As most of my readers know, I am owned by two very ornery ferrets: Cocoa, who will be 4 in July 2004, and Princess, who will be 2 in August 2004. Both seem to think they can use the computer better than I and each enjoy reading the encyclopedia: specifically, volume "I." Does that say anything about how self-involved they are?
Now, Cocoa is very well behaved, listens intently when I speak to him, and follows instructions well: no matter how complex such might be. Princess, on the other hand, listens only when it suits her: N—O! simply not being a part of her vocabulary. But today, and like Cocoa in this story, she does obey God!
At the time of the incident herein, I had only Cocoa: a beautiful sable male who resides in a tall condo-like steel cage with essentially four levels— if you count his highest hanging hammock— which he now shares quite amicably with his Princess; albeit, he distinctly did not like her when she first joined him there. She was entirely too hyper for his more laid-back taste. Anyway, the cage has two doors, one at bottom and one mid-level.
Each day at about two in the afternoon, Cocoa is set loose to play throughout the house. During this time I clean his abode, put out fresh food, veggies and water: all of which really didn't take me very long, but Cocoa was allowed to stay out for many hours. If, at any time, I happened to be late getting him out, he would fly down to the bottom door, reach up with his front paws and grip, much like with hands, the door's crossbar. Then, Cocoa would shake the daylights out of it, setting up a loud racket of metal clanging against metal— until I got the message, one certainly difficult to tune out. He would do this every day times seven. Nowadays, Princess does it for him.
One Friday afternoon, I ran across the scripture: "Let every creature that has breath praise the Lord." I thought: Well, Cocoa breathes, so he has breath. Now, normally, when I put Cocoa to bed he would rattle that door until he realized it was, indeed, "nigh-nigh time" and Mom had no intention of responding to his demand.
This particular Friday evening, I realized with more awareness, would begin the Lord's Sabbath. So, as I carried Cocoa to his condo, I explained Yeshua's Sabbath precept to him and reminded that "all creatures that have breath" are to praise the Lord. I concluded, "So this means you must be very quiet and rest from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday." I put him in, he promptly scampered up to his bed, crawled beneath his baby blanket, then peeked out at me as if to say, "Did I do good?"
Several months later— the first day of January 2002, to be precise— I went to stay with my friend Betty in Tahuya; who was quite ill at the time and could not be alone: which is where I live fulltime now. I gathered up Cocoa, his supplies, and his travel cage: which is only one level and about 2 feet wide by 3 feet long, with a hammock strung as high as I could get it in the cage's 2 foot depth. There definitely is no room to run up and down and scamper around.
Early in the first week, after experiencing Cocoa's daily propensity for rattling the cage, Betty asked, "Well, what do you do with Cocoa on the Sabbath?" So, I explained to her the instructions I'd given him way back when, and advised that he would remain very quiet beginning sundown Friday and until sundown Saturday. Of course, I was quick to mention that, at sundown Saturday, he would set up a rattling racket. Quite naturally, Betty guffawed and said, "We will see!"
Come sundown Friday through sundown Saturday that week and each week thereafter, Cocoa did exactly as I said he would. By the third week, Betty was astounded and called her son— who also is a seventh day Sabbath believer— "You're not going to believe Bonnie's ferret, Cocoa!" She went on to tell Derek what Cocoa would do every day in order to be set free of his confines, then what he did during Sabbath hours.
So, you see. Even ferrets obey God when they hear His truths: as we all should! Of course, Cocoa also proves that animals understand a lot more than we give them credit: especially where their Creator is concerned. And, this is much more than can be said for some humans: sad but true . Having said this, next week I will provide a poignant story about Bandit: my sable ferret who died at age nine just a few weeks after Cocoa was given to me, Cheryl knowing that Bandit was not to be with me much longer.