A poem by Thomas Hardy: Snow in the Suburbs
Every branch big with it,
Bent every twig with it;
Every fork like a white web-foot;
Every street and pavement mute:
Some flakes have lost their way, and grope back upward when
Meeting those meandering down they turn and descend again.
The palings are glued together like a wall,
And there is no waft of wind with the fleecy fall.
A sparrow enters the tree,
A snow-lump thrice his own slight size
Descends on him and showers his head and eye
And overturns him,
And near inurns him,
And lights on a nether twig, when its brush
Starts off a volley of other lodging lumps with a rush.
The steps are a blanched slope, Up which, with feeble hope,
A black cat comes, wide-eyed and thin;
And we take him in.
I came across this poem the other day. I have loved Thomas Hardy's work since I was a teenager. It is so descriptive. I love the way he entices you into the story and paints pictures. There is a little black cat that visits and seems to want to adopt us. I often hear it coming through the cap flap at night and then going back out again when it hears me get up. I managed to catch it the other day. I am a little concerned as to whether it is OK and wonder if it is a stray or not. It looked well fed, but then it has been feasting on the food left for my two cats. It seemed well although its heart beat was going ten to the dozen but then it didn't expect me to pick it up. I normally give it a shoo. I asked it where it lived but got no reply only a wide eyed look. We have had such bad weather recently I have been worried it was OK. A few days ago when we had some snow, after chasing out the cat flap, it looked up at me through the kitchen window and meowed. It captured a bit of my heart that day. Who does it belong to Lord? I asked.
Yesterday evening a sign went up outside the house opposite with a photo of a cat on it. I went out to investigate. It read 'Missing for 2 weeks' and there was a photo of the little black cat. I knocked on the door. It seems the owner inadvertently frightened the cat after telling it for peeing where it shouldn't and it disappeared. Was this the same little black cat? I think so.
We all need somewhere to call home. I am reminded of the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-31) who spends his inheritance living the high life and, when the cash runs out, returns to the family home with his tail between his legs. Not knowing what to expect hoping only to be treated as a servant. The father welcomes him home with open arms.
I hope the little black cat finds the love he needs and finds his way home. I hope I can encourage it to do so. We all need love and acceptance. Things go wrong, relationships break down and misunderstandings and fear get in the way of restoration. The little black cat's owner is waiting to welcome him home. In the same way God is always waiting with open arms to welcome us back even when we make big mistakes.
This is my cat Holy helping me with a jigsaw. The photo about is of Buddy hiding in my wardrobe.