Julian of Norwich was a Catholic mystic who locked herself up for her entire life. In those days, women didn’t do a lot of the things they did now and as a way of either providing safety for women or to cruelly oppress women (depending on how maniacally opposed to paternalism or patriarchy you are), women either went to monasteries or they locked themselves up in an anchorage all their lives for protection. Julian of Norwich was one of these women who locked herself up as an anchoress. She styles Christ as a mother figure which I actually like since it indicates that God is beyond gender and does act as a mother at times though Mary is the true mother being a woman. Julian of Norwich also, apparently had a cat.
At times of recent when I pray the rosary and the Jesus prayer, I flee to my older sister’s room. It provides a quiet place to meditate (assuming my dad doesn’t start yelling at me and rudely interrupting me). I wish that I could be an anchor (I guess not an anchoress) and just lock myself in an anchorage for safety at times as well. I like having the idea of having a quiet place to pray so that I’m not publicly advertising whatever piety I do or do not have at the moment. I long to be in a place where I can do this to fruition which is why I long to be away from my own home.
I cannot understand how Auntie (or Momma as she now allows me to call her) isn’t a cat person! Oh well. We all have our tastes and mine just happens to be black cats. The cat likes to go quiet places as well to get away from people at times. It’s always bugging my dad and sometimes, when it’s not bugging him or on my parents’ bed, my dad wonders where it could be. He wondered that yesterday. I went to my older sister’s room to pray again. There’s a rocking chair, an office chair I place my ikon of the Theotokos and her Son down on in front of me, there’s another wooden chair in there along with a desk, some video games and systems (Wii, Nintendo 64, and a Super Nintendo Entertainment System), and some board games but I ignore these when I pray. I take my folder with me that has the prayers and meditations for the rosary in it (I haven’t memorized all of them yet) along with my rosary beads and prayer rope.
It’s a quiet place for me since my older sister is in Colorado and there’s no bed in it ever since we moved my grandmother in downstairs. But as I was about two-thirds of the way through a 33-knot prayer rope given to me by a young father (younger than I even) at my Greek Catholic parish (who no doubt will definitely be greatly welcoming me back tomorrow as well so I can tell him about how it’s been blessed for purposes of warding off evil spirits) and I heard this shuffling sound behind me. It’s unusual and I’m pretty certain I know what it is because then I hear the unmistakable sound of licking. At first, it’s a distraction, but then, I realize it’s creation. The cat comes out of it’s hiding spot and starts mewing. I had shut the door and the cat wants out. I make it through the rest of my Jesus prayers and let him out.
But in this moment, I can’t say my praying was “distracted” because I felt that this cat was something that God wanted me to be in the room with at that time. He’ll want me to be in the room with him more times I’m certain since it’s a good hiding place for the cat. The cat didn’t distract me because I felt connected to God with this cat as a creation of God’s. The cat provided me a way of experiencing God and I hope that next time, he stays for the rosary as well–you never know.