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Disheveled Theologian: He’ll come around. I’m sure of it

The new addition to the O'Donnell family. (Gretchen O'Donnell / The Globe)

Things which you can stare at for minutes at a time without getting bored:

1) Waves on the shore 2) Fire in the fireplace 3) Babies 4) Kittens

Things which I need more of in my life:

1) Waves on the shore 2) Fire in the fireplace

Things which get in the way of doing what you need to be doing:

1) Babies 2) Kittens

Things which I currently have in my life which get in the way of doing what I need to be doing:

1) Kittens*

Things which our cat, Zephyr, thinks should go away and never come back:

1) The neighbor’s dogs 2) Kittens*

Things which are adding humor to our life and bringing huge smiles to our faces:

1) Kittens*

*Or, rather, “kitten” singular.

Yes, we caved.

Ever since our cat, Copernicus, disappeared just over one year ago, we have felt that our other cat, Zephyr, was lonely. From time to time we would broach this subject, never saying more than just the one sentence: “Zephyr needs a friend,” followed by a non-committal, “Hmmmm,” made by either me or my husband, depending on who had made the observation in the first place.

Then came last Friday, when I dropped off our cat-loving daughter at a friend’s house and she ran up to the car before I drove away, holding a kitten and wearing a smile the size of Montana on her face. (Why Montana and not Minnesota? Because not even the Big Sky State could contain Katie’s grin.)

“Zephyr needs a friend,” Katie said. And I didn’t know how to respond because everything was thrown off kilter by her saying it, and even though she was right I wasn’t sure I had time to commit to staring, mesmerized, at a kitten in the near future.

I decided to pass the buck. I took a photo of Katie and the kitten and texted it to my husband.

“Zephyr needs a friend?” I asked.

Needless to say, the kitten came home with Katie that evening. And yes, we love her -- Persephone -- and yes, we stare at her and trip over her and get exasperated by her and hold her and pet her and laugh at her antics.

Zephyr, not so much. Except for the “get exasperated by her” part. But he’ll come around. I’m sure of it. Once he realizes how important it is for him to have a friend.

In the meantime, I keep hearing the voice of Marilla Cuthbert from “Anne of Green Gables” saying, “I’m not suffering for company.” Well, Zephyr’s suffering, all right. From company, if not for it. But he’ll come around. I’m sure of it. Pretty sure of it.

The Bible tells us that, “bad company corrupts good character,” (1 Corinthians 15:33). I wonder what crazy, running, leaping, climbing, cuddly, kitten-company does? We’ll be keeping a close eye on Zephyr’s character and let you know.

PS — Thanks, Eric and Vickie, we love her! Even if Zephyr doesn’t … yet.

Gretchen O’Donnell is a freelance writer who lives in Worthington with her husband and three children. She has a master’s degree from Bethel Seminary and enjoys writing about the things she sees and applying theological truths to everyday situations. Her column, The Disheveled Theologian, is published weekly. Her email is gcodon@gmail.com.

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