It is definitely a ritual.
He knows the distinct sound of a spoon against a bowl.
The ting of a fork on a dinner plate doesn’t work.
The combination is important: spoon … bowl.
If he’s napping on a bed in the back of the house,
by the time the bowl is empty … he is there.
If he is in James’ room, he ambles out to the kitchen.
If he’s been let out and hears a bowl,
he will find a window and peer in, hoping to catch someone’s eye.
Yes, he shows up before the berries
with a dollop of whipped cream or yogurt are all eaten.
He comes around before the last spoon of ice cream is gone.
In fact, when cereal is involved … oh!
He knows the sound of the tinkle of o’s or flakes hitting the bowl.
He’s usually close-by BEFORE the milk is poured.
And I only give him a tiny bit of a treat.
Always a milk product …
always sweet …
and never more than a teaspoon of cereal milk.
And he’s only really “licking the bowl” of ice cream.
Really, he just receives dregs … he doesn’t need much more.
But he’s very grateful.
Even to lick the bowl
is a treat.
We’ve never, ever fed our pets from the table.
I especially dislike a dog who begs.
They’re so much more boisterous
than a cat. And even Smudge is a gentleman
as he waits.
Smudge doesn’t meow. He doesn’t rub on your leg.
He doesn’t crawl into your lap or make a big scene.
He simply waits … still …silent … patient.
For years and years, Smudge was called James’ cat.
James has become angry with me.
He says I am spoiling his cat.
He says I have taught the feline to beg.
I say, he’s simply “Well Trained.”
And that’s a good thing isn’t it?
Oh, that I would be so well-trained …
that I would know well when my Heavenly Father
has the intention of sharing a treat with me …
that I might be so attentive …
that I might be listening so well
that I might quickly make a way
from the farthest corner of my life
to be there at His side
I really love this little guy.
And he knows it.
really loves to lick the ice cream bowl
and I know it.
I think we make a pretty good team.
Oh, that I would fully grasp how much my Heavenly Father loves me
and always be watching, listening and waiting
for the treats He has to share with me.