The Scalded Cat
One day last week, my teen suggested we have hamburgers cooked on the grill for supper. We made a list and ran to the store. We hurried home and as we pulled into the drive, I was praying that we had enough gas for one more cookout. The new kittens were chasing the leaves across the drive and the day was beautiful. We went to the house and patted out the burgers, cut some lettuce and onion, and then I went out to start the grill.
I was met by a pitiful “meooowwlll” from our tom cat. When I lifted the lid of the grill he could smell the leavings from the last cookout. He twined about my legs, and meowed, begging for something. He did not even know what he wanted, just that it smelled good. As I leaned down to turn on the gas in the back of the grill, I gave him a good rub under the chin and around his ears. Luckily my little grill clickers worked and the fire wooofffed on. I turned the knobs and returned to the house. He was underfoot all the way. The momma cat hissed him properly as he passed her and then I was in the door and he was not.
I made tea, set out some cheese slices, and then called the teen to help me out the door. I knew that both cats would be trying their best to get my hamburger patties. She opened the door and the battle began. The grill was hot so I balanced the pan of raw burgers in one hand and adjusted the temperature control knobs with the other. All while two cats are twining around and yowling (and hissing) at my feet. I managed to get the burgers on the grill. I was kind and cut off a small portion of the last burger and flicked two pieces out on the drive for the cats. Dumb things. They were sniffing the air and hissing at each other while their bites were inches from their noses. The momma cat arched her back and tip-toed off with a regal air. The tom was in agony. He could smell the raw meat but couldn’t find it. I finally pushed his nose directly into the tidbit that I had on the ground. He chomped it right up.
As the burgers cooked, I returned to the house to finish the inside work. Back and forth. Back at the grill I turned and pressed each burger. A large flame greeted me with each press. I adjusted the knobs again. I ran into the house to get the pan. I was wary of the cats as I had to set the pan down. I could not balance a HOT pan and remove the burgers all at the same time. I was putting a burger on the pan when the tom cat suddenly jumped on the hot grill. I swiped him off and managed to save the burger I was transferring. He was insistent. I would swipe at him with my foot and move the burger across to the plate. He was determined. He jumped and I caught him mid-air with my arm. I nearly lost the burgers so I moved in front of the platter which left the way to the grill open. He jumped again and landed on the empty, still hot, grill. I swiped him off and slammed the lid. He licked his tender paws and blinked at me. I hurried into the house with the burgers. It was a great supper.
Aren’t we that way sometimes? We study and study on acquiring a thing and no matter how much we are warned or swiped away, we are determined to go down the very path that will burn our paws. We work, work, work, and we meeeoowwww and hiss to others, we try to twine our way around the issues and all the while the grill gets hotter. We finally decide that no matter the consequence, we must make that jump only to find that our treasure is no longer there. We are left on a hot grill with scalded paws.
As we begin the tempting road to the holiday seasons, and the acquisition of even more stuff, I urge us all to remember where the true treasures of life can be found. Family. Friends. Relationships. Kindness. Grace.