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Today The Cat is a Gnostic

September 15, 2006

Like the medieval alchemists who sought to distill quintessential gold from base materials, he seeks some quintessential flavor that I don’t have in the house. It isn’t on the market and I can’t make it. And he refuses to eat anything else. Cats are simple lifeforms despite all their pretense to complexity. They need to eat to live.

I am afraid, afraid of tumors in his stomach, afraid of The Hairball That Ate San Diego lodged in his stomach–something must be making him feel full for him to suddenly start snubbing his food again. He had rather an indelicate morning, emitting a vocalization that sounded like “Arauuuunaaaa,” followed by dry heaves. I thought he was trying to warn Arauna that the Angel of Destruction was over his threshing floor. The last time he stopped eating, it was due to fatty acids in his liver, but he’s recovered from hepatic lipidosis, so I don’t understand his regression to this inappetence and I am afraid. For two months, I had clothes laid out for middle-of-the-night trips to the emergency animal clinic, and three times I had to pull them on. He can’t do this to us again. Besides, he’s only eight, not even half a respectable lifespan for a cat, and he owes us at least another eight just to amortize the medical expenses he’s already incurred.

The truth is that the Cat is a gift of God, not an entitlement, one of the great pleasures of my life that I try to hedge from frowning providence, the particular one I want to keep always in the sunshine of God’s mercy…just this little pocket of God’s sovereignty perhaps could be adjusted in the Cat’s favor. I am tempting my Lord sinfully when I should be thankful for the wonderful blessing of having had my cat this long, of having been blessed with the companionship of this majestic creature at all. To God there is no difference between the trivial and the tremendous, as my pastor has said to my great comfort; so to ask for mercy for my cat is not unseemly. I do ask for mercy and I am grateful for my cat. Over my cat, as over all, God exercises his sovereign will for his own good pleasure and purpose; I can acknowledge this churlishly because there are no options, or I can obey because my heart is truly his, and no gift may have a greater claim or grip than the Giver. This is a hard saying….

O LORD thou preservest man and beast. Ps. 36:6

4 comments:

Mike Pitzler said…
mmm. Today was the first time I’ve cleaned the litter box in…well..since the last time Diane went somewhere without me. I agree. Cats aren’t trying to trick me into taking care of them.Although, Precious, our ragmop, tries to make me believe that the pencil she stalked, caught, tortured and killed, and left in front of my bedroom door is a mouse. It’s a pencil, I tell her (to no effect).

11:49 AM  
Mrs. B said…
Coolidge likes pencils for what they are–things to roll off of tables and desks. As for stalking and catching and torturing and killing, I have only indirect evidence: the spider legs he leaves on the bed.
11:57 AM  
Zack said…
I like pencils because I can use them to type. I once knew a man who the pencil bearer to the Duke of Edinburgh. It was a position of great responsibility and the strain grew to be too much. He retired and kept chickens. That is when I met him.The female is very sad to hear about your cat.

6:05 PM  
Victorbravo said…
Cats are always Gnostic, they just don’t have to work at it they way humans do. They know the secrets instinctively.
9:45 PM  
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