Cat on the lap

The Rev. Geoffrey Butcher, Priest-in-Charge Trinity Episcopal Church, Russellville

September 26, 2013

Perhaps you have a cat. You may have stories to tell about your feline friend including moments with the cat on your lap. There is petting and purring and a shared bond of affection. A sudden sound, however, alerts your little friend that it’s time for a change. Another occasion will come, however, when the only sounds heard will be of gentle strokes.

I’ve lived with cats for many years. My father used to like them especially because of their independence. He was a very independent person and shared a mutual spirit with his friend Pennie. My favorite as a child was Ferdie, a big orange cat with an affectionate flare. My earliest grieving occurred when Ferdie got hit by a car. It was hard for me to forgive the old lady in the cul-de-sac who hit him with her 1936 Ford coupe.

Pets are certainly a part of life’s more pleasant moments. They have personalities that can vary from sweet cuddly furry friends to guard dogs prepared to snap at anyone provoking harm. Depending on your situation you learn to love or to respect your pet.

There is a proverb that reads: “The righteous one is aware of the soul of his animal, and the evil withhold their compassion.” (Proverbs 12:10) It is an example of the compassion we can learn from our pets and the lack of concern missing from those with an evil spirit. Many have learned compassion from the care of a pet. The pet in turn can teach us unconditional love. Loving pets take us as we are. If only we could share that same attitude with people.

Celebrating the gift of pets is another of God’s many blessings. I hope you have opportunities to give thanks for your cats, dogs, rabbits, horses, etc. Remember, when it comes to cats, “Those who dislike cats will be carried to the cemetery in the rain.” (Dutch Proverb)