My Musings

Look Before You Leap!

Look Before You Leap!

The year was 1997. I lived in New Haven, Connecticut, with my feline roommate, Calypso. Life together had settled into certain routines. After my morning shower, Clipper (her nickname) routinely jumped into the tub in her birthday suit to watch me shave through an opening in the curtains. Okay, there is no accounting for taste.

Calypso’s birthday suit was a fine tuxedo. Her smooth black coat came with an elegant tail. Her tummy was fluffy white with matching socks. It was amusing to see such a well-dressed figure in my bathtub.

One morning, unknown to Calypso, water lingered in the tub because the drain was clogged. After I got out, Clipper leaped over the rim toward her usual destination in the tub. During her downward descent, she noticed that something was different. However, she was dead to rights committed to a bath. Gravity demanded it.

Then an amazing thing happened. She decided in a fraction of a split second that she would just as soon not have a bath that morning, thank you. She performed the most astounding cat acrobatics I have ever seen. She managed to spring from one vertical side of the tub to the other and catch a portion of the curtain with one paw while hooking the rim of the tub with another. She downright defied the laws of physics to avoid a baptism by immersion (isn’t it amazing what some will do to avoid baptism?) I tell you, that cat had virtual mid-air brakes! It was like watching a frantic cartoon character suspend itself in animated animation to avoid an undesirable encounter.

(editor’s notes: this is not Calpyso, nor do we endorse tricking cats to jump into a tub full of water)

Having escaped a feline fate worse than a visit to the vet, I saw Clipper shake a paw. It must have grazed the watery surface, indicating she may not have completely defied all the realities of life in the elemental world after all. Still, if Olympic judges had seen it, she would have scored perfect tens across the board. I was duly impressed and I laughed so hard I could hardly brush my teeth.

I miss Calypso but I still relish the lesson she taught me that morning: Look before you leap!

I have a list of favorite oxymorons and “cat baptism” is on it. You, however, are not a cat so Christian baptism may be for you. If so, look before you leap! Jesus used the example of a builder intending to erect a tower to teach that those who wish to follow him need to first sit down and estimate the costs (Luke 14:28-30). Consider carefully the life-transforming ramifications of being buried with Christ in baptism and don’t start something you cannot finish. Count the cost before taking the plunge. Here are some Bible passages to peruse as you consider baptism:

  • Matthew 3:13-17.
  • Luke 3:1-6.
  • Acts 2:36-39.
  • Romans 6:1-11.
  • Galatians 3:23-29.
  • Colossians 3:8-15.
  • 1 Peter 3:18-22.

And by all means, never jump into a tub with your tux on, even if it is your birthday suit.


The views expressed on this blog are personal and belong to Joel Solliday unless otherwise stated. They are not, intended to characterize the views of the Lewiston Church of Christ or other organizations to which I may refer.


About the Author:

Joel graduated from Pepperdine University with a B.A., completing two majors: Art and Religion. He went on to earn the Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. The views expressed on this blog are personal and belong to Joel Solliday unless otherwise stated. They are not, intended to characterize the views of the Lewiston Church of Christ or other organizations to which I may refer.


  1. Joelsolliday  June 19, 2012

    The lead picture is the REAL Calypso!!!!

  2. Larrybertram  June 19, 2012

    Hi Joel. Enjoyed your story and the video was hilarious. Did you share it with the kids at church? I think I’ll go buy one of the laser pointers 🙂

  3. Jimtyler425  June 20, 2012

    it is amazing what animals can do. i think they are almost human in their antics.
    i wonder what the cat would think if the situation was reversed. hmmmm

  4. Claire  June 20, 2012

    LOL! I shall peruse those passages, Joel.

  5. Jim S.  June 20, 2012

    Oh man, you have me laughing, I can hardly finish the article….. 🙂
    Every time I hear that story I get tickeld at the thought of Clipper working her majic.
    Love the picture of Clip by the way!!! 🙂 Jim

  6. Marjorieneal  June 22, 2012

    Joel: I remember this cat when I visited you in New Haven. He made a flying leap across the hall then. Also He would wrap himself around the back of your neck when you were studying. MOM

  7. Ruth Held  July 31, 2012

    Hi Joel:
    Holy cow!!!! Or should I say holy cat!!!! Wow, when you say you were living in New Haven, CT in 1997 it is so hard to believe how quickly time has gone by!! It’s hard to believe that Ross and I met you that year!! Here it is 15 years later Joel, will say selfishly that you are missed!!!
    Hope you are well. Always looking forward to hearing from you.
    Grace and Peace, Ruth and Michael Held and Ross Luzey


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