Cats vs. Dogs

fish-1755473_1280If I had to choose … I’d get a fish. They’re relatively easy to care for, don’t die when you forget about them for a few days, and won’t make my nose tickle.

Though I wouldn’t mind a hedgehog … I think. Kelly’s got one of those–seriously, ask her about it, and it’s adorable. She should probably write a book about it. Oh! Imagine if Zula got one of those prickly pets! What would Fern say? If you read Out of the Frying Pan, let me know your thoughts on that one. Fan fiction–go! 😉

Cats and Dogs

by Kelly Klepfer

I used to be a cat person. Dogs just weren’t on my radar. They were okay, especially if they cat-1551783_640kept their distance. But hands down, cats were where it was at.

Slowly, over the years I’ve grown more accepting of dogs. We had sweet Bear who was my husbands, but I liked him none the less. Plus I never had to clean up after him or feed him.

Then came my daughter’s twins, Lily and Lola. I helped with them, the potty training, the love, the cuddling, yeah, they became partially mine. When she moved out and took her girls I still had my cat, but sometimes I missed the open acceptance of a dog. While the girls lived with us I really began to enjoy the uniqueness of catishness and doggishness. The cartoons, jokes and the videos celebrating the differences cracked me up, Spiritually, I saw some comparisons, too.

When I got my twin set of Beagle babies I fell head over heels in love with dogs. I am obnoxious enough to approach strangers with dogs to converse or pet the dog. I’m that person.

My girls, Gladys and Gertrude, have taught me a little bit more about what kind of person I beagle-547865_640want to be toward God.

A dog doesn’t generally have guile or suspicion. Not that a cat does, necessarily, but a cat aloofly plays it’s cards close to it’s chest while a dog generally lays all the cards out on the table and just takes it at face value. I want to be the kind of Christian that believes that Jesus in us can change us and give us hope. Since we’re all works-in-progress let’s just take it one day at a time. Play?

A dog knows how to worship. A cat will sit with an unblinking stare while its master (oxymoron) walks through the door. Sunshine and catnip seem to be some of the only things most cats will worship. A dog, whew, a dog will thank the Creator in squeals and thundering paws and leaping for the simple reappearance of the human at the end of the day. “Hallelujah, Praise the Lord, you came back. I have so much to tell you.”

(Insert from Jen here–in his excitement, he might also share a tinkle offering.)

You guessed it. I want to be a “Praise the Lord, thank you for that last breath and this one, too, Awesome God” Christ follower.

Cats will shred or create other three-dimensional statements and stare with barely a tail switch in response to questioning or admonishment. A dog is very sorry. Boot-licking, tail-curling, belly-crawling sorry. They know they are incapable of cleaning it up and that they really did it this time. They also know they are prone to doing it again and are very sorry for that, too.

But in that moment there is nothing on earth more repentant than that dog. I’m prone to indifferent cat masking dog-833957_640while knowing full well I’ve really done it this time. Dog gone it, I want to be really aware of how awful my sins are and crawl on my belly for forgiveness and remember the process of sorrow and repentance so I knock it off.

My dogs want to be close to me. Cats, too, let’s be honest. Especially in the winter a warm human is a lovely thing. But there’s a difference. My dogs don’t bite me for petting them where a cat, no matter how much they writhe and ask for a belly pat, will eventually bloody stumpify a finger or hand that keeps it up past their hair trigger tolerance level.

Dogs. I could pet them all day and they’d never tire. If they could tandem breath with me they would. When I’ve been on the computer too long my cuddliest pup will push herself onto my lap, press in and eventually work her way into my arms for a snuggle time. What if I did that more with God? And He’s not even distracted like I am, He’s beckoning me to crawl into His lap and take my place as His special daughter.

dog-867236_640Gratitude. Give a cat a carrot and the cat is just going to glare. Maybe sniff, turn it’s back and walk away, tail swishing it’s displeasure. Most likely, maybe there’s carrot loving cats out there, but just work with me here.

A dog. Well mine anyway, will tear into the kitchen, snatch it out of my hand and scurry away to devour it in their nests. Tails wagging the whole way. Apple bacon treats? Tricks? Jumps? Whatever you want, Mom, I’ll do it. And THANK YOU SO MUCH. YOU ARE AMAZING FOR BUYING THESE! THANKS. Crunch. THANKS. Crunch. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!! God lavishes me with blessings. And I often either tail twitch or shrug at His bounty. Don’t want to be that person anymore.

Do you need a few more dog tricks in your Christian walk? Join me. The treats are amazing.

***

unnamed-1Out of the Frying Pan:

When the chef of Sunset Paradise Retirement Village ends up dead, life for sisters Fern and Zula Hopkins is whipped into a froth. Their zany attempts to track down the killer land them in hot water with Detective Jared Flynn. Should he be concerned about their safety or the criminal’s?

But there are deadly ingredients none of them expect. Drugs. Extortion. International cartels. And worst of all…broken hearts–especially when the Hopkins sisters’ niece KC arrives on the scene.

Before the snooping pair gain any headway with the case, it becomes crystal clear that the sisters share a mysterious secret that takes life from the frying pan and into the line of fire.

Purchase Out of the Frying Pan on Amazon.

***

unnamedKelly Klepfer had ambitions to graduate from the school of life quite a while ago, but alas…she still attends and is tested regularly. Her co-authored cozy/quirky mystery, Out of the Frying Pan, is the culmination of several of the failed/passed tests. Kelly, though she lives with her husband, two Beagles and two hedgehogs in Iowa, can be found at Novel Rocket, Novel Reviews, Scrambled Dregs, Modern Day Mishaps, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter, with flashes of brilliance (usually quotes), randomocities, and learned life lessons. Zula and Fern Hopkins and their shenanigans can be found at Zu-fer, where you always get more than you bargained for.

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About Jennifer Slattery

Novelist and speaker Jennifer Slattery, also writing as Jen Pheobus, uses humor, grace, and truth to inspire God's children to live abundant, Christ-centered lives. She does content editing for Firefly, a southern fiction imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and is a regular contributor to Crosswalk.com; Internet Cafe Devotions; Faith, Friends and Chocolate; and manages the social media for Takin’ it to the Streets, a ministry that serves Omaha’s working poor and homeless. She’s placed in numerous writing contests and her work has appeared in numerous compilations, magazines, and e-zines.
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