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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Rethinking The Cat

Never been fond of cats. Never. Never had a reason to. Then I stumbled across a poem titled “Jubilate Agno,” by Christopher Smart penned between 1759 and 1763 that caused me to rethink this animal. The title, by the way, means “celebrate the Lamb.”

Here is a summation of this unusual poem and three points that spoke most loudly to me:

1. He considers God:

My cat is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving Him, worshipping in His way. Having done duty and received blessings, he begins to consider himself by inspecting, washing, stretching and extending; he fleas and rubs himself; he looks up for instruction; he goes in quest for food.

2. Having considered God and himself, he considers his neighbor:

If he meets another cat, he will kiss her in kindness; when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it a chance.

3. When his day’s work is done, his business properly begins:

He keeps the Lord’s watch in the night against the adversary, counteracting the powers of darkness, the devil, by brisking about the life. He purrs in thankfulness, when God tells him he is a good cat.

[Perhaps the cat is a better Christian than I.]

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