Originally posted Oct. 15, 2012, at Skating in the Garden in High Heels Under My Alb. Republished with permission of the author.
First it was the orange tomcat that showed up stalking my bird feeders. I had no problem chasing him away. He never got any birds but he always came back. He looked skinny but I was strong. No feeding him.
Then the pretty orange and white showed up. She was eating the peanuts for the birds. So I put the peanuts on the roof of the shed and she jumped up on the roof to eat the peanuts. Well, I figured if she was eating the bird seed, I was feeding her anyway, so I started feeding her.
And of course the orange Tom showed up for his share.
At first I thought, “She’s not that skinny, she’s eating somewhere else.” Then it became clear that she’s not that skinny because she is pregnant. And the orange Tom is no doubt the Baby Daddy. Just what I need. One of my life’s challenges is not to become one of those crazy women you see on “Animal Hoarders.” This is not helping.
After awhile I decided to just give in to my secret piety, which tells me God sends me these creatures to take care of. Just go with it. Buy her the special food for kittens and pregnant cats.
So here I am in Dubuque for our theological conference and the theme is vocations. Stanley Olson from Wartburg Seminary is our presenter. He starts out asking us who is the neighbor God is calling us to serve. Everyone shouts out — the sick, the lonely, the outcast, the immigrant, you know the drill. When it was my turn I answered “A pregnant stray cat.” Everyone laughed but I was not joking. Is not creation our neighbor? St. Francis, whose day was not so long ago, would certainly agree. Is it not just as holy a calling to care for animals, plants and even the earth as it is to care for people?
“God is milking the cows through the vocation of the milkmaid,” Luther said. God is taking care of this pregnant queen through me.
Find a link to Joelle Hanson’s entry on the blog Skating in the Garden in High Heels Under My Alb at Lutheran Blogs.