I settled in, reminding myself that it is called a waiting room for a very good reason. Perhaps the waiting room is one of the few things left aptly and truthfully named. No political correctness in this name, no attempt to deceive by calling it something other than it really is, such as a pre-appointment relaxation & reflection station. Let’s face facts, fish tank or no fish tank, it is still a room and you still wait in it. That is its’ sole purpose. Changing the name doesn’t change the reality. But I digress.
So, I and Chai (my cat) are in the aforementioned room but we are neither relaxing nor reflecting. We do not want for diversion however. The waiting room is filled with dogs and their respective owners. And this is how I came to learn a very startling fact, reminding me once again that fact is indeed stranger than fiction and that cats are indeed smarter than dogs.
You see, veterinarians’ waiting rooms are not unlike the holding cells in jails. The question the occupants of the room are asking of each other is, of course, “what are you in for?” That is when one (proud?) dog owner revealed that his dog had eaten a bag of cat litter. As I listened to him tell the tale I couldn’t help but wonder if it was the “clumping” kind of litter, but I dared not ask. His dog had somehow gotten into a storage area where the litter was kept and chewed through the unopened bag to access and ingest the litter.
Clearly, dogs lack the discerning pallet cats are known for. Cats, often called finicky, are simply discriminating eaters who won’t settle for substandard sustenance. In contrast, dogs don’t even have the categories edible versus inedible, a food item versus a non-food item such as say, a shoe.
This difference in eating habits does lend credence to the view that cats are superior intellectually to dogs. I mean, dogs, when one of you eats a bag of cat litter, it does not help your image or your cause one bit! Have you not heard the truth that “you are what you eat”? That may make you want to rethink your recent food choices in favor of eliminating cat litter from your menu.
But maybe I should give this dog and other dogs the benefit of the doubt? Maybe the dog I met in the waiting room had been deceived. Maybe the cat litter bag looked similar to the bag that holds his dog food? Maybe the texture was similar? crunchy? maybe the dog thought it was dessert because of the sweet, perfumey smell put in cat litter to counteract what the litter is going to come into contact with. (that’s putting a delicate spin on it)
This poor, deluded dog did not know the truth about what he was consuming and it could have cost him his life. It was then I had a moment of compassion for this clueless canine who couldn’t distinguish between a cat litter bag and a dog chow bag. They often look the same. (remember, dogs can’t read and they are color blind) He needed to know the truth about what is food and what isn’t food.
I need to know what is true and what isn’t in order to make the decisions I must make every day as I live my life. But falsehood often comes packaged as truth. And if I consume falsehood rather than truth it will lead to my death. After I open the package I have to examine the contents. The Bible is the package that contains the truth that leads to eternal life. There are lots of other books out there that might seem similar and promise me much. But they are actually cat litter to my soul. I may feel full but what I took in to my mind and my heart will lead to my death.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 16:25)
The dog in the waiting room was full and was satisfied with the deadly cat litter. He did not continue his search for real food, for life sustaining, growth producing, nutritious food. He was satisfied with his current state of being. I don’t want to be so full of the world’s wisdom and ideas, that I no longer hunger and thirst for God’s truth, for God’s living, life-sustaining words.
I need to take in God’s truth. “Jesus answered, ‘ . . . Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4)
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
“If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
“Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.” (John 17:17)
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:108)
Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.’ ” (John 6:35)
Lord, may I never be satisfied with anything that is not real food. May I never be satisfied with anything that is not truth leading to life everlasting.
sincerely, Grace Day