Fact I know to be true:
Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of God. (Colossians 3:1)
Sorta dodgy theology I am currently embracing:
Jesus Christ now has an orange lap cat.
Harold came to us fourteen years ago. Benson and I had been married a little over a year and set out to a cat rescue organization one day with an empty animal carrier in the back seat of our car.
“I like this one,” Benson gushed, stroking an obese tabby the organization had named Reggie.
“We’ll call him Harold,” I announced, and out we walked with the terrified feline.
He spent that first night curled (well, lodged actually, him being so fat) beneath a stepstool in our cramped apartment bathroom. Three days later, he crept out and shot straight under the bed where he stayed for two weeks. When Benson and I woke up each morning, we’d find a new pile of poo in the litter box and an empty bowl where, the night before, had been a scoop of Purina.
After a month, he relaxed. He slept belly up. He ate lying down. He lazed on our legs. He purred. One year for Christmas Benson purchased and presented to Harold a jumbo pack of Friskies canned wet food, and from that day on I began tossing canned chicken and gravy into my grocery cart along with toy mice.
Harold moved with us into our first house, our second, our third.
When I came home from my first job out of college, he was there, ready to be scooped up and coddled. When I quit that job five years later, he lounged with me throughout unemployment. He pawed at my printer when I got my second job. He let me cry on him when I got laid off. He slept on my desk as I wrote my first blog post. He rubbed his chubby face on the corner of my laptop when I typed the first article I ever saw published. He pushed keys at random trying to get more comfortable, inserting his own typos into my words over the years.
We hosted bible studies in our living room and year after year, Harold convinced even non-cat lovers into scratching his cheeks while we discussed the Israelites’ journey through the desert. He loved everyone. (To be fair, he loved anyone willing to pet him.) When family came to visit, he’d sleep on a stranger’s chest just as easily as he’d sleep in their suitcase.
I finished writing my first book two weeks ago. I don’t know if it will be published or if anyone will read it or if anyone will like it, but I do know that my sweet Harold stayed with me until I pressed send.
And when it was all said and done, Benson loved the cat.