A Creature Full of God

Cat

I was driving to work this morning and about 5 miles from my house when I saw a black cat with a pink and white collar on the right side of the road attempting to cross.

I was hoping the cars traveling in front of me would deter the cat from making any sudden moves. But in an instant the cat was gone.

As I got closer to the spot where the cat crossed, I saw the animal on the left side of the road–completely intact and stretching out it’s body which was twitching only slightly onto part of the pavement. Hoping the cat was merely stunned and still in need of help, I quickly turned onto a neighborhood street, jumped out of my car and ran over to where the cat was lying to pull the animal out of the street so further damage wouldn’t ensue.

But I was too late. A tiny spot of blood on its nose and the glassy fixed stare in its eyes told me all I needed to know. I raised a hand to stop the cars passing from hitting the cat or me as I scooped up its lifeless body and placed it gently on a grassy area next to the sidewalk.

I looked around at the houses to see if there was any indication that the cat belonged in one of the homes lining the street. I immediately saw on the front porch of the house next to the road where the cat was hit…a litter box and a food bowl. I was halfway to the front steps, prepared to knock on the door and let the owner know their beloved pet died, when a young woman answered the door. “It’s ok,” she said. “What happened.”

I explained to her what I saw happen to her cat and that I had stopped to move her pet off the road. It was then that I noticed that there were four or five golden brown kittens, about 3 months old, wandering around the porch. “It was their mother,” she said. I told her how sorry I was. She told me not to worry and thanked me for moving the cat off the side of the road and letting her know what occurred. I was in such a state of sadness and shock that I never asked the name of the cat.

On the way back to the car, I paused in front of the cat and said a quick prayer.

I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. It’s affecting me in a way I don’t quite understand. It’s not even one of my own cats and yet I feel as I have lost something precious.

All I can think of doing at this point is to share this story with you loyal readers for further reflection and insight. And to take comfort in the following words from a book I gave to Elizabeth for her birthday last year “Blessing the Animals: Prayers and Ceremonies to Celebrate God’s Creatures, Wild and Tame”:

“And in looking through God’s great stone books made up of records reaching back millions and millions of years, it is a great comfort to learn that vast multitudes of creatures, great and small and infinite in number, lived and had a good time in God’s love before man was created.”

–John Muir, “Cats and Dogs”

“Apprehend God in all things for God is all things. Every single creature is full of God and is a book about God. Every creature is a word of God. If I spent enough time with the tiniest creature–even a catepillar–I would never have to prepare a sermon. So full of God is every creature.”

–Meister Eckhart

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