Sami’s lap of grace

Sami 3My wife says Sami has “personality.”
Like the other night, when we were engrossed in something on TV. Without warning, a lamp on an end table went flying through the air, crashing to the floor, giving off that flash of a small explosion when a light bulb has met its end.

Sami was sitting near the lamp, staring at the destruction, not at all bothered that our quiet evening had been interrupted.

My wife started to laugh. “Can’t help it,” she said. “He’s just got so much personality.” Apparently, a moth had flown inside the lampshade, and Sami couldn’t resist the attack.

Sami is a kitten, and there’s not another one like him.

I hope.

He’s big enough to run with the big cats, and still young enough to run long past the big-cat nap times. His energy seems boundless. His appetite is boundless. He’s loud, he’s mischievous, he’s a breaker of lamps. The one with the moth in it? That made three lamps he’d sent to the floor, not counting the one he’s broken twice.

Personality galore.

This is the kind of kitten that changes an entire household. Once, when I was deep in thought and writing something more serious than a cat story, I heard a crash in the kitchen. There was no doubt who was behind the noise. I raced to the scene of the accident, noting that our older cat was racing in the opposite direction. She was looking for cover.

On a countertop – where all cats are forbidden – a flower vase was overturned. Flowers were mangled. Water was dripping off the countertop onto the floor.

And there at the bottom, studying the waterfall like a tourist in Yosemite, Sami stared up at the mess without a worry in the world.

I cleaned up as much of the water as cat fur will hold, and then got a towel after all of it.

Melody laughed at the story later that day, the same way she laughs when he scratches on a small couch, the one that’s RIGHT NEXT TO A SCRATCHING POST, looking the humans in the eye as he misbehaves. “Just so much personality!” she says.

It’s funny. I get in trouble for not putting my socks up fast enough, and this cat of hers could probably burn the house down one day, and get no more than a sweet scolding.

That’s love. Unexplainable love. Doesn’t-make-sense love.

She found him through an acquaintance, and it was a rescue situation. Had Sami not met my wife, he might not have seen his second month. But he did meet my wife, and as a result, he lives in the lap of grace he does not deserve.

And that, of course, is where I live.

Hate to admit it, but I’ve done more than my share of misbehaving. God in heaven probably doesn’t smile at my “personality,” but He’s sure let me live a lot longer than I’ve deserved, and tolerated a lot more than any person should have ever expected.

As for Sami, when he grew just a little bit older, I took him to the vet. It was a man-to-man trip, me and the little criminal cat. He screamed the entire trip. So I reminded Sambo of every lamp I’ve had to repair or replace. I told him again of the chair in my office that’s torn to tatters. I shared my disappointment with his practice of jumping on the bed before daylight and demanding that SOMEONE NEEDS TO GET UP AND FEED THE KITTY.

We got to the animal hospital and I wasted no time. “Mr. Vet,” I said, “please cut this cat’s personality off!”

For a week, Sami acted like we’d half killed him. Melody said it’s because men don’t take pain well, and that she hopes the surgery doesn’t – and I’m not making this up – “take away his personality.” No fear. A week later, Sami was racing around the house, tormenting the dog, and giving serious thought to unrolling some toilet paper. It looks like there’s personality left to spare, and I think I hear my wife laughing again.

Ah, the amazing grace of a woman who loves cats.

And of a God who loves you and me.