St. Dominic was returning home from a night of conversation at St. Benedict’s Hall, where all the great thinkers of Heaven gather to discuss the ways of God. Dominic was walking down Dante Boulevard toward the intersection of Dante and the Avenue of David. The Avenue of David runs from the throne of God at the top of the spiraling pyramid of Heaven down to St. Peter’s house at Heaven’s gate.
He was absent-mindedly thinking of the conversation as he knelt down and pet a cat sitting at the edge of the avenue. Then he continued towards home.
Dominic suddenly stopped and said to himself, “A cat.” He ran back to where he had seen the cat, but it wasn’t there. St. Dominic looked everywhere but could not find the cat.
He turned again toward his home. He was very confused. No earthly animals were allowed to live in Heaven. Heaven had rainbow hawks and vermillion chillions and fuff fuff birds, but it didn’t have any cats or dogs or horses or cows.
Just that night at St. Benedict’s Hall the conversation had centered on the question of whether earthly animals would ever get into Heaven. St. Francis strongly argued that many earth animals had learned to think for themselves enough to qualify for Heaven. St. Francis said he had even talked to God the Father about letting animals from Earth into Heaven. God the Father had kept silent on the subject, so no one had any idea what the answer would be.
When Dominic arrived at his cottage, which is situated in the apple orchards of St. Joseph’s garden, the cat was on the doorstep. He quickly took the cat inside his cottage and set him by the fireplace, where the cat curled up by the fire and said, “Meww.”
St. Dominic sat beside the cat and thought. It was illegal and therefore impossible that a cat could be in Heaven, but no question about it, there was a cat in Heaven. Now, St. Dominic was saintly enough to know that when he was faced with the impossible, one of three persons of the Blessed Trinity was up to something, and that something had found its way to his door. He finally said, “I’ll go see St. Francis.” So he dressed the cat in an old habit and carried him out of the house by the nape of his neck so that the cat looked like another friar.
The cat seemed to be very smart because it had the sense to greet passing angels. The cat said, “Mello Mangels.” St. Dominic shook his head wondering what he was going to do with a talking cat who somehow had found his way into Heaven.