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From Milk To Solid Food
by Wayne Blank
She has been a very good mother, never going more than about 20 feet from the box they were in, and at the slightest squeak she went running to them. One day, Moses, the 14 pound father (his picture can be seen in the study Be Kind To Animals) came in for a first (and as it happened, last) visit to his children. He harmlessly looked in over the rim of the kittens' box, to which the 5 pound mother came out, snarling (I had never heard her, or any other cat make that sound) and tore into him like a whirlwind of teeth and claws. He's a big, strong, tough tomcat - but he was no match for a very defensive little mother who I have no doubt would have either killed him (if he hadn't made a run for it, with her in hot pursuit for some distance) or died defending her children against any perceived threat (her defensive philosophy seemed to be "shred 'em first, ask questions later").
The mother was of course guided by the instinct that God gave her. No other cat taught her how to have kittens, or how to care for and defend them. She just knew. Over the last few days, I have watched her also knowing that it's time to move on. The kittens are now eating solid food that I provide for them; the mother, while still never far away, has become less and less of a mother, and more and more of just another cat to them as they became weaned. This morning, when one of them came back to nurse, the mother avoided it as much as she could, but when the little one persisted, the mother cat turned and whacked the little one with her paw - not with her claws out, not intending to cause damage or pain in the way that she attacked the tom cat, but in a very controlled, measured lesson that it was time to move on. The kitten seemed to understand; it turned, went to its food dish and bowl of milk, and had its fill. The kitten then climbed up on a chair, washed its paws and face, and took a nap with the other two who already got the message days before. Their God-given instincts were working too.
From Milk To Solid Food
The apostle Paul used an analogy of weaning for those who grow in knowledge and obedience to God. Like the kittens, some have "growing pains" and times of indecision:
"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal [see The Cure For The Carnal Mind], even as unto Babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?"
Like the kitten, for those who graduate from "milk" to "solid food," there is no going back.
"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the First Principles of the Oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
Fact Finder: What is meant by the Biblical term "children of God"?