The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Friday, February 1, 2008


We've had a fair amount of serious posts, so I thought I'd tackle a really tough one: why is it that certain cats seem to fit within different wings of the Church?

My Betty, for example, is only short a wimple from founding her own Anglo-Catholic order. Whenever I take out the Prayer Book and the Bible for Compline, Betty begins her part in the liturgy. What is it?
For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.
For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
For this he performs in ten degrees.
For first he looks upon his fore-paws to see if they are clean.
For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.
For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the fore paws extended.
For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.
For fifthly he washes himself.
For Sixthly he rolls upon wash.
For Seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.
For Eighthly he rubs himself against a post.
For Ninthly he looks up for his instructions.
Of course, where Betty differs from Christopher Smart's Jeoffry, is that her ten degrees involve brushing up against the BCP--or Bible, depending on where I am in the service--and caressing it with her face. Betty radiates a chaste, nunlike severity at most times, which is especially endearing after the secular humanist Lothario Ethan tries to seduce her, and she walks primly away, making sure to convey that she had nothing to do with the incident, and disapproves of that wicked Ethan.

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