Last night, Master came upon me in the yard, grabbed me and dropped me in a sack. He tossed me into the back seat of his car. The car rumbled and shook as I lay in the dark sack, my heart in my throat. After a while, we stopped and the bag lifted. Though I didn’t understand what was happening, I trusted Master to take care of me.
Next thing I knew, the bag flew through the air and landed with a thump. Something hard rammed into my ribs, almost knocking the breath from me. I lay in the sack for a minute, confused and stunned by the pain in my ribs. What was happening? Surely, he would open the sack and I’d understand.
But, then I heard Master’s car rumble and then silence. Why, Master, Why? What did I do wrong? Why have you deserted me?
Despite the pain in my ribs, I fought my way out of the sack. The cold air struck my face and stabbed through my lungs as I crawled out into the darkness.
Why was this happening? I always tried to be the kind of kitty he wanted. I always ate my dinner, even when all he put in my dish was scraps from his plate. I always used my litter box, even when it wasn’t very clean. Didn’t I do a good job keeping the barn free of mice? Wasn’t I careful not to sleep on his shirt on the floor, drawn to the smell because I wanted to be near him?
A week ago, he brought home a dog and I knew he liked him better than me, but it was okay. Some men like dogs better than cats. I could live with that. I understood.
I don’t understand this. Betrayed, thrown into a sack and tossed away on a dark country road like a bag of garbage. I will never understand this. My shoulder hurt, but my heart was broken. I could not go home. I had no home. I had no Master. I was alone.
I walked all night. When the sun came up in the morning, I found myself in a Eucalyptus grove where I rested in the foliage beneath the trees. A soft breeze in the leaves whispered its hypnotic melody, lulling me to sleep. In sleep there is no pain, no bitterness, only sweet relief.
I awoke at midday, refreshed, but very hungry and my heart full of bitterness.
When the Great Creator gave man dominion over the animals, He intended there should be a kinship between man and beast. Master’s job was to protect and my job was to serve. I held up my end of the bargain. Didn’t I chase the crows from his field? Didn’t I always come when he called? He’d stroke my head for a minute, and then he’d turn his attention to Dog. This should not have happened. Master was wrong to do me this way. I felt as though I could never forgive him.
I stretched and yawned. Hunger pangs gnawed at my belly. I had to find food.
Across the field, I saw a tiny yellow house surrounded by a vegetable garden. A child’s swing hung in a nearby willow tree and flowers bloomed beside the back door. It was the kind of house where a kind person might live; a person who would give me a piece of bread and a drink of water.
I crept along the grass, stopping every little while to listen and sniff. The honeysuckle and roses in the garden scented the air with their perfume. I heard a child laugh and a baby cooing in response to a mother’s lullaby. The love inside the house sneaked beneath the door and stole across the yard. It swept over me like a soft breeze, ruffled the fur on my back and seeped down into my being. I yearned to be a part of a home like this one.
The door opened. I hunkered in the grass, overcome with fear, yet still tingling from the tenderness swirling around the yard. I glanced fearfully into the mother’s eyes. She smiled, knelt, and stroked my head. “Hello, kitty. Are you lost? Do you want to come and live with us?”
My heart ached. How I wanted to live in such a home as this forever. I wanted to open my heart to the love and the people living here, but how could I stay? Anger toward Master was like a knot throbbing in my chest. I knew that I could not live in the presence of such love with such bitterness in my heart. If I couldn’t let go and forgive Master, I could not stay in the presence of God’s love.
“Oh, Great Creator, when You formed the creatures of the world, you must have put a bit of Your ability to forgive into each one of us. Let me find the capacity to forgive so that I might remain in this place of love forever.”
The mother reached toward me, stroked my head, ready to gather me into her arms. I trembled with a sensation I cannot describe as a battle raged within my breast. Was I willing to let go of the hate and open my heart to love? Then, the anger vanished and I released the bitterness. I was ready to begin a new life.
In that moment, I knew He’d heard my prayer, and as the mother stroked my head, I felt the touch of God.
If you liked this story, please read other stories on this site by ELAINE FABER.
Three published books featuring cat narrators are available at Amazon in print as an e-book ($3.99). Check out Black Cat's Legacy, Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer and Black Cat and the Accidental Angel.