The Not-So-Simple Simple Life—with Larry the Cat


Meet Larry.

He’s a short-haired tabby. We figure he’s about 7 months old but, judging by the size of his paws and the length of his tail, he’s going to be one big tom cat!

He wandered up to my sister’s place a few weeks ago, crying for food. Madeline took pity on the skinny kitty, bought him some cat food, and named him Larry. Showing his appreciation, Larry asked to come inside and love on Madeline, but her dog wouldn’t allow it. It didn’t take long for Larry’s constant mewing and sweet nature to win over the whole family, but no one was in a position to take him in. He was an inside kitty stuck in the cold, outside world.

As you can imagine, news of Larry (complete with flattering pictures) made its way to Robby and me, but we had dozens of reasons not to take him. We already have one kitty, and we weren’t sure how Penny would react to having another one around the house—especially a tom cat! Our lives are relatively simple and uncomplicated, just the way we like it, and a new animal would upend that for sure. Not to mention the expense of adopting a new cat. Perhaps it was best to leave Larry where he was. It just wasn’t ideal to bring him home.

But that rationalization couldn’t hold up to the image of a kitten freezing in the cold, especially one as lovey as Madeline described. We had always wondered if Penny would do better with a playmate. Maybe this was God’s way of expanding our little family?

So, we took a cat carrier with us when we visited family this weekend. We met Larry. We pet him, held him, talked with him. Then we brought Larry home.


Larry Finds a Home

Larry is currently curled up in a soft bed in the basement. Robby and I are taking turns going down to feed him, play with him, and love on him. (He’s definitely a cuddle bunny!)

Penny, the queen of the house, is more playful than cuddly. But she’s our little girl, and we don’t want her to feel upset or defensive. Thanks to Jason Galaxy’s YouTube videos (you probably remember him from “My Cat from Hell”), we’re learning all about introducing cats and plan to do so slowly over the next week or two.

Yes, bringing Larry home has made our lives more complicated. We don’t have all the answers, and we don’t know how this is all going to turn out. But we do know that we saved a little kitty from the cold, and that feels good and right.



Larry Enjoys the Simple Life

A few weeks ago, I shared with you that Robby and I are pursuing “the simple life.” We’ve begun to simplify, minimize, and declutter our lives. So, how does adopting a new cat—with all the complications and expense that entails—fit into the simple life? It fits because of our goals.

You see, the first step to the simple life is outlining your goals and desires; only then can you be sure that you’re spending our resources on what you value most.* For Robby and me, we value life, so we always strive to help a creature in need, whether it’s a family member, a stranger, or an animal. We also value family and, for us, that image expanded to include two cats in the house in addition to the hen in the coop. Now our home feels complete, even if it is a bit more complicated than it was before.


Simple Encouragement for the New Year

Larry reminds us that the simple life is anything but simple. And it’s certainly not easy. It’s about finding what we value (like family and lost kittens), and then putting our resources on those things. If I need to work a few extra hours this month to cover the vet bills, that’s fine. At least I’m working for things that matter to me.

As you start the new year, I encourage you to write down what is important to you and what you want out of life. Then make sure that you spend your time, energy, and money on those things that matter most to you. Above all, make sure that you make God your number one priority and that your desires align with His will for your life. (See Matthew 22:37-39.)

What matters most to you? What does your ideal family look like? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below.


[Click to Tweet: #thesimplelife is all about spending our resources on what we value. #bigsisterknows #caturday]


[Click to Tweet: Yes, you can have pets and still live #thesimplelife! #bigsisterknows #caturday]


*In his book, The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own (Colorado Springs, Colorado: WaterBrook Press, 2016), author Joshua Becker defines minimalism as “the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them.”


Author: Ashley L Jones

I love encouraging people, whether that means digging into the Bible or making a homemade meal in cast iron. Check out the About section of my blog ( for more details. Thanks for stopping by!

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