2 March 2021
Yesterday my friend who was painting the enclosures at the end of the animal shelter alerted me to an elderly cat that needed some attention.
Estimated to be around 12-14 years old now, the frail but alert creature has been on medication to manage her health issues. She was found sick on the street a few years ago. Details of her background and even her name if she had one was only known to the late founder of the shelter.
Gently, I passed the wet tissue over the length of the cat’s body several times to ease her into the change of temperature. Then I moved a fresh piece of wet tissue up the back of her head and sort of passed it over her temple and face lightly to relax her. I was a stranger after all, even if I meant well.
When she with the unknown name allowed me to touch her facial region without backing off, I was then able to see the dried tear stains and hardened snot that needed removing.
And throughout the cleaning and being shifted about, the cat took every opportunity to turn around and face my friend who was watching us from outside the enclosure.
My friend’s feelings for this cat’s plight must have been so intense to generate such a phenomena.
Today when I played the encounter over in my head, some of the lines from “The Divine Image,” by William Blake came up:
“Mercy has a human heart, /Pity a human face/ And Love, the human form divine…”
Perhaps the cat saw God in my friend.
And “Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell /There God is dwelling too.”
We will never know what this old cat was called before. But based on her behaviour and her ability to call up “The Divine Image,” naming her “Divina” might be appropriate. 🌈🙏🐾