35: The Baptism

35: The Baptism

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Very Good, Very Bad Cat

The Baptism

Fun fact: The Cat Fanciers’ Association has a “breed personality chart,” which helps potential owners understand what to expect from each breed.

Miss Snuggles loves to steal things. Normally, she is content to play with bottle caps, bread twist ties and the occasional shoelace, but every now and again, she gets an evil notion in her head and follows through with it.

Last Christmas, I set out my nativity set with lots of special care. Each piece had its own spot, which I had set up on our oversized windowsill. Days went by, and Miss Snuggles managed to avoid the set, so I thought all was well. Then came the morning I walked in to find the Holy Family scattered about the floor with the barn animals not far away. The cradle was underneath the couch… but without its occupant. Baby Jesus was nowhere to be found.

Miss Snuggles had stolen the baby.

I looked high and low. Nothing! My desperation, as well as frustration, grew with each passing day. Where could she have hidden him? Just as with the Wise Men of old, I, too, longed to find the infant before Christmas!

Days went by, but still nothing. I began to consider that the baby was gone forever and I’d have to find a replacement, which would be no easy task as I had bought this set from a thrift store. How could my nativity set be complete without its star attraction? I even prayed, “Lord, if you help me find Baby Jesus, I promise I will keep the cat locked up from now on!”

Or… something like that. Lock up Miss Snuggles? I couldn’t do that! When she wasn’t getting into trouble, she was just the sweetest cat imaginable.

Now it was just two days before Christmas Eve. I woke up very early and went to use the bathroom, which was lit only by a four-watt nightlight. There, floating in the toilet, was a brown “something.” Half asleep, I peered into the bowl, wondering just what I was looking at. Was it some leftover effect from my husband’s late-night snack?

Curiosity got the best of me, and I flipped on the light. After my eyes had adjusted to the sudden brightness, I peered into the toilet bowl again. There, floating face up, was Baby Jesus, all smiles and none the worse for wear from his almost two-week absence. Obviously, Miss Snuggles had decided to bring him out from her hiding place and baptize Him in the process!

I gave the baby a thorough cleaning and put him back into his rightful place in the crèche, rearranging Joseph and Mary to make room for him once again. As Miss Snuggles watched from her perch atop the couch, I’m almost certain I saw a mischievous gleam in her eye.

~Diane Ganzer Baum

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