Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Full Revelations of...

I have a crush on Ike Matthews.  Unfortunately, I think he's deceased.  :(

I've escaped the house to muse on his qualities, sitting in the sun on the front porch.  I would be sipping my Sunday 99 cent iced coffee, but I left it inside and, frankly, it's not worth being rediscovered by children to get it right now.  They are checked out in front of Madagascar 6 or something currently, and it's working.  Their brains are mush and their mouths are quiet.  Ah, bliss...

Excellent.  Especially since we just came back from a purgatorial church experience engendered by toddlers waking at dawn and being fed leftover cake by doting older sisters.  Church today was all potty trips, toddler liturgical dances, yells of "Jesus house!  My shoe!  Book... BOOK!" And me hissing, "Shhh.  No, not now.  No, sit.  No, listen. No... okay that's a 1.  Okay, we're at 2. Cecilia...!!!"

But back to Ike.  Well, it's about time I did a sort-of "review"... but farrr be it from me to review some trite New York Times Best Seller, nonsense.  The following is what has me intrigued.

The Full Revelations of a Professional Rat-Catcher.  Written in 1898.

Why this choice of literature?  Well... A rat (gasp) was seen nearby.  Fortunately we have about a dozen neighborhood cats who adore hunting, so I'm not overly panicked yet.  Since this is a city-wide issue, there is a hotline to call if you see one of these overgrown hamsters with long tails (sounds better that way.)

So I called and commenced some hand-wringing while an inspector came out to look over my property, and they fortunately did not find any holes indicating that we, er, actually had pets.

Curious as to how we could further dissuade potential pest ownership above and beyond the obvious, I asked, "But what's a rat likely looking for this time of year?  Where did it likely come from?  When do they breed?"  Etc etc

He had no idea.

So I googled and found this.


This man took pride in his profession of rat-catching.  He took it seriously.  And he found honor in it. He knew the usefulness in his work, and seemed to sense a nobility in it.  It even seems he had some sort of respect for his quarry, as he expressed fascination in his study of the animals, and how he was impressed by their abilities.

It makes me think of Josemaria Escriva, who often spoke of the value of work, using Joseph the carpenter of Nazareth as an example.   It makes me think of Therese of Lisieux, who encouraged people to "do small things with great love."

Okay so I'm a total nerd sometimes.  Still... I think Ike's cool.

How does his work apply to me, a stay-at-home mom hiding from kids on the porch while missing her coffee?  Well, I figure if a man can maintain pride and see honor in the career of 1800's rat-catcher, I can certainly be a proud, honorable changer of the poopy diapers of children and cleaner of dishes. And caretaker of their immortal souls.  Also if I do find a unsuitable critter about, I now know about six unique methods to dispose of them.

Which probably means I should get back to them (the kids, that is) now, and make them play outside. And reunite with my coffee too.

Thanks Ike. ;)
"Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good work, 
and in your teaching show integrity and dignity." Titus 2:7

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