Richard Foster, in his book, "Prayer-Finding the Heart's True Journey" (which we are studying here and in my Sunday School class) talks about an instance when a cat raised theological questions. In the chapter on the Prayer of Adoration, foster relates a story to illustrate how at times we "ignore the smell of Deity." While leading a worship service in a home, Foster had just encouraged everyone to "wait upon the Lord" in listening silence. The silence was interrupted by the home's cat scratching and meowing to gain entry. Rather than just let the cat in Foster prayed for divine intervention that did not come. Later as the group was sharing how distracting the cat was, one person in the group sat quietly until someone asked him what he was thinking. He replied, "Oh, I was just wondering what God was trying to say to us through the cat."
I have wondered the same thing lately and come to the conclusion that far from being a sign from God, our new cat was more diabolical than divine. I have come to this conclusion because every morning as I sit to begin my devotional, I find that I must move from my chair to shoo the cat from rooms that it is not allowed to be in. It goes something like this:
Noooo...(the cat nonchalantly moves down the hall) Cappy....No (she gets to the end of the hall and sits down) Cappy...Cappy No! (she sprints off one direction or the other out of my sight) and then off I go down the hall to herd the cat from one of the boy's rooms.
We keep the cat out of the bedrooms as yours truly has issues with cats, namely, breathing. Thus the cat is restricted to the tiled portions of the house to keep my allergies to a reasonable level.
Cappy is a new member of our household, obtained from a next door neighbor who decided to move out of state and decided that the two indoor cats would not make the trip. The cats were shown the door (literally) a few weeks prior to the move. There was rumor that homes had been obtained but these "fell through" at the last moment. Whatever the case the cats would soon be homeless. Ashley was the other cat, a cat with the most sour disposition I have ever known either cat or human to posses and a face to go with it. Pinched and scrunched her face looked as if she had run into a wall and mashed her face and it matched her personality perfectly. Still, it was unfortunate that Ashley was apparently a bit slow whilst crossing the road in front of her house and thus never had to face changing owners. It was, in some ways, a blessing but still sad, though her personality made it less than grievous.
Cappy- Cappy "the-perpetually-surprised-pussycat." So named because though a good cat she is, well, skittish would be an understatement. She has a continual wide -eyed expression on her face, a condition brought on by the introduction to her previous household years before, of Clumpy, the bulldog who hated cats. As a consequence of this, Cappy spent a great deal of her time above ground level hiding in cabinets and the like (a habit she has had to give up since moving in) and literally running for her life while on ground level. She is only now, after almost two months, coming to the realization that she can relax here. Her more sedentary life as added a noticable paunch. Still, vestiges of her previous life occasionally surface, most noticeably with her tail, which seems to poof out at the slightest start and at the most unexpected times. No other part of her body puffs up but her tail and with very little provocation will expand like a tiny furry umbrella. Once as my son kindly moved her from one of the bedrooms she hustled down the hall and rounded the corner, sliding on the tile floor. Out puffs her tail, to which my son remarked, "Its like a little drag chute to slow her down around the corners.
A peculiar cat, not overly found of canned chicken residue left-over from family meals or the kitty treats bought at the store, she does however have a fondness, perhaps one might say even an obsession, with strawberry yogurt. It is the only time she will venture into a lap, namely my wife's, to finish off the remains of her evening snack. After which she retreats into a corner to clean the tasty treat from the far corners of her face.
I have considered re-naming her "Crappy" and have been known to let the unflattering name escape my lips as I enter the laundry room where the kitty litter box resides and stifle my gag reflex. She is a small cat but apparently can carry (and unceremoniously drop) a rather hefty load. I mean, good gravy, it smells like my dad was in there! Of course, this condition is probably aggravated by the introduction of strawberry yogurt to her diet, but we can hope that it might be improved with the addition of the pro-biotics.
Last night, Cappy discovered the dormant Cuckoo clock hibernating since shortly after our return a little over a year ago from Germany whence it was purchased. It seems I never really could "get used to" the bloody thing cuckooing its fool head off at midnight and so its chains and associated pine cone weights hang listlessly beneath its blessedly silenced beak. It hung there unnoticed by the cat until last night when she finally discovered this new fangled "string" hanging on the wall. The first warning, I had that something was amiss was my son saying, in a low measured voice, "No, Cappy..." followed by the same phrase uttered now in a slightly more urgent tone. This was followed by chaos and panic. Cappy attacked the chain and promptly got her claw hung in a link. She tried to pull away and in so doing pulled the chain which started the weighted pine cones moving up the wall, buzzing as they went, causing Cappy the perpetually surprised pussycat, to scramble to get away and thus making the pine cones move faster and buzz louder. My son leaped from his chair and Cappy back pedaled away finally releasing the chain.
Her tail was 6 inches around.