By Charles Towne
The cat’s curmudgeon
“Only my cats really understand me. It would probably be good for us to recognize the undeniable fact that Cats rule!”
A friend said to me, “I love my cats so much, why, I wouldn’t take a million dollars for them!”
We had just finished eating dinner and were sitting in the living room relaxing when the doorbell rang.
On the way to the door, I glanced out the window and couldn’t help but be surprised to see a white Rolls Royce limousine parked in front of our humble abode.
When I answered the door, there stood a very distinguished looking couple; probably in their mid-fifties.
The man, a right friendly sort, without any preamble, got down to the reason for their visit.
“Hello, Mr. Towne, my name is Nathan Farthingale, and this is my wife Doris. We are here to purchase your cats.”
Well as you can imagine, I laughed. I mean, I wasn’t about to sell my cats and I told him as much.
“I am sorry; Mr. Farthingale is it? But there must be some terrible mistake, our cats aren’t for sale.”
“Oh no, there is no mistake.” He went on, “We heard about your incredible cats and without even seeing them we decided that we must have them, no matter the cost.”
You probably won’t believe it when I tell you that I laughed in Mr. Farthingale’s face as I said, “O.K., what’s the joke? Who sent you here?”
This time Doris Farthingale spoke up. “Oh, rest assured Mr. Towne, this is no joke, and as my husband has already said, there is no mistake. We have heard of your wonderful cats and we have made up our minds, we absolutely must have the adorable creatures.”
Well, to make a long story short, I invited the Farthingales into our home, after all, it was the least I could do.
They had no more than made themselves comfortable when all three of our cats shamelessly descended upon our guests like a feline plague.
Our large Morris cat jumped up into Nathan Farthingale’s lap and began shedding blond cat hair all over his very expensive black suit, while another draped itself over the back of his chair and began purring so loudly it threatened to drown out our conversation. The remaining cat sat in Doris Farthingale’s lap and began kneading her arm and purring as it gazed into her eyes hypnotically.
What the heck was going on? Our cats were never this friendly! Was it a conspiracy? Were our cats actually looking for a new home?
“Oh Nathan,” Doris Farthingale crooned, “Aren’t they wonderful? We must have them! I simply won’t take no for an answer.”
About this time as you can imagine my wife and I were becoming very uncomfortable, I mean, after all, these were our babies, our friends, our kitties, and we love them very much.
Nathan Farthingale reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a roll of bills large enough to choke the proverbial Clydesdale as he said, “Mr. Towne, Mrs. Towne, I will pay you five thousand dollars for your cats.
I glanced at my wife and then looked at Nathan Farthingale. “Mr. Farthingale, I am very sorry but the cats are not for sale.”
And with hardly a pause Farthingale said, “Oh pardon me, I meant five thousand dollars… apiece!”
Mrs. Farthingale suddenly exclaimed, “Nathan Farthingale, you stop this bickering over pennies this instant and make these lovely folks an offer they can’t refuse, we must have these wonderful Kitties.”
At this admonition from his wife Nathan Farthingale smiled sheepishly and said, “Oh, alright, fifty thousand dollars for each cat, and if you don’t mind we will pay cash. Well, to make a long story short, being cat lovers and all we naturally turned the Farthingale’s offer down. After all, you can’t put a price on the love that only a cat can give. Can you?
And then I woke up.
You have a nice day now, and may your cats teach you.
A CAT LOVER’S PRAYER
“Dear Papa God, Is the devotion our cats display toward us an expression of your unreasonable love for us? Yes, unreasonable, because no matter how hard I try I can’t rationalize myself as worthy of your infinite grace and love. Just how much do you love each of us? And how can we be worthy of such love? As we are so far above our cats, so are you infinitely above us, and yet in my heart of hearts, I have no doubt that you love me. What lessons can we learn from these creatures that you have entrusted to us? Help us to be worthy of their love, devotion, and trust so that we can devote our lives to you in pure love and undying trust. Thank you so very much, in Jesus’ Holy and wonderful name I ask it, Amen.”
P.S. And Papa God, please don’t allow The Farthingales to come knocking at our door because no matter how much I love our cats that is, after all, an awful lot of money!
Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.