Monday, 20 August 2007

Fogiveness and My Sister's Cat

On yet another long journey from north Wales I had a lot of time to think. These days I seem to do most of my thinking in cars or on trains.

Today, I thought a lot about forgiveness. It had a lot to do with last night's good sermon, yesterday's good company, watching the Bourne Ultimatum and my sister’s cat.

It also had something to do with allowing people who had given me some grief of late to enter back into my head. That’s always a mistake. It brings out the worst in me especially when knuckle sandwiches come to mind. Oh yes, my forgiveness issues get to be that bad sometimes. One of the reasons I remained an Anglican is so that I wouldn’t have to be a pacifist.

My sister’s cat taught me a valuable lesson. As I got ready for bed last night I noticed a damp patch on one side of the mattress. My sister has the most comfortable spare bed in the whole world. Rip Van Winckle couldn’t get out of it after falling to sleep for twenty years to avoid his nagging wife. I wasn’t going to allow some spilt water, I thought, to come between me and that fantastic bed.

As I lay in the bed I gradually realized that there is something quite distinctive about the smell of cat urine. I got up, went down to sleep on the settee and thought my family wouldn’t thank me for getting them up at that time of night.

It wasn’t really the cat’s fault. He should have been thrown out of the house earlier. I also learnt that if you sleep in a bundle like a cat it’s a little warmer. Beyond that, as much as I glared at it, it simply didn’t notice that it had offended me. I decided that if the cat could walk away from it all, then so should I.

As a rule of thumb, I think that’s a good approach. Sometimes however, knuckle sandwiches are justified (metaphorically!!). Also, somewhere around Hereford I remembered that people in my street as a boy used to drown excess kittens in a bucket. Forgive me, but that thought also helped a lot.

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