Dominic carried the cat across the apple orchard of St. Joseph’s Garden. This garden encloses the great top section of Heaven that was turned over to St. Joseph to cultivate and tend. Joseph had made a garden that surrounds Heaven on three sides, down from the very tip of Heaven to the edge of Purgatory. He had only been in Heaven for 1,500 years and already St. Joseph’s garden was magnificent beyond belief.
Dominic spent hours meditating in this garden so he knew the quickest way possible to get to St. Francis’ home, which was tucked behind the Great Waterfall of Living Waters. Dominic graciously asked the waterfall to let him and his companion through the rushing waters to enter St. Francis’ home. The water gurgled a pleasant, “Cer-bain-bbbly, ” and parted to reveal St. Francis’ mountain cave.
Now, every saint could choose his own home in Heaven, and of course St. Francis had accepted the simplest home he could find. He had wanted to spend his first couple thousand years in Heaven doing good works in Purgatory, but Jesus had insisted on having him close to the heart of Heaven.
As Dominic and the cat entered, St. Francis looked up from one of his latest inventions to come out of St. Joseph’s workshop, a talking typewriter, to which he was dictating a letter, and said, “Dominic! I’m glad you’ve come by today. I was wondering how you felt about our talk last night.” The typewriter kept tapping away. “Oh, stop, please don’t type that.”
The typewriter whirred and clicked and then quieted as it said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t see your guests arrive,” and then, dutifully, it shut itself off.
“Thank you,” said St. Francis.
Dominic answered St. Francis’ greeting, “I was very interested in your ideas, however . . .”
Francis jumped up closely to Dominic and looked him in the eye. “You don’t agree that earth animals are even more horribly treated now than in our day?” “Yes,” replied Dominic, “but . …”
Francis paced toward the open door where some living waterdrops mischievously giggled as they fell. “Don’t you agree that the last two centuries of life on earth have provided numerous examples of animal heroism?”
“Yes, but . . .”
“But what, Dominic?” Shrugging, Dominic took the habit off the cat as he put him down. He trotted over to St. Francis, rubbed his furry cheek on St. Francis’ leg, and purred, “Meww.”
St. Francis dove to the floor and took the cat in his arms. “A cat! This is wonderful! A cat in Heaven! Where in all of Creation did he come from?”
“I don’t know, Francis. He was just sitting on my doorstep. I wasn’t sure what to do and thought you could help me figure out what is happening.”
St. Francis was suddenly on his feet next to Dominic. “You don’t know whose cat he is?” said Francis. “Have you asked him?”
Dominic said, “I didn’t think of that.”
St. Francis bounced over to the fireplace where the cat sat listening and asked, “So, whose cat are you anyway?”
Looking up at the two inquiring saints, the cat gave a little sigh and replied, “Meww, I’m Mary’s, mewww.”