Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
Blog Number 36
October 19, 2020
A Feline Grief Circle
About nine years ago we adopted two cats. They were sisters. We got them from a local group that fosters abused and neglected and it was a young woman in our congregation who initially fostered them and made them comfortable with people. They were timid when they first came to be with us. One took months to really socialize. Any loud noise would startle them. Clearly they had endured abuse as tiny kittens.
One at a time two other cats came to join us. These two were boys. They had different life experiences than the girl cats. They mixed well with people and were much more social. Eventually one of the girls, joined in the revelry but the other stayed to herself, usually under the bed. She would be friendly enough when she saw me, but never interacted in the same way as the others. Three cats interacted. One stayed to herself.
This changed just a few days ago. The non-social cat, named Calvin even though she was a girl, looked ill and had a weak meow, not that she ever meowed much. I didn’t think much of it. I’ve seen ill cats before and they always get over it in a day or two. The following day I knew that it was serious. Each day all four cats would greet me when I arrived home. On this particular evening only three greeted me and they seemed subdued. I was worried about Calvin and began to search for her. The other three followed me, keeping subdued but accompanying me. They seemed to know more than I did.
I found her under the bed, where she usually stayed, but this evening she was dead. The other three cats sat quietly as I retrieved her body and prepared for her final disposal. The cats, usually rowdy, sat in a line, somber, somehow looking like it was a sacred moment for them. Even though she never interacted much with them, her death was a moment of grief for them. I wonder if we humans need to learn something from these felines.
We live in a world where too often malnourished people die and others overeat. Many folks in our world hold other cheaply and kill for crime, or seemingly, no reason at all. “Honor killings” occur in other parts of the world which seem dishonorable to me. Wars ravage the world, sometimes for honorable reasons and sometimes not, but leaving dead humans regardless.
My cats seemed to honor life by the way they respected death. I hope that we humans learn to do so also.
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book: https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/