treats them as her children,
even though, upon interview,
--and perhaps strangely--
they have not learned any catechism
and have no idea who the Pope is.
What the cats do know, is the moon
and how it lives in the windows of the Creolan Mission.
They hear how it pulls the waves themselves toward the cliffs
as a mother would; without words,
or, at least,
without words being the important thing.
the cats are allowed to wander in and out of the sanctuary.
I have never known them to act any differently
on one side of the arched doors
than on the other,
and while it is true that the toms go off to scrap at night,
they cause no refugees to appear in the morning;
everyone still has their beds,
and their babies in their arms.
The cats do not care
who may be Russian Blue, or tiger striped.
They do not fear the power of females;
they have sex, and kittens, and catnip,
and sleep on the sill without a qualm.
At night, if I am afraid,
Saint Creola gathers me to her breasts and the peace there;
when I am feeling bold,
I offer her mine and let my hair trail down over us
like a blessing from God.
Saint Creola keeps cats,
and a single shepherd dog who belongs mostly to me,
though he attends Mass at best sporadically,
and, like the cats, can't name the Pope.
He is what is called a Blue Heeler,
though I misspelled it for the longest time
in light of his gifts, Saint Creola's kindness, and my need.
Inspired by the cat art of Guido Vedovato, and linked to Fireblossom Friday.