Darwin’s Dilemma

I held my cat for a long time tonight. I had felt a surge of panic as I thought of the day’s conversations and everything I had done wrong, and before I knew it, the cat I was in the middle of putting outside was clasped tight under my chin. I’m amazed at the gentleness in her. Most of the time she doesn’t like being held like that, probably because her old joints need specific support to be comfortable, but I must have gotten it right, because she didn’t struggle once but purred and rested against me. I hugged all the anxiety away. I know I’ve said it before, but my cat seems to know when I am sick or hurting, and I’m always amazed. Animals are amazing.

Our family also watched a documentary tonight called “Metamorphosis.” After a (rather long) exploration of the journey from caterpillar to butterfly, and then a look at the Monarch Butterfly migration, the biologists finally made the point they were coming to, two points actually.

The first has to do with metamorphosis itself. In metamorphosis, a caterpillar, inside the chrysalis, does something similar to decomposing. Its cells break down, they die, they turn into a pile of mush. Some of those cells disappear, and others are used to the reorganization of a completely different body. Wings, legs, proboscis, compound eyes, antennae, digestive tract, heart, and reproductive organs–they are all completely new and altogether different from the caterpillar. This metamorphosis poses a problem to the common-held theory of evolution which states that creatures evolved by natural selection and slowly grew in complexity over time. Because metamorphosis doesn’t work like that. First off, a creature wouldn’t (figuratively) kill itself unless there was a planned outcome. It cannot just randomly develop this habit of committing suicide inside a chrysalis and killing off most body cells without a system already put in place to rebuild itself. Secondly, it cannot slowly develop this process. So many things, tiny and huge, have to happen all at once for this to work. If the wings and eyes worked, but not the organs, the butterfly would die. If the legs and proboscis worked, but not the connecting muscles, the butterfly would die. If everything, by some happy, random chance, was put together perfectly except for one thing, the butterfly could not survive. For all of these amazing developments to happen at once is quite improbable, maybe impossible. The more logical conclusion is that it was designed.

The second point the biologists came to was that because of the art and beauty in the world that we observe, we can perceive that there must be intelligence behind it. There are approximately 20,000 species of butterflies in the world, and every single species has a different wing shape and pattern. In some cases, patterns help the butterflies to survive, but in many they are simply there. Natural selection has no reason for beauty, and no explanation for how it came about.

Look at a sunset. Look at the stars. Look at a cat. Look at a tiny butterfly. It is art. It is simply the logical response to assume that something intelligent is behind it all, and it is simply the right response to give our praise to that something.

 

In awe,
Ellie

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Why the Rain?

 

Maybe it takes cats to teach us that going to our master is the best refuge from the storm. Other hiding places will betray and kill us.

When Kitty Jackson was quite younger than she is now, she took refuge in sewers and storm drains when scared by a dog or a child. Even when rain came, she ran to the sewer to escape, until one spring storm nearly drown her. We saw the yard flooding and the rain coming down in torrents and poked our head outside to call her. Her pitiful screams were coming from the storm drain where buckets of water were being poured on her.

It was through much persuasion that she finally jumped through the water, into the arms of her people, who dried, cleaned, and held her. After that, she never went to the storm drain during rain.

Moecat Jackson also had a frightful storm experience, though we only saw the aftermath. The morning after a night of strong wind and rain, he climbed pitifully up to our deck, covered with mud, water, leaves, and pine needles. His meow told his misery as plain as if he could talk. Who knows what a miserable night he spent, but when I sat down, he didn’t hesitate to climb onto my lap and tuck his head into my house robe. He fell asleep soon and was thereafter dubbed “My baby.”

Today it rained as well, but he didn’t wait to get soaked and miserable. He meowed on the deck until I came out and held him. He pushed himself against me and the closer he got, the tighter I could hold him, and the more I could kiss his furry head. We both greatly enjoyed it, and I got it into my head that rain must be a good thing, since it sent him straight into my arms where he, and I, were most happy.

God sends rain, not to make us miserable, but so we can call to Him, climb onto His lap, and let Him keep us dry and warm.

In fact, “Abba” is the cry of a child in need, “Abba, Daddy, hold me!” And that is the word we are given to cry to God in our distress.

Daddy, Father, Savior, Creator of the cosmos. He does not only invite us to intimacy with Him, but He sends rain so that we must continually run into His arms.

That is why we give thanks in all things, for all things.

And our master won’t go back inside when His feet get cold.

 

Yours truly,

Electric Bubbles

Cat History

I love cats! They may not be my very favorite animal–but the only pet I’ve ever had, and terribly sweet, so I’m going to tell you about ours. (My grandparents live in the country and have a looonnngg history that I would be more than happy to tell–but you wouldn’t be very happy, trust me.)

Our Cat History could start anywhere from 10 years ago or before then. We wanted a dog. We wanted a cat. We wanted a fish, and a pony, and a kangaroo, and a panda bear, and everything else–but no, my father said 8 children was enough animals for him.

