The Cat of Canterbury The Cat of Canterbury

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Centuries ago, in medieval Croatia, a scribe who had spent years learning how to write beautifully worked on a page. He stopped for a moment, to file the quill or maybe to check the time. When suddenly, this happened-

IMAGE 1- cat paws on page

The family cat leap up, paws wet with ink, and stood on his page. I can picture this tabby standing there all tall and curious, wanting to yell at his human that it is dinner time and to leave this pesky work for another day.

It is my favourite thing about cats. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. But we have also bred them over the years to have such variety from even 80 years ago. Cats, well cats have pretty much stayed the same across time and space. They looked as us as humans, said that they could train us to feed them and care for them, and that relationship has spanned until today.

Fast forward to 2020, and now we are experiencing something new with our cats, our dogs, our bunnies, our budgies. With people stuck at home with lockdowns, we dealt with one of the most prevalent chronic issues of the time outside of Covid itself- isolation.

And there were two things that we saw time and time again.

One, the number of people who shared their pets, on zoom, or in video, simply because they were a part of our lives. For example, this is the now-retired Dean of Canterbury


The Dean of Canterbury is one of the highest positions in the Church of England. The Very Rev. Dr. Robert Willis held this position for many years, including during the height of the Covid lockdowns. Like many of us, he too decided to record his sermons from home, and share them. Which meant we got to be delighted with, yes, his wisdom, but also with his three cats, including Tiger here, helping himself to the Dean’s breakfast.

These instances were just funny. They helped humanize us. They helped us see the people on the other side of the computer as not just a face, but they have families, and yes, pets. They reminded us, like our poor Croatian manuscript writer, that a bit of mischief in the day is necessary. And for that we give gratitude.

We can’t forget our canine companions. How many times we have heard that the only reason some of us went outside today was because the dog needed to go for a walk. In the height of those same lockdowns, my neighbours and I would centre our conversations on how the dogs were doing (and they were doing great). The dogs, the cats, the teddy bears, and the goldfish were, and are, anchors in tough times. When we are struggling with the weight of the world, they are there to comfort us and to bring us back to the important God-given truth that we are here to love and serve others.

By blessing them today we are saying that they are not just good pets, but that we believe God put them here in our lives, and us in theirs. We give them thanks for all of their love, all of their presence in this ecosystem, and above all, for God’s creation.

Let us give our thanks and lift up our friends. They help make this world blessed.