Cat poo in the sandbox: an allegory

By Lynn Moffett
Special to The PREVIEW
My granddaughter came skipping. “Come play in my sandbox with me.” Delighted to spend time together, we clasped hands and hurried to her playground. As we drew near, she pulled out of my grasp, raced ahead and plopped down. I stopped dead in my tracks.
She was shoveling wet, putrid sand into a pail. Her play place was filled with cat poo. Disgusting.
My voice, toned with education, ordered, “Stop! It’s dirty, awful! Out, right now!”
Peering up at me she asked, “What’s a matter?”
I couldn’t ignore the threat. This could give her a killer disease. “Do you realize what you are sitting in?”
“This is where kitties come and play with me. I like to pet them. They’re my friends. Sometimes they make the sand wet for me.”
“That means you are playing in their pee and poo.”
My grandchild burst into tears and screamed, “You ruin everything. You hate me and my kitties!”
Her words stunned me. Didn’t she understand I didn’t want her to get sick?
“Go away. You hate me. Go away.”
By now, both of us were devastated. Not wanting to upset her further, I backed up, shaking my head at how I caused such a mess and ruined our special time. Am I supposed to join her in cat poo? How will she ever know how much I love her after this?
A scripture dropped into my heart. 1 Corinthians 4:21: “Now which do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of correction, or with love and in a spirit of gentleness?”
“Father, please help me approach her with love and the spirit of gentleness rather than with a rod of correction.”
Near the tennis court I spied youngsters standing beside a cardboard box sporting a sign. “Free kittens.” With my eye still on my granddaughter, I walked the short distance and chose a black one with white paws.
As I returned to the playground I called, “Sweetheart, look who I found.”
A fleeting smile lit her small face before she remembered her anger. The furry critter and I sat nearby in the green grass. She glanced across the expanse between us now and again before she dusted off her hands and joined us.
“Do you like her?” I asked. She nodded.
“Me too. I like playing with her in this pretty green grass. I think this sweet little bundle should be yours.”
She jumped up and grabbed me around the neck. Her words, hug and smooch were the answer to my prayer. “I love you, Gramma.”
“I love you, too.”
My grandbaby lifted the kitten to her chest, laid back on the lawn, stroked the soft head and whispered, “You’re my friend. I don’t have to go anywhere to find you. I’m going to call you Grace.”

This story was posted on March 8, 2018.