ON THE CHURCH O THE ISLAND, it is a good Sunday morning, drenched in bird songs. It was the loons along the shore who awakened me, but I was late—far too late to see the sun edge over the horizon. The white-throats and song sparrows had long been lofting their morning arias. The crows were caterwauling, the red squirrels trilling and scolding.
But before I could view the silver path of the sun upon the lake and enjoy the wilderness concert, I had to first arise and get out of bed. And that is when I first noticed Koda the Forest Kitten. Or rather, a part of him. Koda is growing up, and still learning. He is very smart. Here at the island he is still deciphering the protocols of the morning. He is most anxious to get up and start the day, but Kathy and I do not appreciate being awakened at 4am. Or even 5. So Koda may not sleep in the bedroom. He and brother Simon each have soft, cushioned chairs in the living area, and the bedroom door is kept closed. Two mornings ago, Koda got yelled at for scratching at the bedroom door for us to get up. Once.
So yesterday, and again this morning, I awakened—on my own—to find one black paw hooked under the door. Only a paw. No scratching, no meowing, not a sound. Just waiting. “Guys? Guys? Are you getting up soon? I’m here. I’m being very good. Please, is it time to get up now?”
Koda is very smart. And Koda is a good kitty. And it was long past time to get up anyway. To see the silver sun on the water, to hear the bird choir in the jackpine sanctuary. And to say good morning to Koda the Forest Kitten. And to wish Good Sabbath to all, from the Church O The Island, where all is well.

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