Christ stilling the waves June 2013 111



Catmoot chapter 17


Bushy's Song



As the the celestial and human caravan flew through the night, all the humans became drowsy as did the animals, for they would need their strength for what they would be called upon to face.


Pope Francis was feeling the weight of his office, for the burdens of a Church, which was in crisis, were weighing heavily on his shoulders. He was half sleeping when he heard a very growly voice singing rather huskily, and wondered what the words were that seemed rather too religious for the tune, which was exceedingly jaunty, and not your usual ghastly folk or pop hymns, but it definitely seemed very prayerful:


"When we go out abroad,

We cats so many and more,

All jumping and turning,

And dancing and purring,

We’ll follow Our Good Lord.

He will lead us to a place

And show us his gracious face.

We will fly in the sky,

And sing praises on high,

As we follow in his wake.


A “Guadium et Spes” young man,

A “Nostrae Aetate” young man,

And ultra-theological, new philosophical

Out-of-the way young man."


At the mention of  “A Gaudium et Spes young man,” the Pope found himself rocketed out of his slumbers, and he inadvertently nudged  the Patriarch who woke up with a start. Luckily he did not nudge anyone  else and so the other bishops slumbered peacefully on, watched by the stars and the angels. The Pope looked at Bushy, who was of course, the singer of the song.  “What is all this?” the Pope asked, with a certain sharpness in his voice.  


“Well” said Bushy “I was just trying to put different words to Bunthorne and Grosvenor’s duet “When I go of door” from Patience, the Gilbert and Sullivan opera.” The Pope looked on in amazement, wondering why a cat should be interested in the documents of Vatican II. “I think” said the cat “that very often people take the institution of the Church a wee bit too seriously. Now we cats are not part of the Church as such. We are part of creation. We come under man’s stewardship, which on the whole is rather nice. We are fed, housed, petted, and loved; not a bad life don’t you think? In fact it is rather like the life of a secular priest, or comfortable religious priest in the Western World, in the comfortable part of the West that is. However you would think with all this talk of Vatican II, that there had never ever been another council of the Church. People are obsessed with it. We need to be very simple. God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, and they disobeyed and that is why the Human Race is in such a mess, but now there is hope, because Christ redeemed the Human race by his death on the Cross, and he tells us to love him, and to go and sin no more. It is really very simple. Did not good Pope John say something like this: “ ‘Theologians, theologians, can we not just say the Our Father, The Hail Mary, the Creed and the Glory be, and be done with it?’  Surely it's very dull reading Rahner and rather dangerous, and marvellous reading von Balthasar,  rather like reading Gerald Manley-Hopkins; the problem is that for a simple cat like me it is unintelligible. Does it really help save souls? Surely a Curé d’Ars  was more successful. Then if one tries to read the Documents of Vatican II, goodness me you need a strong stomach for it. Some are good like Lumen Gentium, Dei Verbum, and Sacrosanctum Concilum, but Nostrae Aetate is dyanamite, and Gaudium et Spes sounds ias if it was written by social workers of a sanctified type. When the World is hurtling towards Hell, we need drastic means to reform the Church. We need charity, penance, prayer, poverty of spirit, and you know that dear Holy Father. But I do realise that you are Jesuit, which makes it just a little bit difficult, as your Order always tries to help save as many souls as possible, and it does so, these days it would seem, by sort of bending the rules. But that’s my observations, you would know better. However that is why I have composed these lyrics to try and make everyone a little less serious.”


Before the Pope could reply, Bushy shouted back to Tommy, “Can you come and join me Tommy for this song?”  “I’d rather not; we are hundreds of feet up in the sky, and I can’t jump from one sleigh to another.”  replied a rather sleepy sounding Tommy. “Oh but you can” said Hildegard “for I will give you wings”, where upon all the cats found that they had wings and flew up from the different sleighs that they had been on, towards the Apostles sleigh which led the horsedrawn convoy. By now all the humans were awake, Binyamin looking startled beyond belief. “What is going on?  This Catholic stuff is all crazy, especially when parroted by cats. It’s crass propaganda.”  


“Do you think so?” asked Lily as she diverted from her flight from the martyr’s sleigh and landed on Binyamin’s lap. “Then I will ask you a question; why did you have to go and build that hideous wall to keep the Palestinians hemmed in as if they were in prison?”  

“I don’t like that remark. It has the whiff of anti-Semitism about it.” said Netanyahu. “Oh dear Binyamin,don’t be so ridiculous! How can cats be anti-Semitic. We want you all to flourish. This silly competition of human beings is so tiresome. Why do human beings want to always build walls and fences. You have the Great Wall of China, which was most probably to keep invaders out, but possibly to control the Chinese hoi polloi. The Romans somewhat wasted their time building Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall to keep the Picts in their place. You then find that ferocious English king Edward I, hemming the poor Welsh into Wales behind a line of castles. Then all these dreadful concentration camps such as the British  built in South Africa and incarcerated the Boers in. I need not mention the  German Concentration camps, or for that matter the Gulags.” Here Lily gave President Putin a penetrating look and said, “Isn’t marvellous that Russia has cast off Communism and now become Orthodox again?”  “Isn’t it indeed?” said a chortling little voice, and there was Contessina. However before she could open her mouth to say anymore, Lily looked at her severely and said, “Now Contessina, don’t interrupt, please!” Lily continued, “And then that ghastly Berlin Wall! You human beings are so full of greed, lust, envy, avarice, anger, and Pride. You leaders are always shedding the blood of the ordinary people, for whom it seems you have nothing but contempt. However we must now take part in Bushy’s song, a far more sensible thing to do than building walls and making wars.  It may be rather nonsensical, but it’s a darn sight less dangerous than politics. In fact it is not dangerous at all. Come on Dolly dear, do we have to be the chorus or is it instruments?” “No, we will supply the instruments.” said a tinkling voice and there was an angel with a violin, (he was the “first violin”) with him a whole orchestra of angels suddenly appeared, floating above the sleighs.


