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.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Saving Souls In All the Wrong Places

Time for a new post, my fellow furries and your humans!
I said to myself (I made sure I was listening, first..hehe):


Okay, then. So, here I am. Everybody's getting ready for the holidays. In my neck of the woods, if people aren't shopping or maybe afterwards, they're popping over to the new hangout down the street from the rectory called the PEARL AND SWINE. Like the name? Jack's idea. I think half the businesses around here talk to the old priest to get their wild ideas. We have BeCheeses, a wine and cheese shop and SweetCheeks, a pastry place. I swear he keeps a list.

Here I am visiting the Pearl and Swine..I've been going there and you might say what is a cat doing in a pub. WELL, I had THREE converts just in the last week!

I checked and they showed up at Mass. You could have knocked me over. One of the guys even had a hankie tucked into his pocket.

So anyway, I've been on some pretty important missions and challenging myself to find lost souls wherever they might be. Will wants me to be careful. It could get dangerous. Sometimes I let him tag along, but only if he behaves himself.

Keeping it hearty and holy,

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How Time Flies!

Oh, my stars, have I neglected this blog for such a long time, since June!
I can't believe it.

Now I'm trying to think of all that's happened to distract me from my blogging duties:

The housekeeper moved. She never lived in the rectory, anyway, so it didn't affect me, but I heard all about it. People living in the condos next door started moving around, too, for some reason. One person moved up on the third floor and another dropped to the garden level. I just can't keep track, but I do try to keep my nose in all things.
(in between naps, confessions, Masses and homage paid by fans..)

Ahhh....Father Will's throw, soft and makes me mellow.

Anyway, the holiday season is coming up and before I get out my jingle bells and the turkey gets baked, I wanted to say hello. That's if anybody's still out there..

Hellllooooooo!! Oh, bless you. One person! Nevermind, just the mailman.

~ Purr. If you can't purr, smile.


Saturday, June 3, 2017


Going through some old photos of me in my younger years, I came across my fresh out of seminary photo of me flush with youth:

All bright-eyed and bushy tailed and not one confession under my belt yet. Today, I'm a hardened priest, heard all the sins of the world and want to shut my eyes and shake my head at most of them.

I think I can share this confessional story because it happens every once in awhile. Someone comes in and I wait and wait..."Bless me, Father..then, silence. "I forgot my sins, Father Tom. I had them all memorized so I wouldn't forget them. Once I even wrote them on the inside of my cuff except I couldn't spell a name I called somebody."

"Do you remember it now?" I asked. "If you do, whisper it in my ear." I lean forward. This is the most excitement I've had all day.

I listen. Holy carp. It was quite the sin-filled name.

That was his only contribution to his weekly wrap-up of unholy transgressions.

"Any more sins?" I ask, hopefully.

"Sorry, I can't think of any more," he confesses..

"There's always next time," I say.


Lots of people forget or they get tongue-tied or they have no sins to confess but come to see me anyway.

I just can't keep people away, nor would I want to. They love me. Except when I have to mete out penance. Then, I'm a ... the name my young friend couldn't remember.

Sins have a way of aging people. Just hearing them has made me age ten years and dirtied my paws.

Have your sins catapulted anyone toward old age lately?

Sunday, March 26, 2017


This is the coup de grouse..

No stress-free Lent for this cat, this four-footed, roman-collared, bewhiskered man of God..or is it Cod? I'm sleeping, having a nice Lenten dream, when all of a sudden, I feel the earth move.
Everything's moving..I'm moving..I'm being flung?

I'm not where I was! I don't know where I'm going! I don't trust men in mustaches! He better be careful!

As soon as I figure out what the heck is going on, I'll let you know.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Housekeeper Decides to be Funny

Do you think I could be left in peace with my stress-free existence?

Have there been cats on the moon?

The answer to both questions is, "NO."

The housekeeper just woke me with this face. Her overall look is bad enough with spider-webby hair and the scent of casserole and catnip, but now I have a clown wannabe.

Look at her! I could barely stop purrgling (that's giggling and purring at the same time) After all, I can't sleep these 40 days and nights away, can I?

Besides, *sniff* *sniff* is that baked mahi-mahi I smell??

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day or How I Slept Through It

Friends, I'm still asleep and I hope I don't awaken too soon. It is a blissful rest and I would highly recommend it, especially the dreams.

But, I do have a question:

Is it possible to dream that you took a nap? Of course, it confuses things and brings everything to a screeching halt, but not too loud. It would wake me!  Sshhhh....!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Best Lent Ever but Can It Last?


