Sunday, January 6, 2008

Glory Hallelujah!

Things wander through my mind apparently at random as I'm driving the bus, sometimes. A bit of song, a non-sequiter thought, a desire for ice cream, a mental image of a friend.

Some of today's fragments were:

Mentally composing an advertisement for a new farm cat. Qualifications to include experience with mouse, rat, squirrel and rabbit control; preference for outdoor living; sociable with people of all ages. Etc.

Singing the rousing old Shape-Note hymn, "I know that my Redeemer lives"--"Shout on, pray on, we're gaining ground, Glory hallelujah, the dead's alive and the lost is found, Glory hallelujah!"


As I closed the truck door on my arrival home tonight, feeling weary and a little lonely, I heard a faint sound near the woodsheds. I stopped to listen. A cat's tiny mew. "Kittykittykitty" I called out gently, expecting a new stray in the neighborhood. A familiar chirrup answered me. AMBROSIUS appeared out of the shadows, hesitantly working his way towards me!

Ambrosius had been missing for about 5 weeks, way longer than his usual week-long walkabouts. I'd truly given him up for dead--or at least departed for a new home.

I scooped him up and he took his classic position on my left shoulder, curling into my neck with kneading paws and soft purrs as I balanced bags and tried to open the door. I invited him in, but he sprang down and lept to the shelf outside where his food bowl sits. Needless to say, I filled it with all possible haste! I'd just bought a large back of cat food when he disappeared, and after several weeks I gave it to my daughter, but kept back a jar full just in case of a miracle, or a new stray cat.

He's a bit thin, but seems in good health.

Before I went on sabbatical in 2005, he was an indoor-outdoor cat, spending a lot of time out hunting and helping with chores and gardening. In my absence, the tenants taught him that if he tore up the door and window screens, they would let him in the house. Or, if they didn't, in summer he could get in himself. This is NOT acceptable to me as a homeowner (and as someone who likes the mosquitos and flies to stay mostly outside where God created them). So on my return, I enforced a strict outside-only regimen, hoping to break him of his destructive habits. It seems to work...he quickly realized that he was NEVER allowed in the house, and resigned himself to staying outside. I fixed up a very sheltered den for him in the cabinet under his food dish, and he could hang out in the sheds any time.

But when he disappeared, I couldn't help but wonder whether he had gone looking for a new home where they would let him inside during cold weather. I'll never know, of course, but now that he's back we've agreed that he can have occasional house privileges as long as he leaves the screens alone, behaves well, stays off the counters, and doesn't make messes in the house.


And keeps his big feathery paws off the keyboard if he wants to sit in my lap while I write!

Dear reader, I hope that in 2008 you, too, can experience the humbling joy of having something restored to you that you had believed was lost for all time! Glory hallelujah, the dead's alive and the lost is found!

1 comment:

Evan said...

Thank you for telling me about this blog. I have read many of your posts already and find them to be well-written, thought-provoking, and inspiring. And thank you for hosting us for shape-note singing today. The songs take on new meaning for me, hearing you quote them in your posts and relate them to your life. I look forward to sheep-shearing day and being helpful to you in whatever way I am able.