Thank you, God, for my cat and for this time at my computer.
Prayer does not have to be a ritual but sometimes a ritual gives you a reminder to pray. Take our cat Fred and one of his rituals, or a ritual he has decided that we need to adhere to.
Whenever I sit down to my computer at home, Fred becomes agitated. He comes over to me, rubs himself against my feet, crossing in and out of my legs, stretching his neck, meowing, offering me a paw.
“What do you want?” I ask, full knowing what he expects.
“Meoooow, meooow,” he says, looking at me pleadingly.
“Fred, I don’t really have time for that today. I need to get to work right away.”
“Meooow, meooow.” He backs up and poses like some Egyptian statue, showing off his white fluffy collar. Please, please, Rick, he seems to say.
“OK,” I sigh. “I’ll do it.”
I get up from the computer, go to the kitchen, followed by a grayish tail, take the Zoom Groom down from the top of the refrigerator, kneel on the floor and start brushing. He turns on one side, stretches out, and then kindly helping me do my duty, turns over on the other side, purring so loudly I figure our downstairs neighbors must hear him through the floorboards.
It’s not a very long ritual. It doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes. He doesn’t argue when I stand up, put the Zoom Groom back on the fridge and return to the computer, but something has been satisfied in him. And truth to be told, in me. We’ve connected. He’s reminded me of the right order of the universe. Cat has spoken to his master and his master has remembered the Master of all creatures and the creation. Now it’s time to work.
I return to my computer. “Thank you, God, for my cat and for this time at my computer. May it be fruitful.” Amen, says Fred, curling up on the sofa.