Chapter 2 - Cats in the Bible?
“Did you say pet?” Emma said with a puzzled look on her face. “I don’t remember ever hearing about Jesus having a pet in any of the Bible stories I’ve read.” Emma loved the Bible stories she learned about in Sunday School and couldn’t believe she was never told about Jesus and His pet.
“What kind of pet are you talking about, Dad?” Ethan chimed in. “ I bet if Jesus was going to have a pet, it’d be something amazing, like a huge lion or a unicorn!” Ethan’s imagination was running wild as his brain wrestled with the idea of the Baby Jesus having a pet of His own. “Maybe His pet was just a sheep or cow that was in the stable where Baby Jesus was born.”
Their dad smiled at the children as they continued to try to figure out why they had never heard about Jesus having a pet. “This story is actually something called ‘Historical Fiction’. It’s a story that is made up, but has some characters in it that were real people in the past. It also takes place in a setting that actually existed long ago. This story is going to take place in the time when Jesus was born.”
As the wheels continued to turn in Emma and Ethan’s brains, they both seemed to lean in a little closer to their dad. “So what kind of pet is this story about, Dad?” asked Emma. She loved all kinds of animals and never met a stray dog or cat she didn’t instantly fall in love with.
“As a matter of fact, Emma, the pet in this story is a cat,” her dad replied, knowing it was going to get an instant reaction out of Ethan.
“A cat??” Ethan shouted, obviously disappointed it wasn’t a more exotic or exciting animal, like a dinosaur, perhaps. “That’s it? Just a cat? That doesn’t sound very special to me. I have all kinds of friends that have cats. They’re soooo boring.”
“Did they even have cats back then?” Emma wondered. “I don’t remember ever hearing about cats in the Bible, unless maybe you’re talking about the story of Daniel and the lion’s den.” Emma struggled to picture a cat alongside all of the Biblical people she had learned so much about in her 10 years of life.
Dad thought for a moment. “Cats may be very common pets today, but in the Bible, there isn’t a single mention of a cat. That doesn’t mean they didn’t exist, but historians say that very few people in the areas where Jesus lived even had pets. One fact we do know is that during the time when Jesus lived, cats were very common in the country of Egypt, which is very close to where Jesus spent most of His life. In fact, Egypt is where Mary and Joseph fled to, shortly after Jesus was born, in order to escape King Herod.”
“So is that where Jesus got his pet cat from?” Emma asked.
“How about if I begin the story so you can find out?” asked her dad.
Next: Meet Rebekah