After my last post, I started giving her story more thought.
My boys were good kitties. They listened (eventually, after a lot of training) and were obedient. They still are. But when we introduced Tinkerbell into the mix, things changed.
Some for the good, some not so good.
I don't know what her life was like before we got her, but she learned a lot of bad things- things she doesn't realize are bad. Like stealing. Sneaking around. hitting others. Yes, it's typical kitty behavior, but like my boys, a lot of it can be trained out without sacrificing good kitty antics.
You don't need to steal. You ask nice and I'll give you some. Just don't put your face on my plate.
You don't need to hit. Or at least not hard. A hiss is all that's needed to fend off most offenses.
And if my daughter teaches you to attack her feet, she deserves what she teaches when she walks by you and you're feeling playful. (actually, this ones not Tink's fault, and sometimes it's pretty dang funny to watch!)
Ahem...my point is, everyone is redeemable, if you're willing to lead them in the right direction. My boys learned it- my kids learned it. And I'm not the best teacher in this universe (far from, it!), but I think I did a pretty good job, despite my foibles.
People are influenced the same way. It doesn't matter what background they used to live in. Yes, it's important to know what kind of life they lead, but we can still show them what God has shown us, what we have learned, and let them know that all the bad stuff they once knew doesn't have to be the norm- they can make themselves into what they want to be through God, they just need the right guide.
If my kids are getting influenced by peers teaching them 'bad kitty tricks', it's up to me to show the Influencers how we do things- especially when in my home. This might be the only time these other kids get a dose of Christian family life, and showing them that they can be good towards others can do wonders.
Visitors see my cats and kids and have complimented me on my parenting and pet-parenting. Yet they never saw the work involved- and what a mess I was before God sent someone to guide me. Actually several someones- God knew I needed a lot of work!
Tinkerbell has been a part of our family for almost six months. She's starting to learn 'Get down', 'Shoo Shoo' (please move), 'Come here' and 'Kiiiiiitty, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!' (the call for mealtime). She's still learning 'Up' (get on hind legs for a treat), and 'Come up' (to lay on us), but she's getting better.
Now if I can just get her to stop teaching my boys her naughty tricks and teach her the good stuff, we'll be great!