Tuesday, November 13

A Rosary Meditation … The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery, the Crucifixion. “Presently one of the executioners seized the hand of Jesus Our Savior and placed it upon the auger hole, while another hammered a large and rough nail through the palm.” (“The Mystical City of God” by Mary of Agreda) This is all I’ll write about today because I’m going to bawl my eyes out. I’d like to share with you a personal story about hands. One of mine in particular. The right one. I’ve told others about this via my Facebook profile but I’ve not talked about it here. For my right hand to make sense I have to tell you something about my early childhood. I come from an abusive environment. My mother was abusive. I was rescued by family just after my fifth birthday and raised by my grandparents. I can tell you that I was one very confused and frightened little boy. One of the first things that happened after my grandparents took me in was that an elderly friend of my grandmother gave us her cat. She said she couldn’t take care of it anymore. Now, as I look back, I think this was a kind excuse to give me something I’d never had. A pet. But this cat was no pet. She was more. I would lay down in the floor with her and she would wash my ears. Her tongue felt like sand paper but I’d lay there for as long as she wanted to wash. My grandmother told me that a mama cat cleaned her kittens this way. And for the first time in my life I had a mama that took care of me and loved me. Maybe this will help you understand why I love cats so much now. It should also help you understand about my right hand. With all of this in mind …

Sometime back, well over a year ago now, maybe two, there was a stray cat with long gray hair that showed up around the place. Now there were already five outdoor cats that had been born and raised here. They all got along fine. But the new one, and the friend he brought with him who is fodder for another post, well, they didn’t fit in. And for the first time there were fights. Lots of ’em. I was always chasing the gray cat off, trying to keep the others from getting hurt. I’d throw stuff at him, called him Old Devil Cat. And then one day my landlord made a comment. He said, “Yea, the others start the fights as much as he does.” The light came on. Old gray cat was just trying to get to the feed and this was the root of the trouble. Not long after I was setting outside with one of the cats setting next to me. He had just eaten, little tummy all round, washing himself contentedly. The grey cat walked around the corner. He saw me and the bowel of food, still with plenty in it. He looked at me and kept right on walking, never even slowed down. He knew he couldn’t have any, that I’d just chase him away. I noticed that the front of both front legs were bloody raw. More fighting. He kept walking. I got up and took a few steps towards him with the bowel of cat food in my hand. I said, “Its ok, you can have some.” And I set it down, pushed it towards him, and went back to my chair. Oh, and he ate. Every day after that we did the same thing with me taking one more step closer and talking to him while he ate. Then I was standing next to him. Then touching his head. Then rubbing him. All of this only took a few days. It became obvious that at some point he hadn’t been a stray. I called him Grayson. Hey, he was gray. I noticed that some of the gray looked like old gray, age, and that he walked a little funny. Maybe a touch of arthritis. One day as I reached down to pet him I must’ve startled him because he lashed out with his claws and layed the side of my right hand open in more than one place. His claws were like a scalpel. They hung in my flesh and he crouched there, looking at me. I never winced, and I didn’t pull back. With his claws still in my hand and blood dripping I said, “Its ok. I’m your friend and whatever you do I won’t be mean to you.” I got paper towels and stopped the bleeding and the feeding continued like nothing had happened.

Grayson would come like a dog when I called. He sat in the chair next to me and slept while I petted him. He’d stay around outside as long as I was there. I kept him and the other cats apart as much as I could. As soon as the others realized I wouldn’t let them fight him, or him fight them, things got a lot more peaceful. I’d always feed the others first because they’re going to jump in the bowel as fast as they can. Grayson would patiently watch and wait. He knew he would have his own bowel with seconds and thirds if he wanted them. I remember one night, it was cold and misty out side. I got up about two a.m. and looked out the window just to see what the weather was like. There was Grayson, in the cold and wet, setting on the doormat looking at the door, waiting for me. The next day I took one of those big plastic containers with a lid on it and cut out one end. I put a pillow in it and an old piece of my clothing so it would smell right for him. And sprinkled catnip all over it. He acted like a kid on Christmas morning. You could tell he knew it was for him. I put him in it and once he got a whiff of that catnip he was home. He rubbed all over, he pranced, he rolled around and flipped and flopped. No more cold and wet nights for Grayson. And I told him that he could be my cat. He wasn’t a stray anymore. He was my cat, and he was home. And later he died.

I loved Grayson, still do. He loved me too. I have scars on my right hand. Sometimes I rub them and when I do I feel like I’m rubbing Grayson again. Its been nearly a year ago that I saw him last. One too many fights. I still cry a lot because I miss him, so I’m glad to have the scars. I look at the scars on my hand and see love. Which brings us back to our Rosary meditation. I know how I feel when I look at the scars on my hand. I wonder how Jesus feels when He looks at the scars on His?



  1. It is not always easy to make a comment on your wittings , sometimes I feel the only way to let you know they have been heard is to
    comment .But there are not always words there , sometimes i just smile and sometimes I share in your pain and sometimes I also wonder how the Lord must feel everytime we fall ..Anyway that was beautiful and I cry for you ..because I know your pain and I also know your joy

  2. Thank you, Ginny. Words fail lots of times, I know. Maybe that’s one more reason why the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. So that we could experience the concept and not just hear or read about it. God bless. 🙂

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