Notes from a parish cat and his author Julie Mackenzie

My photo
I am Father Tom Fish, esteemed member of the religious team at Temptation of Christ Parish in the novels by author Julie Mackenzie. As to my background, I was invited into the rectory as a stray, laid on the charm, and was invited to stay, even honorarily ordained and no less spiritual than my sidekick Father Will. He dotes on me to high heaven and forgives all of my street cat proclivities, whatever the hell that means.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Let's Celebrate!

I think all of my friends are angels and I'm going to prove it. A big thank you is going out to celebrate six months of my blog! I thought a great way to do it would be to have a contest, offer a beautiful prize and see who wins! There's very little you have to do to enter.

So, gather 'round and put down the catnip mice for a moment.

To begin, let me tell you a little about the collectible called "Angel With Cat." It is exclusively a Jim Shore, Heartwood Creek design and she is beautiful. She stands 8 1/4 inches tall and her gown is approx. 4 inches in diameter at the bottom. The cat has whiskers you can even see in the photo! He/she measures about 2 inches tall in the angel's arms, not including the long tail. It is so endearing and truly a keepsake any cat lover would treasure.

To enter: All you need to do is go to the links/contact page at the jrmackenzie website listed under my address book above and fill it out. You will immediately be entered into the drawing. Only one entry per email address, please! When you enter, you will also be eligible for my newsletter. 

So, don't wait! Enter today and this angel and kitty could be yours! Any cat would be happy to be in her arms or hiding under her skirts, hehe..

I'm so excited!

Deadline: Friday July 23rd, 12 midnight Eastern Standard Time. 
Drawing:  July 25th, Sunday. More details later.

Thanks for entering. Good luck!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Big Day for the Men in Black

Hi, everybody! I know it's mid-week, but this Saturday, there's an early morning meeting or somesuch so I can't sneak onto the computer.

Sunday is Fathers' Day. I spelled it a little differently because in my case, I want to pay tribute to my priests even though they are different as day and night. Father Will, shown here, is new to the parish having arrived about a year ago. 

When he first came, he was shocked that Temptation of Christ, which was a very serious episode in the Bible, is shortened to Temptation with its implied close brushes with sin. And, to make matters worse, everybody in the parish wasn't following the rules (they still don't). Poor Jack, set to retire, was alarmed when he saw his community in mortal danger of the straight and narrow. Eventually, the two came to an understanding and resolved to meet somewhere in the middle. They have the cozy den chats and me to thank for that, if I may say so.

So, a very happy Fathers' Day to my own padres. I have given you both my heart and soul so many times...

That's it for now. Remember your loved ones, even if they're a pain in the neck. And to all fathers, especially those serving our country, I salute you. I think Jack will have his usual sermon this Sunday, his own Father's Day message. It's funny how the parish has never tired of it. The same time that he's funny, he can hit the soul with a fast one. There won't be a dry eye in the house.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's All in the Game

Who would think under that leather, lamplight and checkmate there would be private industry? 

Spiders (the ones out of sight, that is) deserve our thanks. Sure, their webs are a nuisance, but, don't forget, they place them for their convenience, not ours. A spider knows just where to put his web like a dark roadblock, to catch his prey. You can't help but respect those creatures who are on a mission and very good at it.

It all came to my attention the other day when I almost stepped into a pile of ant carcasses. The carnage! As I looked around, I could see the spider sitting rather smugly in his webbed hammock under the chair. I thought I'd noticed a reduction in ant traffic lately. Will had said something about both their appearance then disappearance here at the rectory. He was the one who couldn't figure out where they were coming from in the first place. He would watch as the big, lumbering wanderers made their way around, thinking the coast was clear. They would then vanish without a trace--until now. 

I never thought about thanking the spider until I heard the appreciation expressed by the housekeeper. She decided since he was doing such a great job, she'd leave him right where he was, clean up the mess and let him go about his business.

I didn't realize there was so much work going on under my very nose! I'll have to go exploring to find out if there are any other nets catching the bad boys, but not now.

The day is beginning at the rectory as the warm morning sun finds me on my cushion in the window. Time for dreams of scurrying, four-legged beasties running for their lives before my menacing hulk (that'll be the day) while a lone spider gets his web ready for company..


Saturday, June 5, 2010

From the Den..

Despite all the happy flowers and summery weather, there has been a somber mood to the den lately. I think it's because of all the stuff going on in the world--it's making everybody sad. I'll usually snooze and purr regardless, but recently, the subject came up of dying and death.

Will, Jack and Mary Lou were sitting around one evening--a rare occurrence. Will says somehow we all know when the end is near. Or, when we'll wake up in the body of a bug--hehehe--(thank you, Franz Kafka for that imaginary tale). Jack who can be counted on to twist everything into something funny, then looks at me and says when I die, he's going to have me stuffed. Before that happens since we're on the subject, let me tell you what I know about cats and dying.

There is Oscar the cat who lives in a nursing home in Rhode Island. He can tell when people don't have much longer to live and cuddles next to them. Time and again, he's been right. It's a little scary. That would be one cat I would be happy to see pass my door.

All this got me thinking, though. If I had only months to live, I would do the following:

1. Go to Trafalgar Square in London and drool over the pigeons and drop in on Whicky Wuudler, Albert the Cat, and all my UK friends.

2. Attend a bar/bat mitzvah, purr through the Holy Scrolls and later, show Jack I can dance. Cats were just made for the limbo.

3. Tour all the shelters in the US to raise money so I can make sure the animals get a fair shake, or at least get spayed. (this is my favorite)

4. Visit the Vatican and Pope Benedict since he loves cats and stay as long as I want. Maybe he'll let me ride in the Popemobile. Can you just see me through the glass? (so long as I don't have to wear a beanie or a whatchacallit with the pom-pom on top)

5. Go to my first casino, play blackjack and flirt with the pretty girls (I'm dying--remember?)

6. Finally make peace with Vinny so I won't be hanging around purgatory, then have them forget to call me Upstairs. Purgatory doesn't sound like the kind of place that would have top-notch customer service.

Now that I have my to-do list, I'd like to get started on it, especially visiting other cats around the country. 

What would you do before you reach the great cat door in the sky?