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Chapter 31: Relentless Kitten

Śrīla Prabhupāda Uvāca 31
Relentless Kitten

April 1973, ISKCON Los Angeles

Whenever weather permitted and there was privacy, Śrīla Prabhupāda wanted his massage outside with his back to the morning sun.

"The morning sun gives you energy and the afternoon sun takes it away," His Divine Grace often said.

One sunny day, Śrīla Prabhupāda decided to have his massage in his "favorite place," the New Dwarka garden. After I placed the mat on the grass with sandalwood and mustard oil alongside it, Śrīla Prabhupāda sat down cross-legged.

While massaging Śrīla Prabhupāda's back, a kitten crawled under the garden gate. Perhaps the kitten wanted to associate with a pure devotee. This little, fuzzy thing started to lick Śrīla Prabhupāda's back and affectionately rubbed his fur against His Divine Grace. Much to my surprise Śrīla Prabhupāda allowed this to go on for a few minutes.

"That's all, take him out," Śrīla Prabhupāda finally said.

Quickly, I grabbed the cat and put him over the fence. Being very small and extremely determined to get more association with Śrīla Prabhupāda, the kitten immediately crawled under the gate, again . . . and again . . . and again. Three times he came in and three times I dropped him over the fence.

Finally, I found cinder blocks and placed them along the bottom of the gate so the kitten could no longer sneak in to get another taste of His Divine Grace. Being thwarted, he loudly cried outside the gate for the duration of Śrīla Prabhupāda's massage. Howling, he lamented his misfortune. I learned something from that kitten. I should be that eager for the association of the pure devotee.

A moment's association with a pure devotee can change the life of even a small animal. The kitten was obviously attracted by the transcendental nature of Śrīla Prabhupāda. He wanted to bathe in Prabhupāda's nectar no matter what obstacles were placed before him. I pray that someday I will be as determined as that kitten to associate with my Guru Mahārāja through his loving service.