When our three children were small, we had just about every kind of pet in our home at one time or another—hamsters, fish, mice, birds, gerbils, rabbits, a dog. I say “just about” because I had two hard and fast rules—no reptiles and no cats. I’d never liked cats’ “attitudes” and firmly identified myself as a dog person, not a cat person. Since childhood, I’d also shown the symptoms of being highly allergic to cats.
Now fast forward 20 years or so. Our children were all grown and living on their own, and my husband and I were invited to spend the weekend at our son’s home. I was sitting on the couch and Viola, my son’s cat, decided to take up residence on my lap. Before long, my eyes and nose started running and itching, and I could hardly see.
I went up to bed that evening thinking that I couldn’t tolerate another day of this. As a lifelong Christian Scientist, I’d become accustomed to dealing with health issues through prayer, and I realized that this was a perfect opportunity to finally heal this situation, instead of just avoiding cats for the rest of my life.
As I lay in bed, and turned to God in prayer, it occurred to me that the idea of allergic reaction was akin to the belief in poison—the idea of one type of matter having a deleterious effect on another type of matter. I was reminded of this statement from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul” (p. 269). I knew I needed to “exchange” this idea of poisonous matter for a clearer, more spiritual concept.
I then reasoned that there was really no matter to be poisoned—since, as Science and Health also states: “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation . . .” (p. 468). All that truly exists is thought (the infinite manifestation of Mind), so this was a case of thought being poisoned.
I asked myself, What would be the forms of poison in thought? The answer I got was that mental poison would come in the guise of hate, lust, or fear. Every negative, ungodlike thought I could imagine came under one of those three categories. And, let’s face it, this was definitely a case of hate. I’d been hating cats all my life, so of course I needed to get rid of that hateful, poisonous thought.
I then posed the question “What is there to hate about Viola?” She was a sweet, affectionate little thing, and she had been a dear companion to our son. He was living on his own for the first time, after years of living in college dormitories, naval barracks, and submarine bunks, and he’d said to me recently, “Mom, this living alone is not all it’s cracked up to be.” But darling Viola would be waiting at the door for him when he got home from work. She would play with him, “watch” TV with him, and sleep in his room at night. I saw her as a precious expression of God’s care and love for our son, and as I thought about this, I found myself loving and appreciating her. I fell asleep feeling wrapped up in God’s love for us all.
As soon as I went downstairs the next morning and sat on the couch, Viola came over and plopped right down in my lap, getting as close to my face as she could. But this time, there was not a tear from me—not a dribble. No more allergic symptoms! Nor have there been any more in the several years since then. I was completely healed by addressing my thought and replacing the poison of hatred with the balm of divine Love in my consciousness.
And, by the way, this healing occurred just in time. One week later, our younger daughter moved back home, bringing with her—you guessed it her cat!
Brookeville, Maryland, US
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