The last thing I remember is falling asleep on a toadstool in my quest for a life without stress, or at least the next 40 days and nights without being cursed with living on the edge.

It must have been a magic mushroom because I find myself on a long road with a house in the distance. I don't really know where I am, but it doesn't matter because I love each step. The light through the trees dipped in shadows that undulate over my furs..aaahhhhh. It's wonderful! Even where I'm headed looks peaceful and serene--and mysterious!


If your path is bumpy and full of snails
Find a road less traveled by us with tails
Whiskers discover too much, it's true
Never for our own good, a witch's brew.

When humans shocked at how they fray
We know they need a holiday
We need one even more, I say
Snoozing aside, let's not delay!

If we should dream like I'm doing today
I know everything's going to be okay
With a path flickering with sun and birds
You can bet I'm thinking the following words:

This might be the best Lent ever!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Father Tom in Wonderland


Don't let Alice wake me. She tends to be loud. You have no idea what it took to get that caterpillar off here so I could find a minute's peace.

Lent? So far, so good. Had a couple of hair-raisers, but things are smoothing out.

I hope I'm not speaking too soon.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Silence is Golden but is it Golden Enough?

That's it. I've had it. Somebody blabbed to the housekeeper that I had given up stress for Lent.

I don't know how she found out but this is what she put on me today after a couple of old ladies in the parish condos starting beating each other up with their walkers. I happened to be in the hallway at the time and barely escaped with my life.

I ran to the rectory and she immediately whipped out this horrific example of what looks like a "thundershirt," muttering that it isn't just for thunderstorms but for anything that is stressful and it should help calm me down. Think again, my dear tea-towel-wringing witness to my agony..

I think it's an abomination. I think I look ridiculous and it's not doing anything for my stress.

I need a break. If anyone's looking for me, I'll be hiding and I won't say where.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Day 3 of Lent or Move Over Van Gogh

Third day of peaceful slumber, ignoring frequent outbursts coming from the parish I call home, as well as an asylum of sorts.

I don't know what Will and Jack (I drop the "Father" part 'cause it's just you and me) gave up for Lent. I'll have to closely observe since neither of them talked about it. They're just doing some extra praying I noticed, but that could be anything from thanks for one of Mary Lou's fish chowders--hey, I'll put my paws together for that--or pleading with the Lord to bring them a contractor who'll do things for free...who knows?

I've taken up painting. I draw the picture first, put in the numbers and then use my brush. Isn't that the way to do it? 

Being a cat, my creative genius includes the capturing of chirps, beez buzzing, streams rippling and trees who are pleading with me for leaves..


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Day Two of Lent-38 to Go

As you all know, I have given up stress for Lent. Hair-raising events have taken their toll on me and disrupt my prayer, blocking access to the Lord. Proper perspective, I heard, is a good thing.

So..unless Father Jack gets run over, Father Will runs away with the gypsy in the neighborhood, or the housekeeper decides to train spiders to dance, I want to be left in peace.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I've Got It! or When Ashes Get on my Paws

Hi, folks!

Lent, here I come! I received my ashes today, but now am concerned how to get them off my paws since I forgot and tried to wash my face after. You know I can't leave tracks around the rectory. The housekeeper will have my hide, even if I do my best Dr. Jekyll impression. Get it? Never mind. I am helplessly humorless.

I solved the problem of what to give up. I'm giving up STRESS! That's right. Bone-shattering, nerve-rattling, sleep-depriving stress. I plan to spend these next 40 days and nights cool as a cucumber, basking in the glory of the Almighty and let Him take the reins. It will be against my very nature not to spazz over every little thing, but the persistent effort in self control will be good for me and my spirituality, don't you think?

Anyway, if you're looking for me, I'll have my eyes closed against the world with not a worry in sight.Who's with me?

Monday, February 27, 2017

Lent or It's a Cruel, Cruel World

Hi, friends-

I know I've already said I'm giving up my plane for Lent, but that doesn't seem to me very practical. How will I get around? Walk? Unthinkable!

If I give up my plane, I'll have to give up my galas.
Give up my top hat, my tie and tails..or make that one tie and a tail.

Maybe I should just give up my race car. But, then I'll be letting down the team. We're headed for the Fishworthy 500 in a week or two and we're expected to win. Nope. Can't give that up.

Maybe I could give up my Jack Reacher reading for the next month and ten days. But, what would I read in the meantime? Oh, no! Not a Jacques Cousteau memoir about the sea and fish. No!!!!!

I'll have to think on this some more.