Monday, July 30, 2012

Meet Sadie, the community cat

Back in January, a new friend joined us at the L'Arche Community Centre. Her name is Sadie, and she was a stray who was taken in by our community leader's sister. Unfortunately, allergies were discovered in Pat's sister's home, and Sadie had to go back outside for a time. Being a very social animal, she would sit and watch TV through the window with the family, making everyone in the house feel sorry for her. So they began asking around, trying to find her a new home without allergies, but without luck. Finally, they asked Pat if L'Arche might like a cat.

Pat checked with the community, and determined that some of the homes would be able to look after Sadie on weekends, and that weekdays, she could live at the community centre. So Sadie joined the L'Arche community, living in Pat's office during the week, and entertaining us all with her antics.

One day I went into the office to meet with Pat about some work she wanted me to do... and Sadie was her usual extremely entertaining self. She played with some yarn, jumped up on the windowsill and scolded some magpies outside, and then she disappeared. The next thing we knew, she was in the corner bookshelves, trying to determine how she could leap past books and knicknacks all the way to the top. It didn't take her long to figure it out. Once she reached the highest spot in the room, she celebrated by happily nibbling on a spider plant.

Sadie gets a lot of attention from some of our core members, who pet her and give her treats and conversation. Some of them have learned to be quick going in and out of Pat's office, but Sadie will inevitably escape. She got out between my legs one day when I had an armload of binders and couldn't close the door quick enough. That's when I learned that if I find a string for her to chase, she'll follow it all the way back to Pat's office -- most times.

You can tell that Sadie is young by the way she plays. She loves to chase anything that moves, including Pat's fingers across the keyboard. In the middle of a meeting two weeks ago, Sadie went after Maria M.'s pen. Then she discovered a wasp on the windowsill, and played and played and played with it until finally, she ate it. She's highly energetic in the mornings, but by the afternoon, she usually needs a nap. Pat has discovered that Sadie likes to sleep under a shawl spread over an office chair. We've had a few meetings where no one knew that the cat was in the room, except that her tail was hanging down under the shawl.

About a month ago, we celebrated our community's new Mandate with Pat, who agreed to continue as our community leader for another term. The community participated in a joyful poem in the style of Dr. Seuss, called "Pat and the Cat." One thing's sure: Pat and Sadie bring much joy to L'Arche. I don't know what we would do without them!

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