The Curse of the Perpetually Grey Cats
As soon as I could pray the rosary, I asked God for a cat. While announcing the First Mystery, I silently asked God that I wanted a ginger or marmalade-colored one. You see we had many cats at our farm (an average of 12 at any given time). The sad thing is that they were all grey, and each new litter turned out to be even more disappointingly grey. I was told at church that once you finished praying the rosary three times God would give you anything you want, and I diligently did that, getting frustrated at the ten Hail Mary’s I had to say while meditating on the mysteries. It took a while and a lot of rushed speech to get it through, but when I was done, I knew a miracle was coming my way. It did.
One quiet afternoon, I was walking through a Rhode grass-filled paddock where I had hidden a tortoise (story for another day) and I heard the distinct, mellow, sweet cry of a kitten. I turned around and started calling back at it in cat language (I was fluent in cat-nese at the time 🙂 ). The kitten, colored like sunset, emerged from the undergrowth with the mother, both walking with heart-breaking purity. He was faultlessly clean, as if posing for a postcard picture, and he kept mewing ever so gently, stirring my soul, inviting me to caress him. He was not wild like the mother, who fled as soon as I approached; instead he came to rub against my feet. His fur was as soft as butter. I lifted him up and rushed home, ignoring the cries of the mother, who kept calling at us with a voice that was unerringly human. I showed my new pet to my sisters and they quickly told me that mum would not accept a new cat without justification (cats were kept in ratio to the rats and moles at the farm). I did not listen them, stating that God had answered my prayers just like he had answered those of the early day Saints.
My marmalade-colored cat padded noiselessly towards me when I served him milk and omena, and he ate ever so decently, picking out choice morsels like a true aristocrat. At that moment, I imagined our future together. I would teach him to stand on command like the cat I saw on a TV show. I would walk with him to a quiet spot on the farm on many afternoons, and he would snuggle on my chest, purring, while I read a book. He would sire more cats of his kind with the females around, eliminating the Curse of the Perpetually Grey Cats. I took him outside the house, and started teasing him with a stick, and was fascinated by the way he rolled on the ground, looking so pudgy and cuddly.
Mum came in the evening and was horrified to see an additional cat in the compound. She called Rough Hands to take him away. I pleaded to her, debating that this was a Miracle cat and she was going against God’s will by giving him away. She said that in a world where many are dying from hunger, prayers that ask for specific-colored cats could not be answered that quickly and I was merely fantasizing. Rough Hands picked up my Miracle Cat and the cat, being the true noble he was, did not resist but kept on purring as he was lifted to Rough Hand’s elbow. My last vision of my Miracle Cat was his furry tail swishing as Rough Hands walked out of the gate with him.
That evening, I decided that God had allowed my kitten to be given away because I did not pray to Him while genuflecting. I went on my knees that night, holding onto my rosary, and after saying the Fatima Prayer, I asked God for a black cat. That prayer too was answered.