Missy Lewis


I’ve been participating in illegal activities from my back porch.  Illegal things seem a lot less wrong when they involve fluffy grey kitties on the verge of starvation.  I know I’m not allowed to have pets where I live, but I consider Lewis more of a friend anyway.  Besides, I’m going to justify it with God, and that usually makes everything okay.

Lewis showed up one day all ribs and matted fur.  She also smelled quite homeless.  She was meowing in a very needy way, and it’s hard not to pay attention to things like this.  So I left Lewis a note inviting her to return at 9pm, since averting the law usually takes place in the dark.  That evening, I placed a bowl of salmon next to a cup of water, and the cat showed up.

Lewis displayed some interesting behavior unbecoming of a dinner guest.  She hastily took a chunk of fish in her teeth and bolted under the pine tree to devour her meal.  She repeated this tactic until the fish was gone.  These were the actions of a terrified, mangy, feral cat, which she was, but still.  Lewis didn’t trust me.  She didn’t even say thank you.  I was ever so slightly offended by this.

But great revelations usually come at unexpected times and this happened to be one of them, so I listened to what this moment was teaching me.

Sometimes I’m like Lewis.  I paw at Gods’ screen door in a mangy, feral, homeless kind of way, and in his compassion he invites me to have my fill, even though I smell really bad, and I’m not really supposed to be eating with God on his back porch anyway.  It’s weird, because he’ll give me gifts and I’ll take them and run because I’m afraid he’ll take them back.  I’m afraid he doesn’t mean it.  All he wants to do is love me back to health.  But I’m a stray cat full of fleas and I don’t think he really wants to hold me.

The truth is, he does.

Lewis is getting fat now.  She stops running when I bless her.  Maybe someday, I will stop running too.


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