“Are we ready to begin?” asked Bushy, who now had a wide awake Tommy with him. “So let us begin the song, and dance, for our entertainment and for your possible edification.” He winked at the Pope and Patriarch, and the bishops and cardinals who were now all fully awake, and then Bushy and Tommy, wings  a-fluttering, rose into the air, and began to dance and sing with all the other cats, while the saints and the humans looked on. To the amazement of the cats and to Valdimir’s surprise his dogs sprouted wings also and rose into the air to join the dance. This is the song that they sang:


When We Go Out Abroad




When we go out abroad,

We cats so many and more,

All jumping and turning,

And dancing and purring,

We’ll follow Our Good Lord.

He will lead us to a place

And show us his gracious face.

We will fly in the sky,

And sing praises on high,

As we follow in his wake.


Both and Chorus


A Gaudium et Spes young man,

A Nostrae Aetate young man,

An ultra-theological, new philosophical

Out-of-the way young man.




Conceive me if you can,

A Vatican II young man:

A progressive type,

With a sneer and pipe,

And a priestly patter pan;

Who thinks folkloric “pops”

More fun than Sunday “tops”

Who’s fond of his dinner,

And doesn’t get thinner

On clerical wine and chops.



Both and Chorus

A Vatican II young man,

Not a Council of Trent Old Man

A steady and “Constance” no time for such nonsense

A Vatican II young man.




An up-to-date young man,

An aggiornamento young man,

A Teilhard de Chardin, so charming parlando,

Historico-critical man!




A Roman Curial man,

A Modernist trained young man,

A very delectable, highly respectable,

Demythological man!




A sickly and thin old man,

A grieving and sad old man,

At a Church gone so batty, its thoughts gone so scatty,

A foot in the grave old man!




A Chalcedonian man,

A Lateran IV old man,

A feisty old cardinal who knows all the articles;

A tower of strength old man.


Both and Chorus (repeated three times)


Receive me if you can,

A loyal and orthodox man,

Who takes the tradition and all its munitions,

For the sake of the Son of Man.



Throughout the song the cats, and the dogs had danced and sung with such enthusiasm that they were doing summersaults, cartwheels, and goodness knows what else. Their joy was utterly infectious, so that all the humans could not but hum along, and the celestial animals could not be restrained. The bears rose into the air, without the need of wings and did an intricate dance which involved linking arms twirling around and rising up a good twenty feet, and then floating down to the level of the cats, and then doing the same but upside down, and were joined by Lorenzo and Guido doing pirouettes, with Beppe and Methuselah doing a very unusual waltz. The effect of this so comical song and dance was totally worthy of the Topsy Turvy world of Gilbert and Sullivan. When it was all finished, the cats and all the other performers, bar the angels, who disappeared so that an encore could not take place, took a bow, and there was applause all around. The Pope you could see was delighted with it, if not with some of the satirical verses about the Church’s foibles. Tears of merriment were pouring down the Patriarch’s face, and the Cardinals’ and Bishop Placid’s faces were wreathed with smiles, and there was a look of utter joy on Archbishop Hilarion’s face. Even Binyamin was smiling, in spite of himself. “Well Bibi. You are human after all.” said Lily as she flew down and kissed him on the forehead. Vladimir was equally delighted, especially when Sammy and Freddie landed in his lap exhausted and laughing with sheer delight at their bravura performance. Molly and Lizzie smiled wrily at the humans, while Dolly gently floated down onto Alexei’s lap. Bushy and Tommy returned to the Apostles’ sleigh, though Bushy looked somewhat sheepishly at the Pope, who smiled and simpy winked at him.


Suddenly a trumpet blew, and Gabriel the Archangel appeared and said in a voice that was also trumpet like,  “We are now come to The Cathedral on the Blood, and so begins the beginning of the End.”


The humans and the cats looked beneath them, and there before them was a city suffused with the golden rays of dawn and a magnificent Cathedral coming towards them as the winged horses brought the sleighs gently down to earth. In no time at all the winged horses had folded their wings and were drawing the sleighs towards the entrance of the Cathedral.


When the sleighs had come to a standstill before the broad stairs that led up to the Cathedral, everyone disembarked. When everyone had assembled, St.Peter said “It is only fitting that Saints Nicholas and Alexandra and their children lead the way to their Cathedral. For it was on this site that they died for their Faith. Lead on Nicholas and Alexandra.” It is true to say that they were not the only ones leading the way, the cats could not resist accompanying them, along with President’s Putin’s dogs.


As the company approached the entrance to the Cathedral, the Sun’s rays flashed brilliantly on the gilded domes of the Cathedral, the bells rang out with the same clanging sound as they ring out in the coronation scene of the opera “Boris Godunov”. The doors flew open, and St. Stephen now joining the Royal Family, halted at the door, turned to rest of the company and said.  “Dear friends we are now come unto the place of martyrdom, and the meeting of the martyrs. It is indeed a joyous day. Enter with glad hearts, for this is the prelude to the Triumph of the Lamb.”