“Your stomach’s huge!” observes Jenny, ignoring her own wide load.
“A big stomach needs lots of food, and it’s about time we had breakfast.”
“How are we going to get their attention?”
“I think Poppy should throw herself at their bedroom door. That should work.”
“Why me?” asks Poppy.
“You've lived here the longest. They like you best. When they open the door, just make big owl eyes at them, and look like you're wasting away.”
Three hungry fat cats are outside the bedroom door.
“What was that?” mumbles Andy, from under the quilt.
“The cats want their breakfast.” Sue yawns, as she climbs out of bed, and opens the door.
“Okay! Okay! You can’t be that hungry.”
Sue reaches for the dry cat food container and a small measuring scoop. “You cats are getting fat. I will have to tell the kids to give you less food. You are all hugely overweight!”
"Hugely overweight? Less food? Oh no!"
Three hugely overweight cats are put on a diet, and they are not happy. They complain loudly but no one is listening.
Then one morning, Callum, the second son of the family, is out of bed first. He has an early shift at work.
“Okay! Okay! Wait a minute. Here it comes." Callum bends down to the bowls on the floor. With his hand ready to scoop, he tips the food container. “Oops!” A huge stream of kibble flows out over his hand, into the bowl and over the side and all across the kitchen floor. Being a man-in-a-hurry, Callum leaves it there. The cats smile.
When the rest of the family get up, there are three very satisfied, stuffed cats sprawled on the floor by their bowls. They raise their heads just a little, and grin.
“Well, that didn’t help their diet,” Sue observes. There is still food on the floor (dessert for later.) “Even stricter rations for those animals tomorrow.”
All goes well (or not, depending on your point of view) for a few more days. The cats receive small dinners. They are not happy, and spend lots of time complaining. Three grumpy cats.
Then one morning…
“I can’t take much more of this. I’m starving,” moans Sammy.
“I’m a former shadow of myself,” whines Poppy, looking down at her round fat stomach.
“I’m going to die without more food!” says Jenny, raising her paw to her brow and falling dramatically into a fluffy heap.
Sammy takes control. He's the leader. “We need a real breakfast. We have to make a plan.”
He rests his head on his paw while he thinks. “I know! Callum! He’s always in a hurry. He just scoops out huge handfuls of food without measuring it. Remember that wonderful day when he dropped food everywhere? We need him to feed us.”
“Do you think he has an early shift at work this morning? Do you think he’ll be the first person up?” asks Jenny.
“Let’s pray that Callum gets up first,” suggests Poppy.
Sammy lifts his eyebrows. “Pray? Do prayers work?”
“Well, all the family pray. It must work,” says Poppy. “Why else do they spend so much time on their knees?”
“But they are people,” says Sammy. “Does praying work for cats? Would God listen to three cats?”
“Why not? We’re God’s creatures,” says Poppy. “God looks after the birds of the air so why shouldn’t He look after cats?”
“Birds of the air?”
“It’s in the Bible.”
“You mean you listen when they’re praying? I just go to sleep.”
Poppy rolls her eyes. “No wonder you know nothing.”
“Know nothing? I know lots!”
“Like what?” asks Poppy.
A moment of silence and then Sammy mumbles, “I suppose we could try praying. So... how does one pray?”
“We need to kneel down,” answers Poppy.
Sammy raises his eyebrows again. “Kneel down?”
“I guess we could omit the kneeling bit,” concedes Poppy. “And we say, ‘Please God, we are very hungry. Please make Callum get up first so we’ll get a big breakfast. We are very needy'.”
“I think we should add some thanks too. That wouldn’t hurt,” suggests Jenny.
Sammy is surprised. “You’ve been listening too?” he asks Jenny.
“Well, sometimes. I’m not as stupid as I look. Yes, we could say, ‘Thank you for our nice warm home even if there isn’t enough food here.’”
“Right, got that, cats? That’s our prayer all worked out,” says Sammy, taking control again. “Now let’s get praying.”
The three cats line up next to their bowls. They close their eyes and pray really hard:
“Please God, we are very hungry. Please make Callum get up first so we’ll get a big breakfast. We are very needy. Thank you for our nice warm home even if there isn’t enough food here.”
The three hugely overweight cats stop praying. They are listening. They have heard a noise, and it’s coming from the boys’ bedroom. The door opens and Callum appears, yawning deeply.
“Meow! Meow! Thank you, God! Thank you, God!"
Callum takes down the cat food container from the pantry shelf. He doesn’t bother with the measuring scoop. He uses his hand… his big hand. The food clatters into the metal bowls. The cats sigh deeply. This is going to be a GOOD breakfast.
And just at that moment, Callum tips the food container just a little bit too far and food comes raining down…
“Manna from Heaven!”
“They’re right. God IS Good. He’s VERY good.”
Later that morning at prayer time…
“Those cats look like they’re listening.”
“Are they praying?”
"Nah! Don’t be silly! Who ever heard of praying cats?"