Friends of Bessie Drop By

A Handmaid News

Although Bessie declined an invitation, four of her fellow bovines stopped by Cor Jesu just outside the Refectory and Sewing Room the other day. Word must be getting around about our clover. After posing for several photos, the steers decided to hang around until one nun made her best attempt at a “Mooooo”. Lacking a bovine-human dictionary or translating app, …

They’re Baaaaack! Cicadas!

A Handmaid News

We have heard much talk of the expected emergence of Cicada Brood X, the 17 year cycle, in these parts of East Tennessee and have kept a wary eye and ear out for their arrival. Mainly because we want to avoid the copperheads that love to feast of the bounty that will be filling the trees around our buildings and …

Anti-squirrel Training Continues

A Handmaid News, Uncategorized

As part of her buildings and grounds orientation Gertrude is spending more time out of doors around Mater Dei and having some treks on a harness to re-explore more distant buildings like Cor Jesu. In a recent jaunt, she was escorted to Cor Jesu, inspected the wood damage, lunged after two squirrels (good thing for the squirrel she was in …

They’re Back! But We Have A Bat Cat!

A Handmaid News

After a lovely hiatus of a few years, our little brown bat friends have again checked out the inside of Cor Jesu Monastery. Previous agreements that they were quite welcome for insect control outside apparently have fallen by the wayside. Last week, after a nocturnal holy hour, we were alerted by Gunther that something was amiss. He quickly pointed out the winged …

White Christmas and a Cat

A Handmaid News

Yes, we had a gloriously White Christmas which is a rare spectacle in East Tennessee but some have wondered if our Russian Blue cat, Gunther, descended from more northern latitude felines, liked it. As he’s indoors only, he was denied the chance to frolic in the snow but we did capture one unusual reaction from the cat who notices all …

Gunther Strikes Again!

A Handmaid News

Just when we were thinking Gunther was set in his indoor ‘therapy cat’ occupation of sleeping, playing, and eating he abandoned his favorite chair sometime in the morning, likely while we were at Mass perhaps, and brought a small rodent to its demise. Later, politely waiting until Rev. Mother had had collation (monastery language for something like a coffee break) …

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 …