Sunday, May 31, 2009

Not Better, Just Different -- Boys, Girls, Cats, and Dogs

If you've read this blog for awhile, you will know that I am crazy about my pets. I had gotten a dog several years ago. I had her about 6 months, but it turned out that she had pretty severe separation anxiety. It broke my heart, but the situation wasn't good for either o us. When I took her back to the shelter, they suggested a cat. I was hesitant since I believed that cats were aloof. Out of pity on me, they suggested I take a certain cat home for the weekend and provided a litter box and food. Within the first 12 hours, I was sold.

I now have two cats. I think they really see themselves as dogs. They greet me at the door and Mali can even be persistent about having guests pet her. They both sleep with me.

Still longing for a dog I could walk with and such, I got Hadley a few months ago. It's been interesting to see how people respond. It's as if I've somehow joined the "right" club and people will say, "Don't you like having a dog better than cats?"

Truthfully, no. Don't get me wrong. I adore Hadley, though she is a good deal more work then Katy and Mali. I love all three of them. They are different, but neither is better than the other.

I interact with them differently. For example, my cats are quite a bit smaller than Hadley. Their bones feel lighter somehow. When I pet them or cuddle them, my touch is a bit more gentle. Hadley gets a bit more rough housing. She likes to be wrestled with and will play tug of war. Katy and Mali go nuts over the laser pointer. Hadley could care less.

Katy has always been a fetcher. Hadley is still learning to fetch. She'll chase a ball, but will only bring it back about half the time. In this, Katy has her beat. But rather than fetching a ball, Katy fetches hair bands.

As I was thinking through this, I realized it is much the same way with boys and girls. Even as infants, the way people play with a girl can be much different than a boy. There is often more of a gentle touch with a girl. Though they can't show a preference as a baby, even the toys we encourage them to play with are different.

A long time ago, there was a book out called Children's Letters to God. In there was a letter from a girl who wrote,

Dear God,

Do you like boys better than girls? I know you are one.

No, God doesn't like boys better than girls. And I don't like dogs better than cats. They are different. So, there are different ways of loving them. Even with the cats, there are nuances to my relationships with them.

And I suspect that there are nuances to God's relationships with each of us. Does He love any of us more or less? No. But He does know what we each need to feel loved.


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