I got a lot of email this week. One friend saw the title of last week’s blog—”lucky kitty”—and before reading it, turned to me: “You’re writing about a dead kitty? The only lucky kitty is a dead kitty, right?” This friend, who knows my heart well, was surprised when he read the blog to discover I had a kind word about a living kitty. He later wrote: “The image of VA tipping his biretta to a cat is High Comedy.”
Cat lovers wrote. One cheered what she called my conversion experience. Another said I had made my peace with cats. That, however, might be saying too much. Another reader, deeply committed to the felines in her life, perceived merely “a step in the right direction” (which she instantly qualified as a paw in the right direction).
I admit that ambivalence continues. I sneeze when a cat comes near (some say a sneeze is a recognition that a devil is nigh). I still surmise that cats think they are Egyptian gods.
As does at least one reader who sent me a picture of a very god-like statue of a cat erect on its hind legs, accompanied by words from 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2: “... the rebellion ... the man of lawlessness ... the son of destruction, who ... exalts himself ... takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God....”
On the other hand is the observation made by a priest on St. Francis’ Day, that God made dogs to remind us of his unconditional love. He made cats to keep us humble.
Yet despite their haughtiness and the whiff of idolatry, I admit to a new sense of admiration. Cats are more resilient than I would have guessed. Several writers told me of their own cats who survived a fall from, for instance, nine stories, and there was one who survived a shorter fall but was injured. Even if they want to usurp God’s place, God still made them.
Which is an amazing truth that, I suppose, applies likewise to the author and readers of this blog.
On the Web. My lecture on "The Theology of Walking" was recorded and you can hear it here: https://vimeo.com/759616458/e93553bed9