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.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Some Quiet Thoughts

Feeling such sadness over the loss of Sparkle while hurting over what we are so helpless to control,  I had to put the following down and make a thought-provoking connection:

As I was responding to a post by fellow blogger Julia Williams about how some people seem to think "a pet is just a pet," I was thinking how shallow so many assumptions like this really are. Some people have that attitude, but I hope to blazes it is a minority. Anyone who thinks like that has no sense of spiritual value or depth of feeling. They probably look at an old person and think they're "just another old lady or old man," and insignificant.

I have news for them. They are the ones who are insignificant. We can do without those who lack compassion and appreciation for those companions who are there for us when we're sick and serve as calming guides through a life fraught with uncertainty and pain. I know I couldn't ever face the inhumanity so prevalent on so many levels were it not for the comfort of a four-legged friend or friends.  Someone who dismisses an animal as inconsequential, is probably the type of person no animal or human should ever trust.

Our pets are instinctual, perceptive. Their place in our lives and our hearts are accepted routine as the days, months and years go by. Then, the shattering reality of their passing. An indescribable sadness falls over everything. It's such an emotional adjustment to eventually realize they will remain with us, but in a different way. For us though, because we appreciated their special place and recognized their value to our souls, will be blessed with a spiritual companionship until our own meeting with Fate.

A companionship some people will never know.


RIP ~ Sparkle

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I really like the concept of going back and repeating a story or sharing a photograph. Especially with how the world is today, it's nice to think of a calmer time when looking over your shoulder meant making sure loved ones were keeping up, not whether they were safe.

Going back means revisiting past church cat Toms - this entry in particular, written after J.D. Salinger's death when Tom, firmly believing he is as good a catcher in the rye as anyone, takes an imaginary trip to the writer's home:

I met him years ago but I don't remember
how or when.

I do recall wandering a long, overgrown drive thinking how his crowd of admirers had turned into a company of weeds. But, that was the whole point. I stopped to take in the house on the hilltop. That, too, appeared left to its own devices.

You wouldn't think someone like me, short and covered in fur would have easy access to one of the greatest writers of our time and a recluse, at that. But, I did. All I needed was a doorstep.

"Well, what have we here?"

He unlatches the door to let me in. There are papers everywhere. Magazines. Books. One without a cover. I notice the door has a cat flap.

"Haven't seen you around here."

Mr. Salinger, I came specially to see you. I must discuss writing.

As with those who constantly converse with inner thoughts, he is in tune with mine.

"Write for the fun of it," he says, shuffling over to the cabinet. He wore his aura like a cloak.

What about recognition?

I knew this was a sore spot, but I had to ask.

"Well--" His voice became hesitant yet at the same time contained a vehemence restrained. "It's something you need as a writer but can't control it once you get it."


There were sardines now heaped upon a saucer with tiny white flowers in a blue border. As I ate, I thought about what he said. It was true. If I became famous, it would change everything, every part of my life. I picked up the last crumb of fish.

It can still be enjoyable, can't it?

I looked up. He had left me alone.

I turned the corner and entered a cozy area filled with ever more papers, books, and pillows in dazzling, reflected light. My famous author and benefactor was absorbed in his work. There was a calm, as if he were some creative sculptor absorbed in the modeling of his own imaginative clay.

I turned to leave.

"Write for the joy," I heard behind me.

I smile as only a cat can, with backside for emphasis, a gesture to which he can undoubtedly relate.

Rest in peace, kind sir. The sardines were delicious.

(from January 30, 2010)