Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Prodigal Cat


There was a family that had two dogs and a cat. The cat, Mollie, had had to spend the night all alone in the house while the humans and the dogs went away. When the humans and the dogs came home early the following evening, an impatient Mollie wanted very much to go outside. The humans let her out. She soon wanted to come back inside. The humans let her in. Soon she wanted to go out again. The humans let her out. Then she wanted to come inside again. The humans complied. Then Mollie wanted to go outside again. “Mollie, it’s dark outside – you’re in for the night,” said one of the humans. But Mollie stared at the door and meowed several very long, unhappy meows, and finally the human said, “Oh, all right,” and let her out.

After about 15 minutes the humans opened the door. “Mollie? Mollie? Mollie, come!” Mollie, standing by the garage door, yawned and batted at a passing cricket. One of the humans came outside: “Come here,Mollie,” she coaxed. Mollie blinked a slow, bored blink, then scampered into the woods and disappeared. The human sighed, raised a garage door just high enough for Mollie to enter, and went inside to bed. She waited a few minutes, straining to hear a “Let me in” meow, but finally fell asleep.

Not long after that, Mollie traveled around the property, delighted by the veritable amusement park of wild things surrounding her – irresistibly squeaking rodents; coy bats flitting just out of reach above the patio table; juicy and enticing insects of all kinds. She hunted and hid and pounced as the hours passed. But soon she grew tired; the night grew chilly and damp with the heavy September dew. She retreated to the garage and huddled on her haunches upon the cold cement floor. A great horned owl, the enemy of all cats, called out from inside the canopy of trees.

Mollie remembered her daily dish of Meow Mix and pat of savory shredded – shredded, never minced – Little Friskies that her humans fed her every day. She thought of her dog friends – the big, goofy one and the funny little white one – and how fond she was of them even though they were smelly, undignified and uncouth. She thought of her humans’ petting and scritches. She thought of all the warm, soft, dry places in the house where she could be sleeping.

When she came to her senses, she said to herself, “The humans and dogs are warm and safe and asleep inside the house, while I’m hungry and afraid and miserable out here. I know what I’ll do – I’ll go to the window and tell the humans that I have sinned against heaven and against them, and am not worthy to be called their cat; that they can treat me like a visiting stray.” Then she thought, “Wait a minute. I’m a cat – I’d never say that. But I’ll go to the window anyway and see what happens.”

"But while she was still a long way off, washing a paw in contemplation of coming back to the house, one of the humans, who’d gotten up early to go to work, sensed her presence and was filled with compassion for her; she went to both front and back doors and called out into the darkness, “Mollie! Mollie!” A few minutes later the human heard a plaintive “Mew?” through the screen and found Mollie standing on the patio table, looking longingly through the window.

The human threw the door open wide: “Oh, Mollie! We’re so glad you’re all right! We were so worried! Look -- I’m going to open a can of Little Friskies Turkey and Cheese for you right now. For you were lost, but now are found.”

Mollie jumped off the table, strode through the doorway past the human and headed for her dish. “Whatever."

"And that turkey is shredded, not minced; right?”

4 comments:

Trish said...

That was a fun story. I like the parallel. Have a good day.

shadow said...

happy wheatland

an ex-lutheran from decorah, ia

now living in holland, mi

leaving at 7 AM tomorrow morning to hang out with some friends and listen to some tunes and camp in the pines

toujoursdan said...

Sounds like my last boyfriend (sigh)

Verdugo said...

"And that turkey is shredded, not minced; right?”

Brilliant.

How often do I respond to the amazing, undeserved, sacrificial grace of Jesus Christ with,

"I still get to do what I like, right?"

"I'm not going to have to listen to music I dislike or worship styles that bore me, am I?"

"I don't have to hang around with those people, right?"

"Can I sit at your right hand when you come into the Kingdom?"