One of the greatest blessings and challenges that God gives us is, I believe, the animals who share our lives and our world. This includes every creature from the dolphins and octopi that live our oceans to the snakes and raccoons in the forest to the cats, dogs, hamsters and fish that live in our homes. Sometimes I think that we spend too much time thinking about ourselves and not enough time thanking God for the creatures He gave us as companions in our world.
When we do think about the animals, it's usually on a global "Save the Whales" scale, rather than a local "save the turtles in our woods" scale. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the large-scale campaigns to protect the various species of the world. I also think, however, that we need to remember to be thankful for and protect the creatures that live in our own communities, near and in our homes.
One of my feline companions, Tobias, reminds me of this on a daily basis. One of his favorite activities to do upon first waking up in the morning is to sit on the head of my bed and watch the animals in our backyard and garden. He is the one that first alerted me to the fact that we have not only songbirds and squirrels that visit, but also a family of rabbits, chipmunks and even some mice. We don't often see the chipmunks or mice, but he and I enjoy sitting on the bed and watching the rabbits have their breakfast or supper. More than one friend has asked me why I don't try to kill the rabbits or at least chase them away.
My answer is twofold: First, I have too much fun watching them, marvelling at their beauty and laughing at their antics. Two, why should I chase them away when God put plenty of grass and other plants in my yard for all of us to share?