Marriage Lessons from a Cat

By: Lauren Nelson

As the adult daughter of baby boomer parents, I realize how much I truly learn from them every day. My parents have been married for forty years, and they have been through a lot together and have made it. Recently, my dad had surgery. I spent the day with my mom at the hospital waiting for my dad to come out of surgery. When we finally saw him in recovery he was groggy and in pain. He looked right at my mom and asked her, “How long was I out?” She replied, “Five hours.” He looked dismayed, “That’s a long time. Did you go home?” I thought to myself, Oh how sweet! Even after all these years his first worry is whether or not my mom went home to rest. I thought to myself, wow, I would hope my husband’s first thoughts would be of my comfort and safety, too.  Basking in the sweet glow of my parent’s love, I then heard my mom reply, “No, but I will have Joey feed the cat, a few hours won’t matter. He won’t starve.” My dad grumbled, “Okay.”

My bubble popped. WHAT? My dad wasn’t worried about my mom; he was worried about their cat!!  I laughed and shook my head. That spoiled rotten Garfield catboomers

However, as I watched my mom fuss over him and make sure he was comfortable, I realized that this was marriage right unfolding before me. My mom knows my dad so well that she knew what he was asking without him saying the exact words. My mom knew his concern would be for their beloved cat that they both adore beyond all reason. She wasn’t upset he didn’t immediately think of her, she simply told him what he wanted to hear. After forty years, their love transcends that all that this crazy culture views on marriage. Their life together has grown into the quiet comfort and peace of knowing what the other will say or what they want, sometimes even before the expresses it. They have the rare gift of appreciating each other in the here and now as they model God’s gift of love.

As a young wife and mom, I have taken this to heart in my own marriage. I’m learning to appreciate the quiet moments I share with my husband; they are few and far between right now with a six year old and a three year old. I’m learning not to be upset when my husband doesn’t immediately ask me about my day, and I’m learning to appreciate it when he makes me a cup of tea first thing in the morning. I feel blessed that I learning to appreciate the simple things in life.  I look forward to a time when we can settle into a sacred rhythm where I can read his mind and maybe we can even have our own spoiled cat!


Lauren Nelson is married to Steven and they have two daughters, Alice is six and Amelia is three. She is a mostly stay at home mom while she volunteers her time as a second grade catechist. Lauren also works part time at Mayslake Ministries in Communications, including our, “Lunches with Lauren,” video series.


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