Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Our Brother Churchill

The room that used to be the Temple is now the rabbit room. Once we kept it spotless. Now it's ankle deep in straw. And why not? The gods like it better this way. 

But I didn't always think so.

Before there were rabbits there were cats. And we were very prissy about keeping them out of the temple- all that fluff, all that scrat-scrat-scratting. We'd been taught, see, that you honour the gods by keeping their space immaculate. The high priestess of our mother coven once threw a terrible hissy fit when sparks from the too enthusiastically fuelled cauldron leaped for freedom and burned holes in her lovely new temple carpet.  

And then along came Churchill- a very ancient cat who'd been knocked out of shape by a car and so-named because of his pug-faced resemblance to Sir Winston. We got him from a rescue centre. We were told they couldn't shift him because he was so ugly. Well, ugly is as ugly does. We preferred to think of him as characterful.  He had no teeth,  his tongue stuck out the front of his mouth, he was  blind in one eye and he walked with a lurch, a jerk and a teeter and it's a wonder he didn't fall over sideways more often. On one occasion some neighbours brought him to our front door wrapped in a blanket and said, "We're afraid your cat has been in an accident.". And we thanked them and took him back and looked him over and said, "Naah, he's always like that."

And Churchill was a witch's cat. We couldn't keep him out of the temple.  He insisted on being in the room with us when the coven met. And he knew the etiquette. He'd didn't think it was all about him.  He'd scrupulously limp round the room deosil while we danced the Witches Rune, brushing the wall with his shoulder. 

He was referred to as "our Brother Churchill" and regarded as an initiate. We were proud of him. Look what a clever cat our cat is. And we trusted him to behave in an appropriate and reverent manner. 

Oh, my God- look!

Churchill was squatting against the wall, all hunched up, regarding us severely.

A moment of horror. Oh my god, he's peeing on the carpet! 

Scrag him.

But look where he is. (He was in the western quarter, right under the shrine to Zephyrus). He's honouring the water elementals...

It's a Nature religion, dummies. So take what Nature gives.

"Whooping noises and general hilarity* 

I'm not really a cat person.  Rabbits are nicer. I look back on that time of my life as an aberration.  We had a whole bunch of cats and they came and they went and I don't really miss them- with one exception.

Ailz says she sees him sometimes- out of the corner of her eye.  
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