Surviving Childlessness—Furbabies

Cats have an uncanny knack for making their presence known. My furbaby, an eighteen-year-old rescue cat, likes to jump on the bed—while I’m sleeping, naturally—and give me snuffly kisses until I pat her. Wherever I am, she’ll find a way to climb on top of me and fall asleep for three hours. 

My furbaby also has an uncanny knack for sensing when something is wrong. When I am sick with the flu (the normal one, not COVID-19) or sick in my heart, she comes and lays beside me or on my lap, purring long and deep. She just knows. 

My furbaby can sense when something is wrong.

It is a widely accepted anecdotal fact that pets, especially dogs and cats, have a sixth sense for spotting illness and other problems. They can be amazingly intuitive and their comfort unparalleled during difficult times.

My furbaby has given me great comfort in childlessness. She has been a kind of dependent, not the same thing as a child of course, but she has filled a little corner of my childless heart. She will never be a substitute for children, but the bond I share with her is profound and meaningful. 

Furbabies can help fill the void left by childlessness. They can provide comfort, distraction, fun and warmth in our hearts and homes. 

And it can go both ways. 

Our furbabies need us too. They depend on us for nutrition, shelter, protection, play and love. It is a strangely mutual relationship. At times, it reminds me of the relationship God has with us, his children, and how he cares for us as a good Father. 

It reminds me of the relationship God has with us, his children.

My cat once had a stroke. At least, I think it was a stroke. Out of the blue, she started meowing loudly and limping on her front paws, first one, then the other. Then she tried walking around the room. ‘Tried’ is the operative word. She kept criss-crossing her legs, staggering around like she was drunk. 

That’s when I knew something was really wrong. 

Not being a vet, I could do nothing more than get down on the floor with her and comfort her. I couldn’t stop the stroke from happening, but I patted her and reassured her I was there and I wasn’t going anywhere. She kept crying, so I picked her up and held her as she sank into my arms. 

The good news is she recovered after a couple of hours. She is back to her normal self now. 

That incident reminded me of how God cares for us. When we are struggling to put one foot in front of the other, God gets down on the floor with us and reassures us he is there. He reminds us he will never leave us. And if things get really bad, he picks us up and cradles us in his strong, safe arms. 

God reminds us he will never leave us.

This is the way God, our Father, loves us. He can use the love of our furbabies to remind us of his nearness and constancy. What a wonderful Father. What a wonderful God. 

Do you have a furbaby? Has God ever reminded you of his love through your furbaby? In what ways is your love for your furbaby similar to our Father’s love for us? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation.

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