Cat and carrier

Brother Gunther and Sister Gertrude

A Handmaid News

Here are a few photos of our team of cats: Brother Gunther and Sister Gertrude. As with any cats, introductions are controlled and monitored while they get used to each other. Gertrude is ‘in training’ at Mater Dei House at the top of our property while Gunther continues his duties indoors at Cor Jesu Monastery down the hill. As Gertrude …

Happy Anniversary to Gunther

A Handmaid News

This month we mark Gunther’s (a.k.a. Shadow) first anniversary of arrival. As we don’t know his birthday, we’ll consider this day the one to celebrate. The shy Russian Blue has made himself part of our religious family transitioning from his earlier life as a barn cat mouser to something of a monastic therapy cat with mousing on the side and …

Our Guard Cat Gunther

A Handmaid News

Gunther keeps a wary eye out for all things interesting and moving outside the windows. Be it lizards, skinks, chipmunks, turtles, enemy squirrels, turkeys, deer, or bobcats he’s on watch for it. And he’s keeping up with his mouse trophies having recently added another one, although in a rather blasé manner to be found as a forgotten toy instead of …

Gunther finds his tree

A Handmaid News

Gunther, alias Shadow, is a largely calm and polite Russian Blue. While the breed is very intelligent, they tend to be reluctant to change or try new things. Their desire to keep to an unchanging routine with little deviation should suit them well for monastic living but, as Gunther is learning, life comes with change and change comes with life. …

Gunther meets a butterfly

A Handmaid News

For a religious the condition of curiositas, the wrongful pursuit of knowledge, is considered a vice. For a feline, however, it might just be the essence of a cat. The proverb is, “Curiosity killed the cat. And satisfaction brought it back!” As one can see in this short clip, Gunther was neither killed, nor particularly satisfied, in this encounter with …

Gunther, our Russian Blue Social-ist

A Handmaid News

Our cat, truth be told, is a socialist. Actually, by that we mean that he is a social animal. He loves company. And hanging around his Sisters. He has lived up to many of the breed’s traits we have read about, almost to the letter. Russian Blues can exhibit almost dog like behavior (don’t tell Gunther) even following humans from …

A Nun and a Newt

A Handmaid News

Our property has plenty of walking space so, even in the summer heat, Sisters are out and about enjoying God’s creation as healthy exercise. Sometimes these treks end up with ‘show and tells’ of particular plants, leaves, views etc. Other times, interesting creatures are found (but usually left alone) and a photo snapped. Whichever direction of the compass a nun …

Oh Deer!

A Handmaid News

Cor Jesu Monastery is located in rural East Tennessee and there is plenty of wildlife around, and domesticated animals as well. The deer have made it known that they are happy to permit us to continue to live here but are very clear that they were here first. At the top of the hill at Mater Dei house, the Sisters …

Biblio-cat

A Handmaid News

Photo of Gunther, our biblio-cat, looking happily at a box of bibles.

Animal of the Day: Mom Box Turtle

A Handmaid News

Since we live in the woods with the Holston River on three sides of us, we are used to many different animals meeting us on our walks. At least once a year, turtles make their appearance and are commonly found on our walking trails and driveway. One year, during record setting rains, a river turtle climbed all the way up …