But God, seeing our dire need and desperation, sent us a cat. Her name was Kitty–and she was purrfect. She stayed outside, the neighbor loved her, my dad could not object–as long as she wasn’t his cat, she could hang around.

cat sleeping on jacket

You could compare her to a dog/panda bear/pillow, or just the best cat ever. She was a full grown cat when she came, 10 years ago, and by now, she’s quite old, but still just as happy.

kitty in the kitchen

Yes, very happy. Her purr is as loud as the lawn mower outside, her meows (which became frequent in the next few years as she sat by the glass door begging to come in) were like music, and her whiskers never lifted to hiss at us, even when Jimmy tried to cut them off with scissors.

She was a bit tense when she first came, and as she grows older and stiffer, she is getting more cautious of children and vicious petting–but nothing like when she first came and fell off our deck railing. Yes, she fell off the deck railing as Billy opened the door, AND she fell 15 feet,  AND she landed on her back! Our cat is not a normal cat. And the way she runs from thunder–she can’t have 9 lives to spare. (She must have given them all to Haley.)

Kitty stayed long enough to be given a middle name, Longhair. That’s right, Kitty Longhair Jackson.

sleeping kitty

That’s her. Sleepy, frolicky, put-your-feet-to-sleep-at-night-y. She’s quite a heavy cat!

We went through a couple other cats or so, Phoebe, Teemo, and perhaps some I’m not remembering. They came and left. Phoebe was a kitten and only stayed one night after following us home–but she was dang cute! We all remember her. Teemo is still around the neighborhood, terrorizing other cats, but by no means is he our cat. *shudder* Think the opposite of Kitty–that’s him.

So last year, early spring, so just about a year ago, enter Moecat.

cat face

Moecat was originally named “Kitty’s twin” which changed to “Cat.” See, we already had a Kitty, now we had at Cat! But he was not really our cat. He was dead afraid of us. He came up on the deck to drink Kitty’s water, to hide in her basket, but anytime one of us was seen through the window, he was gone in a flash. The trick was milk. Raw milk with cream…. 🙂

cat looking in mirror, cute

When “Cat” stayed longer than we expected, some people began complaining that “Cat” was not a real name. He needed a better name. Someone came up with Bo. The people who liked “Cat” were vehemently voting for “Cat”, and the other half was vehemently voting for “Bo.” I believe I came up with the compromise. “Bo” was changed to “Moe” and “Moe” to “Moecat.” Moecat was just the perfect name, no one could argue.

Today, Moecat is the perfect picture of regeneration! Okay, he is not as clean as Kitty is, but oh my, he is sweet. As soon as he was okay with us being around, he was okay with us petting him, and even okay with climbing in our laps and digging his claws in to keep himself there. It is still hard to get him off your lap when he wants to stay on, it’s precious.

laying with cat

That’s him. He’s my little baby. By now he’s almost as cuddly as Kitty, (when he is in the right mood. He’s rather temperamental. We are both pretty tired in this picture–and warm. So we’re being nice to each other.) He still comes around, and when he earns a middle name one day, I plan on calling him Moecat Hobbes Jackson. His long body, his square head, his pouncy but sleepy tendencies, his long drawn out meows….it suits him.

Our next cat, Misty, stayed for a long time. She ran away from her home at our neighbor’s house–right before our neighbor moved–and she was a sad picture. She ate birdseed, hid in Kitty’s cat house, begged at our door just like the other cats….and when we started feeding her she was ours!

black cat

She was a very affectionate cat and quickly became bold around everyone. She seriously sounded like a crow or raven when she meowed, and if the neighbors hadn’t already named her….ooh, she would have had a cool name!

We thought we would keep her! She lived in our back yard for weeks. But right after we put this picture on Facebook and declared we had a new cat, someone dropped by and saw her. She took our cat! Took her away to an animal sanctuary with all those other cats, where our timid–but darling sweet–Misty had better be pet at least 4 hours a day! We were seeing her become such a teddy bear, it was sad to see her go where people have no many other teddy bears to hug instead…. It was a sad conclusion, but the sanctuary is a happy place. I’ve been there.

So far the only cats that have stayed more than a few months are long-haired brown tabbies. All the others come and go.

Until now!—-when I wonder if we have another cat….

mitzy

Eddie and Jonny call her Mittens, named after the cat from Bolt, but me, (I generally dislike general animal names) call her Mitzy.

This cat cracks me up every time she comes over. Not only does she look kind of funny, what with different color eyes, she makes the funniest noises! She isn’t very comfortable around us yet–and boy do you know it!! She sounds like a broken CD player! And though she doesn’t like us, she has no qualms about walking straight into the house to eat. She doesn’t enjoy petting–but for now she tolerates it. We hope one day to conform her to Kitty’s image and have her stay around forever.

mitzy2

From Yours Truly

Electric Bubbles

All photos (except the one of me) taken by myself!