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, 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?