Monday, October 16, 2006

Delayed Sunday Supplement: Cat Baptism Revisited

Ms Madison writes: On arrival at Bermuda with Mike - Mr Rake - we had to change hotels. Someone had booked us into a double room, and I'm not that sort of girl. Oh, and Mike isn't either (in fact, he's no sort of girl. He's a man). So we had to take the only hotel with spare rooms, a dingy back-street place. We were separated. By two floors. So on Sunday we were too glad to get out of the smelly, dirty place and into the nearest church.

The church turned out to be a mission station of the Cat-Baptists (headquarters Pudding Norton), Norfolk. I recognised it at once from the scratched and pitted faces of the deacons who waited to greet us. One man had an eye-patch, while another had a few fingers missing. The large number of cat-boxes being carried into the church building was another clue. Talking to a woman with a couple of large scars on her face, we ascertained that a baptism was due to take place. Thus, taking our seats as far from the baptistry as possible, we sat down.

The Service began in the traditional manner. 'Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing' was sung, with which we joined heartily (I was tuneful, my escort wasn't). The Pastor was helped to the pulpit by two deacons, having been blinded a couple of weeks ago by a large black tomcat. He prayed for all present, including the very large number of cats present. The sermon included a large number of references to the belief that the Cat-Baptists were the only true church, as they were the only people who administer the right of baptism to cats. Then the cat, a small fluffy black thing, was led to the Baptistry. It was led through the preliminaries, and it was decided that the creature had a sufficient understanding of the faith. As the cat was led to the Baptistry it purred.

Then, as it was intoduced to the baptismal waters, the cat's mood changed. It spat and began to scratch the pastor's scarred face. The Pastor began to sing, presumably to dull the pain. That was when the cat clawed his tongue. The cat was dropped, and three deacons immered it three times, while the pastor silently repeated the baptismal lines, before passing out through loss of blood.

We decided to go somewhere else for the evening service.

1 comment:

The Girl in Grey said...

So would I! No wonder that church is so small!