Cat On The Carpet

He came in the ceremony hall this morning close to the end of morning service. Saw him out of the corner of my eye as his form flitted past the back of the altar. He purred his way loudly up the line of monks then threw himself on the carpet, right beside the celebrants large ceremonial mat. Extended long, from claw to claw, front to back paw. Contented cat, relaxed and happy to be in with his friends.

The ceremony ends with a procession lead by a monk with a small hand gong. Uh, slight kink in the procession to avoid Smudge thus disported. We hold our collective breath. Phew! Nope, Smudge was not in the mood for play, no swiping at robes as they swish by nor a more athletic leap for tassels dangling from a ceremonial item.

They come to teach and test our patience and our ability to remain still in the midst of circumstances, not to mention our inner strength not to laugh during inappropriate moments!

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One thought on “Cat On The Carpet”

  1. I’ve mentioned before that our elderly cat Tora always joins us in front of our family altar when we recite a scripture in the mornings. I think a large part of it for him is anticipation of a ‘pick up’ and a cuddle at the end of the ceremony.

    But for the last few months we have also had a very old and rather decrepit java sparrow living in the lounge too. They both watch us with patience and interest sitting a couple of feet apart from each other, Tora on the tatami floor and the bird in his cage on a low table. He can’t manage a perch any more but sits with splayed legs in his food box to get a better view of procedings.

    The pair of them look like an ‘zimmer frame’ version of the original ‘cat and canary’ cartoon. But it is nice that the four of us can spend ten minutes together at the start of the day.

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