Have you seen this cat? Sometimes he sits by the window at the back of the rectory and you can see him as you go into church. His name is Masseo and he’s about 2 years old. When the big flood came in June of 2006 and after all the water finally went away, Masseo was found wandering around outside in the parish garden. He was very thin and looked like he needed a home. Getting lost is no fun! So we took him in and he made himself at home right away. We named him Masseo because Brother Masseo was a friend of Saint Francis of Assisi who loved all the living things.
Masseo sleeps a lot. He’s got a favorite spot on top of the couch so he can watch everything that’s going on. Sometimes he gets into a bedroom upstairs and curls up on a pillow or he finds a sunny place on the stairs. Sometimes he sits on the secretary’s computer keyboard or on top of a bookshelf so he can see outside and watch the cars and trucks on West Main Street. One time he got inside the big safe in the office, but Kate found him before the door was closed and locked at the end of the day!
One night, an upstairs window was left open when the high school students came to meet with Father Stephen. Paul was going to his car and just happened to look up at the roof of the rectory where he saw Masseo walking along the top of the house! Brad came from the Fire Department to see what could be done, but by then Masseo had decided to come back inside. When cats do crazy things they act like nothing happened. Sometimes people do that too!
Paul feeds Masseo every morning at 8:30 before Mass. When Paul is working on the computer Masseo likes to curl up on his lap. He likes to smell coffee cups and to come to meetings that are held in the kitchen. He likes to be around people and when you stop petting him, he sometimes swings his paw at you. I guess it's because he wants more. One time somebody left homemade cookies for Father Stephen and Masseo got into them first, putting a bite into each cookie and then knocking them on the floor!
Masseo has one really bad habit: he’s made a terrible mess of the old living room couch – using it as a scratching post. We tried buying extra toys and even some things cats are supposed to like to scratch instead of furniture, but they haven’t worked at all.
In this parish, a lot of us have pets – dogs, cats, ferrets, fish, birds – even a horse! Animals make us happy. They teach us to be gentle and kind. They depend on us to take care of them – to help them feel safe and peaceful. Never frighten them; never hurt them. God used a lot of imagination in creating animals. And God used a lot of imagination in creating us too!
This is a sign by the back door of the rectory. In Italian it says, “Beware of the cat!”