Please God, Make Dennis Come Home

It’s so weird. I say I don’t believe in the kind of God that would send one person’s cat back and deny that intervention to someone else. I say that I believe in the Universal System of Spiritual Law and that God is Love but that He/She/It doesn’t grant supplications like that. Not while denying them to others.
But when I really want something to happen, it’s “Dear God please….”
A few short months back I was leading a retreat for Gay Iraq and Afghanistan veterans down south of here at Windwalker Ranch near Mt. Pleasant, Utah. It was the dead of Winter and for any of you who’ve been here in the Wintertime, you know it can be pretty brisk. I got used to it right away but I wouldn’t want to have to spend the night out in it. Not unless I had to. So while I was down there for the retreat, I noticed this little cat walking around out in the snow! It was about seven degrees at night so I opened the door to my cabin and let the little feller in. Whether I was writing on the laptop or in the Moleskin, he seemed to want to be in the middle of it. Even though it was just the two of us, I heard myself say out loud, “Well you’re just a little Dennis the Menace aren’t you?” The name stuck and I started to call him Dennis. I asked the lady who runs the ranch who the cat belonged to. “Oh he’s just a little ranch cat. You can take him home if you want to.” I wanted to. I called Adam expecting a lot of resistance but to my surprise I got little. All Adam said was, “Does it shit in a box?” I said that it did and he said, “Ew.”
I also had a little trepidation about bringing a seven month old kitten into a house with two labradors. But I’m pretty good and helping to build friendships between animals when one is not immediately easy. For the first day or so, the cat stayed on top of the bookshelf and hissed at Sydney and Willy. By the second night we were all sleeping in the bed together. Dennis took to grooming the dogs. They seemed to like it. That’s a big job for such a little tongue. He’d start at one end and just walk and lick his way all the way down which ever dog he was trying to bathe. Now I’ve never been much of cat person. I don’t hate cats (as I understand some people do) but I’ve always been more of a dog guy. I love how they show their appreciation for your love and care. I think I’m not evolved enough to not be threatened by the lack of need for my affection that most cats exhibit. Even Dennis had his moments when he’d just soon not be touched. I don’t like that. I have to beg the dogs to go lay down and leave me alone. They’re a lot like me.
When Dennis came to live with us, the dogs weren’t the only ones that went through an adjustment period. Mostly for the first week or so, Adam just turned up his nose at the little guy and they looked curiously at one another from opposite sides of the room. I even began to wonder if it had been a mistake to bring home a cat that Adam so clearly hated. It certainly didn’t help when the newest member of our family decided to sharpen his claws all across the top of new living room furniture. I felt sure that Dennis was going to be soon looking for another home.
Then I came home one day to discover the two of them hanging out together in Adam’s office. Adam had gotten a little basket and put a towel in there. Dennis seemed to content just to be in Adam’s company while he studied. Soon they were spending lots of time in there together. Adam studies for many hours each day. That seemed to fit Dennis’ nap schedule just fine. One day I came in to the office while the two of them were in there purring at each other. I just said, “Wow, it seems like the two of you have built a pretty good friendship after all.” “We get each other.” is all that Adam said.
We’ve kept the back sliding door open through the summer months so that Dennis could go outside when he wanted. The liter box has remained pretty much empty since April so I don’t mind it so much. I found out that Dennis had been visiting some of our neighbors as well. Everybody seemed to like Dennis and, although I’m an overly cautious parent, I decided (mostly) to keep my mouth shut about the dangers out there in the big, scary world that might threaten Dennis. I definitely did not like it when he stayed away all night.
Then, three days ago. Dennis didn’t come home at all. I was a little concerned but figured he’d show up later on. Then the second day came and now the third. I hope he’s okay. I really do. What I think is that someone might have him in their house thinking he’s just a stray. He was wearing one of those “break-away” collars (so they don’t hang themselves) and it had “broken-away” in the yard. It’s now hanging on the shower curtain rod in the bathroom. Every time I see it, my heart just aches.
But the worst part about all this is to see Adam. My husband, for any of you who’ve not had the pleasure of meeting him, is a pretty quiet, don’t-wear-your-emotions-on-your-sleeve kind of guy (yeah, pretty much the opposite of me). He would like to pretend that Dennis’ going missing hasn’t effected him. But it shows. Well, that’s an understatement. It showed on the first day. Today, he’s just… well, there’s just about nothing worse than watching the strong silent type trying to hide his sadness.
So please God, I know there must be a lot of kitties missing tonight and you’re probably busy with the Middle East peace talks, but if you have a minute–I can’t stand to see the man I love hurting. Plus, I miss the little dickens myself.
Please God, make Dennis come home.

About this entry