I adore my pet cat. Yes, I know, cats are not for everybody. But for those of us who delight in being owned by a cat, the idea of coming home at night to a cosy, cuddly, welcoming little friend is something to be cherished!

With a cat around, one is never lonely. Cats are a comforting, warm, therapeutic presence. And surveys show cat owners are both generally more relaxed and less likely to experience a heart attack.

Now, I sense dog owners and those of you who have little or no time for cats are starting to tune out.

But let me tell you about my cat. Her name is Mia Bella. She is a mixed breed ragdoll. Jet black in colour, Mia was rescued from the front veranda of a friend in North Ryde some twelve years ago. She has been part of our family ever since.

When I get home Mia seeks me out. She rests herself on my lap and gently purrs as I gather myself, debrief with my wife and wind down. It’s the best time of the day!

Am I being a bit odd here? Adoring my pet cat may not be the most profound or important thing in life. But it helps me to relax. It helps me to enjoy life and to simply “veg” out.

Have you got a cat at home who you adore? Or is it a dog who faithfully waits to greet you every day with great haste and with a massive amount of devotion?

Or maybe it’s another kind of animal?

I believe our pets can be God’s way of saying there are nice things going on. These moments may appear to be insignificant and quirky, but they are given to soothe and comfort us. They are there for our enjoyment and delight.

I will continue to adore my Mia Bella. Every night I look forward to her calm, soft snuggle. And as she settles on my lap I give thanks to God for the simple pleasures of life!

Rev John Barr