never know if he is fulfilled until you open the door the cage door. He is in prison – nothing more, and nothing less. The bird has no choice in the matter. If you believe he does, open the door and see if he is content to stay in religion’s captivity.
The cat is in the cooler by choice. That cat can go anywhere he wants to go. The door is open. Just try fencing in a cat. He can climb a tree, visit the neighbor’s backyard, or hook up with two screaming “cat hussies” in the dark of night. But, what does that cat choose? He chooses to curl up in our comfortable cooler, closing his eyes to sleep by the warmth of Lynn’s heat lamp of love. This is Grace.
Grace is not a license to sin. Grace is the warmth of unconditional love, by comparison to the cold of religion’s isolated cage. One forces you to yield; the other releases you to choose. Open the door to religion’s cage and every bird will fly away. Open the door to the cooler of Grace and every cat will curl up to rest in the warmth of absolute freedom.