Tuesday, June 21, 2011

If St. Anthony had a cat...

There’s a cat named Dusty in San Mateo, California who somehow must have St. Anthony smiling beatifically. Perhaps the saint, who now partakes of heavenly Wisdom can make some sense of the story--especially since St. Anthony, as a Franciscan, could well have inherited St. Francis’ deep appreciation for animals as part of God’s holy creation. It turns out that Dusty is part of an ongoing lost object program. He has stolen over 600 items from neighbors--and in the process has animal experts scratching their heads. Those experts talk about “mixed-up neurotransmitters” but they don’t really know what is going on with Dusty. The thefts happen at night typically and started about four years ago--little things like gloves, then towels and bathing suits, and just about anything the cat can drag back home. His owners dutifully wash Dusty’s finds and try to get things back to the rightful owner, something St. Anthony would appreciate. And as it turns out, whenever the neighbors lose something they can turn to St. Anthony--and also go over to Dusty’s house. It’s not the kind of St. Anthony story that we usually hear, but there’s a saintly twinkle in it--after all the objects do get returned.