For the Birds

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Sitting in the morning sun, our cat was looking for breakfast.  She waited, busying herself with the daily grooming ritual:  lick paw, rub face, repeat.  Suddenly, she froze, mid-lick, as into her peripheral vision flew a plump little robin, landing on the grass.  The cat’s tail twitched once, her muscles tensed as she lowered herself one millimeter at a time, into full crouch position and waited, hidden by a post.  Lone little bird peered intently at the ground, distracted by the tantalizing wiggle of a worm.  A flash of furry haunches catapulted into the air.  I yelled, “Hey!” a split-second before breakfast was served.  And now the cat refuses to speak to me. 

I’m reminded of 1st Peter 5:8:

“ Be sober-minded; be watchful.  Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 

To be sober-minded means to guard your passions.  Pay attention.  Watch yourself.  Monitor and moderate your bents.  Doing what comes naturally, leads to death by natural causes.  Satan is an opportunist:  He is content to wait ever so patiently, pace silently and assess our boundaries; glancing sideways, making mental note of a loose rail, a widening entry.  He enters and waits for the lone bird, the distracted bird, the inattentive, happy little fat one, and strikes.  His conduct is deliberate, his aim singular: to swallow the swallow. 

I don’t want to be the lone bird, or the early bird, so focused on getting the worm that I ignore the early cat. I will stay with those who give raucous clamor when they see danger- and I’ll do the same for them, even though, chances are, we’ll find ourselves on the receiving end of, “Stop that annoying squawking, can’t you see I–”  And the lone feather descends. 

Stay alert, stay together, stay alive. 

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