THESE ARE FOR THE CAT
It was 24th November 1972. A big group of devotees had journeyed from far away Gauhati (the capital of Assam) to attend the Birth day celebrations at Puttaparthi. Now that the time had come for them to leave. Baba was lovingly distributing Vibhuti pockets to all of them. He had just given vibhuti to a girl in the group named Lakhi and walked on, when He suddenly turned back to toss a couple more packets to her saying, “ye billi ki liye.” – “These are for the Cat.” Who was this lucky cat who had drawn Baba’s Grace on herself? The cat was Minkie. Lakhi had rescued her from a city drain on a rainy day and brought her home to feed and keep warm. However the elder sister was not too fond of cats and she blamed Lakhi for bringing “the horrid thing and keeping it as a pet.”
One night the sisters had invited some guests for dinner and Minkie had been eyeing the proceedings with some interest. The temptation of a plate full of fish was too much for the cat, and she decided to quietly help herself. She snatched a piece and ran. The elder sister yelled at Lakhi. Lakhi caught Minkie by the neck and spanked her severely with a stick. The poor thing yelled in pain. Suddenly the pictures of Baba in the puja room and the rest of the house, began to swing mysteriously, and two of them fell on a table from the wall. Suspecting an earthquake, everybody ran out of the house. Gradually, Lakhi realized that this must be Baba’s way of teaching her kindness towards animals. Both sisters had tears of repentance in their eyes — Lakhi took the little shivering cat in her lap and on stroking her back she found that the fur was covered with fragrant Vibhuti. The Vibhuti had announced Baba’s omnipresence and His love for the cat.