The Cat ButlerGenesis 2:2 says, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.”
At our apartment, Smudge and Callie are like gods.
They rested today, taking luxurious comfort in the dwelling we provided to them. They seem to not know how to count, nor which day of the week is the seventh day. Therefore, they take no chances and rest every day.
We made offerings of food and water, and they lazily surveyed their realm, taking liberty to sprawl their slinky bodies over whatever surface struck their fancy. Smudge found comfort on a window sill for a while.
Callie squeezed into the space between the stereo and a speaker. (It was off.)
Before Hurricane Katrina chased us out of New Orleans, we had four cats and a hedgehog, but we gave up all but these two. Right now, I think that’s all we need.
They come and go at their leisure. Callie will sit at the door and meow when she wants to go out. Usually I am the one to obey her command. My Darling Wife calls me “The Cat Butler.” I can’t argue with that.
We hope to get the keys to a FEMA travel trailer soon. The cats will come with us. I wonder if they will recognize their old house. They haven’t seen it or smelled it since the flood and the fire.
There’s really no way to explain it to them, either. For all they know, our house is still there, still sitting pretty with sofas and chairs and windows and a big bowl of food by the back door. They probably think the lawn is covered with green grass, and the trees still bounce with birds and squirrels that always seem to be just out of reach.
How can they comprehend until they see it for themselves?
I suppose they are not unlike most of America in that respect: they won’t understand unless they see it for themselves. Until they walk through the barren, bashed neighborhoods, there is no hope that they will ever understand the totality of the destruction, the scope of the disaster, the loss of life and lives.
I imagine my cats will enjoy exploring the neighborhood when we go back. So many places and spaces to find adventure in! And not too many other cats around, I expect. They will probably feel like queens once we get back there.
No, wait, they will be like gods: furry, pad-footed gods. Excuse me, I’m being called to the door…