This is my mother’s calico cat, Sweetie Pie, as a kitten. As you see, she was a kitty evangelist, laying a healing on my camera. The lens aperture closed miraculously and I haven’t been able tosweetie-pie take pictures since. Okay, that’s a lie.

Here’s the truth, though. You know how, if you somehow acquire two of something, everybody thinks it’s a collection and gives you additions to it for all possible occasions? Well, with my mother, it’s stuffed animals. Ever since Sweetie Pie was a tiny kitten, she’s loved those stuffed animals. She gets them off shelves and carries them around. There’s one, sent to Mom from the National Wildlife people, called a Blue-Footed Booby and which Mom calls The Goony-bird, which was three times Sweetie-Pie’s kitten size, and which Sweetie-Pie dragged all over the house by its neck.

Her two other favorites are a set of small polar bears and a marmalade cat. These are the beneficiaries of her religious fervor. She baptizes them in her water dish. Frequently. At first, not a day went by that Mom didn’t find at least one of them near and wringing wet or actually face down in the “baptismal font”. Religion seemed to have finally taken root, though, and nobody has had to be brought to Jesus in many months.

unrepentantWe were saddened to see that the marmalade cat has apparently been backsliding. Sweetie Pie’s foster brother, Ozzie, is also a marmalade, and we’re wondering if the stuffed cat is the actual offender or if Sweetie Pie is baptizing Ozzie in effigy. Personally, I think the stuffed cat is getting its own come-uppance. I mean, look at that face. If that isn’t the face of an unrepentant sinner, I don’t know what is.

I keep telling Sweetie Pie that her mother is a Lutheran, and Lutherans don’t dunk, they sprinkle. Mom tells me to let her alone–she’s entitled to her own religion.

Another reason why I love my mother.


Writing prompt: Have you ever been to a christening or baptism or other ceremony signifying membership in a religion? How did it feel? How did it seem to change the life of the person inducted (if it did)? If you haven’t been to one, look up an explanation of one online and imagine it.