Welcome to episode 6 of Messin’ with Mark, God’s sitcom!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this series, let me tell you how it started . . .
When I was very young, Jesus was walking around in His heavenly area up there when he saw his Dad looking down through the clouds, laughing His head off. Curious, he walked over and asked, “What’s up, Pop?”
“Oh, just pranking that Mark kid again,” He replied.
“Again?” Jesus asked, “Why are You always picking on him?”
“I don’t know. There’s just something about him,” God said. “I mean, look at his face right now.”
Jesus looked down and started to chuckle, then stopped Himself. “Okay, I admit it’s kind of funny, but this is wrong. I mean, You created him. With all due respect, what kind of an example are you setting for the angels? We’re supposed to love and protect humanity, not single one out from all the rest for humiliation.”
God thought for a moment, then looked at Jesus and said, “You’re right. I should stop.” They looked at each other seriously, then said, “Naaaaaaaahhh” and laughed some more.
Jesus suggested that he make a regular show of his pranks on me. They named it Messin’ with Mark.
Remember Rodney Dangerfield’s bit about getting “no respect” from humans? It’s kind of like that, but on a cosmic level.
So, to today’s episode – The Stray Kitten
I was having lunch at a cafe on the Greek island of Santorini when an adorable but very thin stray kitten sat near me, staring at my calamari. I held out a piece but he wouldn’t come closer because he was very timid, even fearful, but also because one of his legs appeared to be paralyzed. I hoped it wasn’t from some cruel human kicking it. The little guy just tore my heart out.
Before he showed up, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself because my money was running low and I would have to go back home soon. I was trying to stretch it out by eating the cheapest items on every menu and sleeping at campsites. But even my sleeping bag was probably warmer than wherever this poor little waif slept. Truth be told, I felt ashamed of myself. My life was kingly compared to his, and he was so small. The world can be a harsh place for little creatures.
It took some coaxing and a lot of calamari but I finally got him to come close enough for me to pet him. I reached out to show him some love, to prove to him that not all humans are cruel, so that hopefully he could let go of some of the nervousness he felt around people, which can’t be nice to live with every day.
I was able to pet the top of his head a little. I put pieces of food down closer and closer to myself. He gradually began to trust. I went to pet his head again and he suddenly sunk his and all twenty of his claws into my hand.
“Oh, you little shit!” I yelled
He had wrapped his entire personage around my hand and clearly had no intention of ever letting go. I immediately envisioned the thirty shots to the abdomen necessary to cure rabies. I felt like I had stuck my hand into a hornet’s nest. I was wearing a glove of pain. I was screaming, dancing around, trying to shake him off, and cursing up a storm, oblivious to the other diners around me, but the kitten was like a thing possessed. I even started banging him against a wall, hoping the pain would make him retract his claws and fangs. Nope. I’d only annoyed him further.
I realized why one of his legs was paralyzed. He probably pulled this crap with someone else, who also banged him on the nearest object out of sheer desperation. Maybe I looked like that guy.
I was desperate to get him off but didn’t want to beat him to death, not because I felt any love for him, but because I didn’t want to end up in a Greek prison for killing a feral kitten. I looked around and saw a fountain, rushed over, and held my hand underwater, hoping breathing was more important to the little f***er than hurting me was. Apparently, this cat was also a pearl diver. He stayed down there for a full minute. Finally, realizing death was imminent, he let go, clambered to the surface, and took off like a cheetah. There was nothing wrong with the little leg! He had been faking it to get food. Prick!
As I tended to my wounds, God and Jesus laughed themselves sick, along with everyone else watching.
That’s it. That’s the whole story.
What’s the moral, you ask?
Don’t be compassionate.
Oh, and most cats are jerks.
Nicely played, God. Nicely played.