Dec 28, 2008

Bye-bye Molly, the All-American Cat.

Almost seventeen years of the the best cat I have ever known came to an end today. Her body started shutting down a few days ago, and she finally breathed her last this afternoon.

Molly and her sister Sybil came to live with us from the SPCA after my daughters' fluffy orange tabby Freddie was struck by a car. Anna took to Sybil, and Catherine took to Molly, each naming their kitten for reasons of their own. Molly almost didn't make it, as she had an inability to digest food properly at first (weaned too early?), and went into "kitten decline", which the vet said is almost always fatal. But we pulled her through it.

After the girls had both gone off from home, Sybil contracted a fatal blood disease from hunting wild critters. That left us with Molly, and a strict "indoor only" policy. But a few years later, Molly developed a malignancy in her sinus passage. A biopsy showed it to be an especially aggressive cancer. The vet said she would only live six months at the most, and recommended putting her to sleep. We declined, but we prayed. Really hard. Really.

Molly lived another five good, playful, affectionate years. She often had breathing problems (cats are nose breathers only), but that came and went... just like her.

She was a great gift, and she made it through Christmas so everyone she loved could say good-bye, including our grand daughter June Anne (Catherine's little girl), who really loved Molly.

"Bye-bye, Molly."

Dec 24, 2008

Something to sink your teeth into.

From Think Christian...

Vampire-queen-turned-Christian-writer Anne Rice is answering reader questions about her faith and writing at Beliefnet this week, and many of her answers (and the questions) are quite interesting. One of the obvious questions to ask is how, from her current vantage point in the church, she looks back at the often lurid and grisly vampire novels that made her famous. Here’s her reply to a question along those lines:

I don’t write about the vampires and the witches anymore, not because I regret such work or feel guilty about it, far from it. I don’t write about them because I can’t be them anymore in fiction. I am some one else now. I live in a world where Salvation is a reality and the Light of Christ is a reality. So I can’t enter that old dark world in which my fallen heroes were metaphors for my own lost soul, and my soul grieving for a lost faith in God. I changed. So my work had to change.

A quick Google search turned up this essay at Anne Rice’s website in which she explains in more detail her attitude toward her vampire novels.

Dec 17, 2008

Today's Page Leaper.

The Psalm appointed for this morning.

Psalm 119:49-96 (New International Version)

z Zayin
49 Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.

50 My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.

51 The arrogant mock me without restraint,
but I do not turn from your law.

52 I remember your ancient laws, O LORD,
and I find comfort in them.

53 Indignation grips me because of the wicked,
who have forsaken your law.

54 Your decrees are the theme of my song
wherever I lodge.

55 In the night I remember your name, O LORD,
and I will keep your law.

56 This has been my practice:
I obey your precepts.

x Heth
57 You are my portion, O LORD;
I have promised to obey your words.

58 I have sought your face with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.

59 I have considered my ways
and have turned my steps to your statutes.

60 I will hasten and not delay
to obey your commands.

61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
I will not forget your law.

62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks
for your righteous laws.

63 I am a friend to all who fear you,
to all who follow your precepts.

64 The earth is filled with your love, O LORD;
teach me your decrees.

X Teth
65 Do good to your servant
according to your word, O LORD.

66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I believe in your commands.

67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word.

68 You are good, and what you do is good;
teach me your decrees.

69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
I keep your precepts with all my heart.

70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law.

71 It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.

72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

y Yodh
73 Your hands made me and formed me;
give me understanding to learn your commands.

74 May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
for I have put my hope in your word.

75 I know, O LORD, that your laws are righteous,
and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.

76 May your unfailing love be my comfort,
according to your promise to your servant.

77 Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
for your law is my delight.

78 May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause;
but I will meditate on your precepts.

79 May those who fear you turn to me,
those who understand your statutes.

80 May my heart be blameless toward your decrees,
that I may not be put to shame.

k Kaph
81 My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
but I have put my hope in your word.

82 My eyes fail, looking for your promise;
I say, "When will you comfort me?"

83 Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,
I do not forget your decrees.

84 How long must your servant wait?
When will you punish my persecutors?

85 The arrogant dig pitfalls for me,
contrary to your law.

86 All your commands are trustworthy;
help me, for men persecute me without cause.

87 They almost wiped me from the earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.

88 Preserve my life according to your love,
and I will obey the statutes of your mouth.

l Lamedh
89 Your word, O LORD, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.

90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.

91 Your laws endure to this day,
for all things serve you.

92 If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.

93 I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have preserved my life.

94 Save me, for I am yours;
I have sought out your precepts.

95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
but I will ponder your statutes.

96 To all perfection I see a limit;
but your commands are boundless.

Dec 12, 2008

Oxymoron of the Day

From today's Wikipedia mainpage...

December 13: Republic Day in Malta (1974); Saint Lucy's Day

1545 – The Council of Trent, an ecumenical council convoked by Pope Paul III in response to the growth of Protestantism, opened in Trento, Italy.