Cat Circles

by Wendy Gustafson

Rudy the Cat

How to trap a cat:

Make a circle on the floor with a string.

Make a circle anywhere with anything.

Watch for the cat to get into the circle.


Rudy the Cat finds her own cat circles. They are cat-sized spaces in places Bob and I are together. Cat circles are just the right size for the cat that gets in them. All cat circles have a space inside and an edge, a horizon all around. There is a sense of safety inside the circle. The cat feels protected just because there is a ribbon between the purring part and the rest of the world.


A cat circle is inviting in a mysterious way. Easy in, easy out. Just this silken barrier between the cat and the rest of the world. And yet, it is irresistible to cat or Christian.


God makes cat circles to trap me, to slow me down and make me look. God arranges things just so. There is no big invitation, no big “ought.” Just a circle, and God watching.


I’m minding my own business, and I notice something different. It is something eye catching, something unexpected and, interested, I step in to see. I step into the cat circle God has set for me. I find myself in the midst of something lovely, or in the midst of an opportunity. The something lovely may be the face of an old friend, or a view of the world just off my beaten path. The opportunity may be to learn something, or to see something that helps me understand a truth more clearly. It may be a chance for me to help out somehow—just a little maybe, but a little goes a long way with God in charge.


Inside the circle God has made, I feel safe. I’m in my spot. It is a spot made just for me, and a circle laid just at the right time. The circle is simply there. In my way. A silent invitation to get in, to come and be, to rest in a safe place prepared for me by God. God knows to look for and find me there.


God leaves cat circles for us all. They look like random things—a chance meeting, a tiny opportunity to help a stranger, a need seen and met by you for another, just in passing. They are words of encouragement spoken. They are insights shared, and realized, and applied and it changed an outlook and, well, it changed just everything!


God draws a silken circle and says, “Come be in this spot with me. Come safely rest. Come be content. Come, just be with me.”


So step in, hunker down, look around, take some time, and listen carefully. That purring may be you.

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