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Hermitage Letters

Welcome to our blog!

As you might guess, if you know our mother, I am named for two famous Augustines – Augusta the second cat of Sanctuary House, and St. Augustine of Hippo . . . I might be a saint one day, but for now I am happy just to be Gus the cat. Sister Mary – she’s our mother – was going to write this blog, but she’s really busy with chores, so I told her we’d write the blog most days and she can clean the litter boxes and feed us and wash our blankets and of course open the door a thousand times a day for the doggies who can’t decide if they want to be indoors or in the play yard. Our mother does other chores too – errands to the store and post office, and other things. We, on the other paw, spend most of our time playing, staring out of the window at birds, and napping . . . it’s so much fun to be a cat! I am writing first, but my brothers Aidan and Poirot will be writing too. Aidan is named after a saint too, and Poirot is named after a famous detective. Sometimes we might invite another cat or even a doggie to write on our blog page – and when Mom has time, she will write.

I am an all gray cat, Aidan is all black and a polydactyl, and Poirot is black and white. We are short haired cats and we all have golden eyes. If you read our mother’s book, More Cats of Sanctuary House, you might remember that Aidan is Anya’s kitten and he has five sisters: Beebe, Chelsea, Chrissy, Mavis, and Nora. Poirot and I are singletons – Poirot was rescued when a dog chased him up a tree (not one of our dogs, of course), and I was starving and caught in a trap. But really we are all brothers and sisters here at Sanctuary House, no matter how we first came here.

It has been cloudy and rainy for days. I keep watching for the sun, but I think Cockburn, our red Wyandotte rooster, is not crowing loud enough – I hear him, but no sun, so something must be wrong. Some of the doggies just spend the rainy days sleeping, but Toby barks to go in and out many times. He doesn’t like the rain, but he wants to keep checking to see if it has stopped. I don’t know why he doesn’t believe Mom when she says, “It’s still raining,” after all she can look out of the windows; I could tell him that too, but he’s not very good about listening to people or cats. I hope she’ll give Toby his Kong toy filled with peanut butter then everyone will be able to rest in quiet!

This morning when Mom went out to gather the eggs in the chicken house she had to wear her tall, black and yellow rain boots because there are so many puddles. The poor chickens were splashing in the rain, and even the ducks and geese are ready for a sunny day. Whenever the rain stops, even for a short time, our horse Jackie goes out to the field to eat grass, but when it starts to rain again he goes right back into the run-in shed. “This is a nice Spring rain,” Mom reminded Jackie, but he doesn’t listen any better than Toby does. But Jackie is funny because rain or no rain he sleeps out in the field at night. . . . even when that means he comes to breakfast half covered in mud.

A few days ago Mom hung our hummingbird feeder in the garden – now, even in the rain, we have many ruby throated hummingbirds coming to visit. And we feed lots of other birds too – downy woodpeckers, red headed flickers, sparrows, many kinds of blackbirds, starlings, blue birds, titmice, wrens, cardinals, and pigeons.

And the garden is growing too! There are dark purple irises right at the end of our driveway, and the lilies are growing and growing, but no blooms yet. Tiny beets and potatoes are sprouting and the turnips should be up soon too. . . as you can probably guess, those are veggies that Mom likes – no cats eat them at all! Dandelions, daffodils, and buttercups are growing in the yard and field, and the zinnias should be up soon too and all of us like to look at those! Plus, the zinnias decorate our chapel all summer.

Here is a great prayer for Spring:
We give you thanks, most gracious God, for the beauty of earth and sky and sea; for the richness of mountains, plains, and rivers; for the songs of birds and the loveliness of flowers. We praise you for these good gifts, and pray that we may always safeguard them. Grant that we may continue to grow in our grateful enjoyment of your abundant creation, to the honor and glory of your Name, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP, p. 840, adapted)

Until next time,
Stay safe; pray always; keep in touch.


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