Slang Phrase: KICK THE CAT
[verb] (late 19th century to 1950s)
To vent one’s frustrations. [the cat being ‘the lowest’ member of the household and thus most likely to suffer such abuse] CASSELL’S DICTIONARY OF SLANG
As a lover of cats I might have to disagree with Cassell’s idea of the cat being the lowest member of a house. I mean everyone knows that cats rule the roost. Cat haters…this is why you hate cats – their dominance in your lives. Alright, before I start any wars and get too far off topic back to the slang phrase.
When you “kick the cat” you do so because someone else figuratively “kicked you.” And instead of ending the frustration there— you take your anger out on some other innocent victim. Thus eventually the cat, or whatever you presume the lowest most innocent being, gets hurt because one person got angry and spread the mean bug.
The mean bug is so highly contagious that it should be listed on the CDC (Centers of Disease Control & Prevention). It spreads from one person to the next with the ease of Rhinovirus. Be it a bug or virus, I personally had a run in with the mean bug earlier this week.
A woman who shall remain nameless (although I’d love to oust her—but it’s pointless as she doesn’t really know me or you for that matter) had a full-blow infestation of this bug. And I was the person she took it out on. She had every reason to be angry at her circumstances. I honestly felt bad for her. But she took her anger out on me—and I was the cat. I had nothing to do with her anger except in some sort of strange play of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
So there I sat, heart beating through my chest, into my throat, flushing my cheeks, and nearly making my eyes water as she shot verbal belittling hits and accusations my way. Luckily this all happened within the walls of a court proceeding. I remained calm, because what else could I do. And I was innocent of whatever she wanted to pin on me. All while she was mouthy enough to have the presiding official shut her down.
After she spewed the venomous infectious mean bug, she left hastily. I don’t think she wished to stick around to see the results of her kicking the cat (me) and/or see how quickly I manifested an infection of the mean bug.
The end result was obvious, I was kicked and infected. As I saw it there were THREE choices.
- Race down the hall and trip her. Okay this shouldn’t be a choice—but it is the fantasy I play out in my mind. Perhaps some God-karma would kick in and she’d slip on her kitten-heel pumps.
- Spread my infection of the mean-bug by finding another cat to kick.
- Take no action. End the whole downward spiral with me.
I weighed options 2 and 3. Just the fact that I weighed these options are a glimmer of hope that over the years the Holy Spirit has been working to fix my heart—because there was a time where I’d be weighing options 1 and 2.
…..1 more than 2.
PROGNOSIS (A FOURTH CHOICE)
In a strange crazy world of figurative and literal woven together, I picked up a prescription for antibiotics today —something called Z-Pak to be specific (I’ve had a cold turned sinusitis on me longer than necessary). While I weighed all the options of how to deal with the mean bug, I realized, with the antibiotic in my hands, that there was a 4th and more important choice. God works me over with metaphor, and this one I understood.
Even if I opted out of choices 1 and 2, and thought I was doing so spiritually well with option 3 by turning the other cheek—the truth is I’d still be kicking a cat (back to option 2). That cat would be me.
Sure I’d not harm anyone else. But I would internalize and let the mean bug fester in me. Infecting my heart and soul.
And truth be told, we all do this more often than we’d care to admit. How often do we accept an injustice, then put on our Holy and spiritually evloved mask, acting like everything is okay. When in reality, on the inside we are seething with anger. Come on, get real and admit this is our pseudo-Christian way. Outward forgiveness and inward unforgiveness.
Well, I’ll tell the truth—this is how I tend to deal with option 3. And while option 3 looks really good on the outside to others, and it seems like a good choice—it can damage our hearts and soul.
I’m still working this one out, but somehow a supernatural medicine is the option I’m steering towards if I’m going to keep moving forward with my wholehearted life. Option 4 requires that I seek help outside of myself.
Just like walking into the doctor’s office—I’m also walking toward God’s.
I tried to kick the bug on my own—I tried every over-the-counter and holistic cure I knew. But in the end I knew I needed help. To get beyond the bug was going to take an internal intervention I could not do on my own.
My doctor wrote a prescription.
God did too by saying, “are you going to leave that with Me or keep working it on your own?”
I swallowed my pills.
And every time I start to feel the anger or fear this woman infected me with I say, “Okay God, I don’t want to live with anger or anxiety, I need that peace that surpasses understanding –please cure me of the things that ill my heart (Phil 4:6-7).”
In both cases, I think I’m getting better. This bug (the mean one and the other) are ending and disappearing in me.