Last night the kittens began their journey to cathood.
I put out a plate of tuna.
Their little noses sniffed the air and they neared the plate. One kitten clearly did not appreciate the smell and walked backwards all the way across the room, little baby tail waving high in distress.
The others lost interest in the smell and went to explore other mysteries.
I tried coaxing them to it. I tried oh-so-gently putting their faces in it. They were clearly not interested.
"I don't understand, the book said they should start eating solid food at five weeks." I complained to Dave.
Dave was swinging a pen playfully above a fuzzy grey head and didn't seem too concerned.
Just as the crease between my eyebrows was deepening to a crevasse, the idea came, strong and sure.
I ran and got the mama.
Jane walked into the parlor, gave a maternal glance around, and went straight for the plate of tuna. She ate with a will. Four weeks of nursing four babies gives one an appetite. Really, I can only imagine.
Mariette (previously known as Marius, Dave got some parts mixed up), came over and watched her mama closely. She stretched out her neck and took a tentative bite. Another, less cautious. Faster and with vigor she ate. Dave and I laughed as she literally threw herself on top of the food and devoured.
After a few minutes Emmett came over and repeated, almost exactly, the performance of his sister.
Aspen frolicked over and sniffed Emmett, then bit his ear, which was covered in food. Aspen attempted to eat her brother. But Emmett shrugged her off and she finally got the hint that she should eat the food and not him. She had a light meal, but we were satisfied.
Cosette never ate. She constantly tried to nurse as Jane fed. Jane would not let her. It was time to grow up.
This morning I talked to the kids about the kittens, about how exciting it was to watch them take that first meal. But, I also talked to them about spiritual food. What if the babies had refused to eat? They wouldn't grow and thrive into adult cats.Their growth would be stunted.
I explained that we are composed of two parts. The body, which we can measure and weigh with scales and rulers, and the soul, which God alone can comprehend the size of. I told them that there are some big men walking around with tiny little baby souls and there are small children with robust enormous souls.
Some throw themselves on God's word and devour.
Some try to take their meal off others.
Some refuse to eat.
The mama cat leads by example.
The kittens have the choice to follow....or starve.
I care about my children's physical health. I want them to be healthy and strong and vital. But more than that I care deeply about their souls. I want to see their souls stretch and reach and grow and thrive. So I lead them to the meal, eat like a mama cat nursing four babes, and watch as they take a tentative bite. I purr in satisfaction.
Purr and pray.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Cor. 4:16-18