It has been a long road to freedom for our little cat Pumpernickel. A couple of months ago we had to start locking her up while the house was open because she would inevitably sneak out. She was just a little kitten and she didn’t have all of her immunizations and she wasn’t spayed yet. She hated being locked up, but what could we do?
Two weeks ago Pumpernickel had her surgery and she is now spayed. She had two agonizing weeks of recovery but today is her first day of freedom! This morning during breakfast she went right out the door and up the first tree she could find. She loves climbing trees, chasing leaves, watching birds and playing in our yards and garden.
Some people think that cats should stay indoors, especially on busy streets like ours. “There are so many dangerous animals out there!” they say. It is true that Pumpernickel is trading a lot of risk for her freedom. She’ll have to contend with the cold, rain, snow, cars, raccoons, opossums, and dogs as well as many sharp metal objects. She’s so little, I suspect that some rats could overpower her. Who knows what dangers are lurking around every corner!
The truth is, I as a parent to this little kitty want her to get out there and get down to the business of surviving. Pumpernickel had a difficult first two months of her life on the street. Fred found her shivering in a storm drain with no mother in sight. Then, she was brought into the warmth and safety of Holy Family. But Pumpernickel’s infancy is over. She has to face the world. She has to do it. And so do we.
We have to recognize the world as a dangerous place, but dare to live in it anyway. We ought to go boldly to the dangerous places of our city and our world. Because if we all went to those places, they wouldn’t seem so dangerous. And we could realize that the danger is created by our fear, our ignorance and isolation.
We are all called to be instigators of peace, no matter who we are. Pumpernickel is a little kitten, true. But she is not called to be cooped up in a house for her entire life. Hallelujah! She is called to be a part of this drama of creation on 31st Street. Hallelujah!


One thought on “Pumpernickel

  1. CP Barr-Simon

    Ahhh. . . the joys of raising a young thing and introducing it to the new exciting & sometimes dangerous world. Your reflection made me think of a line from “The Little Prince,” “You become responsible for what you’ve tamed.” You may set it free to find its destiny – but you must also give it the platform to return and be nourished and guided. You have formed a relationship with this young wild thing…and your lives will never be the same again! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, challenges and joys…Peace


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