Hello All on a sunny day here in western Missouri where we’ve had rain several times this past week and where grass grows sweetly. This is going to be a rather short posting as the week and day got away from me with doctor appointments and the day-li-ness of living and preparing for a visit from Minnesota friends.
I just want to share with you something that just happened to me.
A few minutes ago, I woke from a nap to find Matthew, the tiger feline, sleeping in the brown, corduroy-upholstered, easy chair across the room from me.
In another easy chair lay Ellie, brindle clad, paws against her face.
And next to me on the couch stretched Maggie, the longhaired calico cat, who hasn’t told me—because she’d of course have to kill me—that she once worked as a spy for the CIA.
I woke then to gratitude for my life and for all that cats have meant and been for me since I first began living with Dulcy back in April 1972. She taught me many things, one of which I’m sharing with you today: to look beyond myself.
You may know that being single and without children and with no partner can lead a person to become selfish, self-centered, and self-absorbed. I’ve managed, due to the upbringing Mom and Dad gave me, to mostly avoid the first two of this stultifying trio. But often enough I have become self-absorbed.
And when that’s happened it’s often the cats who help me become aware that I’m not thinking beyond my own needs or beyond the thoughts I’ve been pondering so assiduously.
When I enter the world of analyzing all my feelings and thoughts, I move into self-absorption. That may last for a few days or even more, but ultimately the cats demand that I leave that land of blindness and respond to their needs. Now.
Since February my home has been an armed camp. Only one combatant boasted razor-sharp claws—Matthew. The other, Ellie, had been declawed before we met at the Humane Shelter. Maggie and I became the befuddled witnesses to Matthew’s siege and to his forays into his chosen enemy’s camp.
Daily—and nightly—Maggie and I cowered before the din of battles pierced by horrifying yowls. The flash of gleaming claws. The intimidation by the bully who, in better days, had been known as Matthew “the shy one.” For some unknown reason, after four years of living peaceably together, he decided to oust Ellie from harmony and isolate her to the darkness of the garage.
For four months this went on—four months of trying to protect Ellie and wringing my hands, wondering what to do. Then, in the past two weeks, when I kept Ellie inside the house, out of the garage, all this changed.
And so today, when I woke to the three of them napping with me in the living room, I felt an overwhelming gratitude for their working it out between them and for all they have done to help remind me that I can’t go off into a mirrored room where only Dee Ready and her reflection live.
I must take care of these three felines who have entrusted their lives to me and in doing that I learn to respond to others as well.
Cats have always been a blessing in my life. Peace.