What can you get from a yellow cat? A laugh, perhaps

Published 2:36 am Saturday, August 4, 2018

By R.A. Mathews

God loves “funnies”—jokes, gags, rib-tickling stories, laugh-out-loud shows, books with happy endings. He does—it says so in Scripture.

And I have a great funny. This is a true story.

I agreed to feed my friend’s pets while she was away.

“There are three cats,” she said when I arrived for training. “They’re around here somewhere. Cat food is on the table.”

She showed me how to feed her parrots, and I paid close attention. They have complicated cages and sizeable beaks. Finger-severing beaks. I was really not interested in having that happen.

Her house has a front door, a foyer that’s actually a separate room, and then a second door that leads into the whole house.

“The cats are fast,” she said. “Open and close the front door. Then, and only then, open the second door. That way they can’t get outside.”

“Got it.” I headed toward my vehicle. I’m great with animals—this was an easy favor.

“Emergency numbers are on the fridge!” she yelled.

Emergency numbers for a week? Seriously?

I waved and left.

As promised, I fed the group after work. One cat and then another peered at me, too timid to approach. I carefully opened and closed the doors as instructed. Both ways.

Or I thought I had.

When I crossed the porch, her yellow cat sat there staring at me.


“Come on,” I said quickly. “Kitty, Kitty.”

The animal yawned.

Dern it. They were fast!

I stepped back inside the house, more cautious this time. All I needed was for another one to get out. I grabbed a can of food and carefully negotiated my exit.

“Come on.” I waved the food. “Kitty, Kitty.”

He didn’t even eye me.

I stepped forward softly, hoping to grab him. He stepped away. I stepped again and so did he, moving further away.

Smart kitty.

An hour later, despite much begging and pleading, I dialed my friend. No answer.

“Call me!” I said cheerfully, reluctant to confess.

I dialed her again and again. Still no answer.

I remembered the fridge and hurried inside, staring at the emergency contact list—her parents, brothers, and sisters. No. This was too embarrassing.

I found a can of tuna, cautiously left the house, and then shoved it at him.

“Mmmm-mm!” My voice bubbled with enthusiasm—perhaps too much. The feline practically laughed. “No, seriously. It smells delicious!”

He snorted—it smelled like a trap.

By nightfall, I had called every one of those “emergency” numbers. No one answered and no one called me back. No one, nada, zip!

I also kept calling my friend and kept pleading with the yellow fur ball. You can’t imagine how much education I have and from the best schools. It made me think of my three lawyer buddies, all brothers. They had gone to visit a relative, and one had accidentally let her cat out.

“How many lawyers does it take to catch a cat?” their mom asked me later.

“How many?” I said.

“More than three.”

So I started praying, and that’s when it happened. The clouds parted and the angels sang, “Hallelujah,”—the cat got hungry!

He moseyed toward the food, and I grabbed him, quickly rushing him inside.

I drove home, leaving voice messages for everyone. Non-specific ones.

“No need to call!” I said, innocently.

Just before bed, the phone rang. It was my friend.

“What happened?” she asked.

I confessed immediately. Guilt-ridden. “The yellow cat got out, but he’s inside. He’s safe!”

There was a long pause.

“Okay,” she said. “But I don’t have a yellow cat.”

Scripture says laughter is good for you, and researchers agree—the benefits are amazing. It lowers blood pressure and decreases stress hormones. It triggers the release of endorphins which boost your mood and diminish pain. It improves memory and increases immune cells that kill disease. The list goes on and on.

Moreover, happiness makes you attractive. Christie Brinkley says a smile is your best beauty secret. Have you looked at Christie Brinkley lately? She’s 64 and gorgeous.

So, what can you get from an old yellow cat? Happy, healthy, and utterly attractive.

The next time you’re deciding on what to read or watch, choose something fun. “A merry heart does good, like medicine.” Proverbs 17:22

It’s the gift that keeps on giving.


© 2018 R.A. Mathews The Rev. R.A. Mathews is a faith columnist, attorney, and the author of “Reaching to God: Great Truths from the Bible.”