BBUUC’s Animal Chaplain, Elizabeth DeCoux, is available to any member in need of spiritual help related to a companion animal, including blessings, celebrations of life, grief support, and attendance at euthanasia. Please click here to read Elizabeth’s monthly column.
Years ago, I worked for a few months as a pet-sitter. One of my very favorite tasks was visiting two classic tabbies while their adoptive human parents were away on a European river cruise. The two humans loved these cats so much. When I first met this family, the humans gave me fairly elaborate instructions for keeping the cats safe, healthy, and happy. On my first visit after the humans left, I found helpful reminders in the form of post-it notes all around the house, ensuring my success at each element of every task.
These lucky felines had wonderful toys: elaborate tunnels to explore (and in which they could lie in wait to pounce on each other), small colorful springs to swat, poles with fake mice that I could swing and dangle enticingly until the three of us were lost in simple delight. The cats had the very best, healthiest, most delicious food. At bedtime and naptime, there were several comfy, cozy beds from which to choose.
After the humans returned from their river cruise, I stopped by to say hello and enjoy one last visit with the kitties. As I was about to leave, the cats’ mom asked me, “It’s a sin to love them so much, isn’t it?” I assured her it was not a sin. In the years since that conversation, I have come to realize that she probably wasn’t actually seeking reassurance from me (of all people) that no deity was offended by her affection for her cats. The question was instead rhetorical, a way of describing the depth of her love for these two felines.
All of this happened so many years ago that I can’t remember the female cat’s name. The male, a gloriously beautiful orange tabby, was Thor. Anyone who would give a cat that name had gone beyond love into worship of these creatures, which was, of course, their due.