This isn’t the blog post I wanted to write. I wanted to write a hopeful and rejoicing blog post about things being lost then being found. Instead it has to be about things being lost and staying lost.
My lovely cat Phoebe disappeared in early November and hasn’t returned. I’ve been rather upset about it and miss her far more than I would have expected. She was wearing a collar with my number on it so I’m not sure she’s been hit by a car or something as I would have thought someone might have called me. I’ve tried notices, an Internet service and contacted the local vet to no success.
A few people have suggested that someone else has adopted her. I get rather indignant at this : they mean has stolen her. While she may have had other friends in the area she invariably slept here. She was an affectionate and pretty cat so I can imagine someone else taking a shine to her, but actually going off with her seems a bit much.
I’ve tried to imagine someone else needing her company more than me – whether I can make something good out of this. Watching Gollum in the Hobbit and his distress at losing the ‘precious’ ring, he probably wouldn’t understand that Bilbo needs it more than he does. He probably just sees Bilbo as a thief, which seems to be his accepted title – as if there’s nothing morally suspect about theft at all.
I’ve seen poems which try to comfort people who have lost a child by suggesting that the child was needed back in heaven. I’m not sure how much of comfort this would be. While I hope there is some comfort for families in Newtown, Connecticut in thinking their loved ones are in heaven, I can’t see the argument that this could have been ‘necessary’. Rather, I see it as part of a more eternal solution to more immediate pain. A rarely included part of the nativity story actually includes the loss of many innocent children – and how their mothers struggle/refuse to be comforted. Even though this fulfilled a prophecy I’d still say it was the result of Herod’s evil decision (his free will) rather than God’s plan.
Last Christmas I linked to the Indigo Girls’ version of Melissa Manchester’s song, ‘There’s Still My Joy’ which in my mind is about a mother who has lost a child near Christmas. The character talks about taking her Christmas tree down to the beach and feeding the birds. There’s something beautiful about this response to sadness at Christmas and the song underlines that even at painful times, there is still joy to be found in the Christmas message.
The important thing about Jesus becoming human was that he came to save us all – not from pain on earth but from an eternity without God. I believe the children from Newtown are in heaven now because of Jesus – and I pray their families can find some comfort with other loved ones this season, even though that won’t take the pain away. While the loss of a cat may seem a lot less significant to most people, I’m less certain about her eternal destiny.
I probably just need to come to terms with the fact that she’s gone – which is hard as there’s no real closure. You do hear stories of cats travelling a long way or returning even after a long time and part of me just doesn’t want to let go of that chance, however unlikely it may be. I told the children next door I hope like Bilbo she’s gone on an adventure – maybe she’s joined the circus. They seemed a bit sceptical that a cat would join a circus – maybe if the cat had skills in juggling. But even that sounds more likely than the creator of the universe becoming a baby to save humanity. Sometimes real miracles happen. Have a happy Christmas and a blessed 2013.