Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

On fuzzy cats, prayer and gratitude

By LORRAINE V. MURRAY, Commentary | Published November 3, 2016

“I wonder where cats are up for adoption today.” This thought popped into my head, completely out of the blue, as I sat down to read one afternoon.

It led to a quick Google search, which took me to the DeKalb County Animal Services website—and a full page of fuzzy feline faces.

But why in the world was I looking? I didn’t want a cat—did I?

Well, a few years ago, Jef had confided that he wanted a cat for his birthday, and we had agreed this would be a wonderful addition to the household.

But then, alas, we gradually talked ourselves out of it. Too much trouble, too much fur in the house—and oh my gosh, the litter box!

These negative features vanished, however, the moment I spotted a furry fellow on the website with one eye shut—giving the impression he was winking.

I called the shelter and learned that he had been found wandering on the streets. He had a microchip, but no one had claimed him, so he was available.

I quickly drove over and met the cat—a big, orange, loudly purring and affectionate armful. Before long, I was driving home with a carrier in the backseat—from which emanated dramatically protesting meows.

We hit it off just fine, but when I took him to the vet for a checkup and was told he’d need eye medication twice daily, I panicked.

How would I care for this animal without Jef?

My faithful friends soon came to the rescue, and now I have help chasing him down morning and evening—and applying eye drops.

The cat—whom I named Mr. Fuzziwuz—sits with me while I watch movies, and sometimes lies on his back with his paws straight up in the air.

He gallops around the house chasing toys and keeps me busy retrieving them from under the couch.

In “Taming the Restless Heart,” Father Gerald Vann wrote about the connection between pets and our heavenly Father.

Let’s say you are petting your cat and take a moment to reflect on God’s goodness in making something so lithe and lovely—and placing it in your care.

Then, said Vann, “The cat will remind you of God, and help you praise God too.”

Like all cats, Mr. Fuzziwuz is master of his own emotions, and if he doesn’t feel like playing, he will just stare at the toy with disinterest.

In short order, I became his servant, just as I expected, since I’m already at the beck and call of a hamster and an assortment of chipmunks and squirrels.

But it seems I’m in good company, since C.S. Lewis admitted that he and his wife, Joy, were “ruled by cats.”

Her Siamese, he noted, “talks all the time and wants doors and windows to be opened for her 1,000 times an hour.”

Lewis also had a ginger cat, “a great Don Juan and a mighty hunter before the Lord” who ignored him because “he thinks I’m not quite socially up to his standards.”

Many people think cats are not affectionate, but they have probably never spent an evening with a purring cat glued to their bathrobe.

True, cats don’t always come when called and will learn tricks only if they feel like it—but they suit me just fine.

And when I say my prayers at night, I thank God for sending Mr. Fuzziwuz into my life.

Because, you see, even though I no longer have a human hand to hold, I’m quite content to clasp a friendly paw.

Artwork (“Frothy Cats”) from “Black and White Ogre Country: The Lost Tales of Hilary Tolkien,” edited by Angela Gardner and illustrated by Jef Murray. Lorraine’s email address is