I was a teeny tiny bit late, as the sanctuary door was locked and I ended up walking around the building to the chapel. But it was somewhat made up for when Brigid the cat immediately beelined for my lap the instant I sat myself down. She didn't protest too much when I gently placed her on the floor for the Gospel reading (for any of you non-Piskies out there in the audience, we by custom stand during it), although she did decide to wander off and curl up on one of the seats.
I must say that Brigid is among the big plusses of attending early service at St. Mark's; not only do I save about an hour and a half by not driving into San Francisco and back to Grace, it's good if I am somewhat low energy as "no hymns" means fewer stand/sit transitions (even if I miss making the joyful noise), and it feels like a sanctified version of home. The chapel is the size of a large living room with good north light, and comes provided with affectionate animal. God coming to us, where we are, in the midst of the everyday. I am told via the fabulous Sara of Going Jesus that Brigid will vocalize if she doesn't think she's getting enough attention, but that hasn't been a problem the three times I've been there (indeed she spent most of the first time I was there on bigpancakes's lap).
I was not the only latecomer, which is noticeable given the small size of the service (one of the other things is I am forced to be far more "present"). Someone arrived during the Eucharistic Prayer (post sermon). He was dressed in a way that made me think he may be a homeless person, but he was clean, and he was acting a bit oddly by making sotto voce comments (we're a pretty buttoned down bunch in the ECUSA) but apparently sober. I gave him a big smile and said good morning when the chance arose. Turned out he wanted to talk to Rector about something (I busied myself with skritching Brigid to give them some time to chat). I went out later and told bigpancakes about the LJ connection, which amused Rector as well. (I forgot to say "My name is Charlotte" but I did get a little distracted by the visiting gentleman.)
I will say that a number of my friends are charmed by the idea of the cat who goes to church. It does make the place real. Actually St. Mark's has two cats on staff, both of whom are duly noted in the bulletin as Felines, but Julian-cat (for the Blessed Julian of Norwich, an anchorite who lived with a cat; thus a Most Excellent Name for a church cat) is mostly an outdoors kinda girl. I saw her as I was trying to get in the sanctuary door, but did not stop for a scritch as I was running late. I think the whole thing would be a cute children's book if I could think of some sort of story line to go with it. Must ask Rector if there was some dramatic incident concerning the cat. Meanwhile I will probably need to print out Kit Smart's Jubilate Agno and Consider My Cat Maya and all her feline tribe.
In other church pet news, I learned of an Orthodox congregation on the Peninsula who had a pet rabbit; lagomorphic duties included amusing the children and writing a column for the parish newsletter, which latest issue sadly has his "Rabbituary".
(I had to go next door after I got back to deliver mail that had been placed in my box instead ... the dog, who is usually a big barker, was wagging his tail off to see me and was blessedly silent. As I am going over to cat_herder's tonight, it will be a very fur-enhanced day for me.)