Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Amen!" said Chloe

Please forgive me. After going on at great length about the importance of 'fun', what do I do? Send you two rather bleak 'letters', one after the other.
This one may not make you laugh, but I think it can be guaranteed to make you smile . . . and you're certain to like the photos!

Ever since she was a small kitten, Chloe's love of children, from toddlers to teenagers, has been one of her many endearing characteristics.
Nor is this one-sided, children are equally drawn to her. When I take her for a walk in Holland Park she becomes a veritable Pied Piper.

With this thought in mind, I felt sure she would enjoy following in Rupert's footsteps and attending an Animal Service.
The local Animal Service was an annual treat for Rupert, who always behaved impeccably and invariably proved to be the only cat amongst thirty or more equally well-behaved dogs.

The service this year was to start at eleven, It might be wise, I thought, to arrive early. At a quarter-to-eleven there was still plenty of room on offer and we found ourselves an empty pew near the front of the church. Rising to the spirit of the occasion, Chloe curbed her natural exuberance and seated herself demurely in the corner, a prime position from which she could peer down the aisle and witness each exciting new arrival.

We hadn't been seated for long when a small girl, with eyes only for Chloe, wriggled her way into the pew beside us. Her mother, so she told me, was further back in the church. They had no animal to bring to the service, so could she come and sit beside Chloe?
I assured her that, if her mother was happy with the arrangement, she certainly could.
Chloe, who clearly thought this an excellent idea, moved to a position between the two of us and curled up happily beside this new friend.
"Would you like to hold the lead?" I asked the small girl.
Confidently, she took control . . . everyone was happy.

We stood for the hymns, we knelt for the prayers, we sat and listened to the readings. Throughout this unfamiliar ceremonial, Chloe remained motionless and wide-eyed in the pew.

It was time for the sermon. Chloe, her gaze fixed on the pulpit, sat listening.
As he reached the end the preacher paused for a moment, then, "Amen!" he declared emphatically.
"Miaow!" replied Chloe with equal vehemence!

Heads, both human and canine, turned in surprise to look at this unexpectedly prayerful small cat!

When the service was over, the children gathered to bid Chloe farewell. Beyond any doubt, her baptism into the rites of the church had been an unqualified success.

My only worry? That Chloe may be planning to preach the sermon herself next year!