Like a lot of life, I meant to get this finished and posted over a month ago. But I have been back East twice during that time, with the second visit a final goodbye to my father…
I thought that talking about everyday kitty undertakings would be too mundane, too ordinary—my mood being as somber as it has been of late. But then I thought, well, what better way to acknowledge the gift of the everyday than with a post about the everyday. So here is that post, kept mostly intact with its original title:
It’s mid summer, and the kitties and their humans have gotten into a routine. Life is “normal”; well, as normal as you can get when you have two humans living with five felines. Vacuuming should be constant, but I’m not a fan of the chore… (And for those of you who wonder why the husband does not pitch in: Roger’s domain is primarily house repair and outside maintenance—both ongoing, year-round activities!) And then there is the continual changing of cat alliances and the breaking up of kitty skirmishes. And the constant cleaning of daily hair ball pukage (yuchhh, gross).
Then there are, of course, the sweet routines:
Ø Puffy supervising the making of the bed in the mornings. Well, mostly he waits in a corner of the bedroom—patiently I might add—until I am roused enough to realize his presence. Then he plops in the middle of the bed-making action and raises his rump sufficiently high to ensure rigorous rubbing.
Ø Cuddling with the Tiggster at night on my office floor before bedtime.
Ø Head nuggying (is that a word?) with Junior, chirping his way of happiness.
Ø Even Blackie ensuring—through plaintive mews—that I don’t forget him during mealtimes.
And then there is Chewie with his food fetishes. Zucchinis have been handled and are no longer left unguarded on the kitchen counter. And this summer I’ve discovered that he loves… salad! No iceberg lettuce for him. Green leaf lettuce is a favorite, although he also has a liking for arugula, red leaf lettuce and mesclun. I may not have seen the goofy critter for hours, holed up in some closet somewhere… but as soon as I start preparations for the evening’s salad, invariably up on the counter he emerges from nonphysical to inspect the progress—and to steal a leaf for munching when I’m not looking. What an odd appetite indeed…
This time of year, with the summer waning and hints of fall in the cool night air, has always been a special time for me. It is particularly poignant as it will be the first time without my father’s physical presence. Being a product of his generation and a survivor of The Holocaust, my Dad never truly understood my choices of creative output. Yet, he loved animals—especially cats. And he always asked about my brood.
So these moments of mirth—when the unexpected collides with the everyday during a time when I feel very sad, indeed—have been a wonderful reminder and acknowledgement of the gift that is the present moment. A gift that is fleeting, momentary—and never guaranteed.
I’ll end with a video snippet of my father from 2009 (I was testing my former BlackBerry’s video capabilities) talking about my parents’ cat, Lilly. He just loved and spoiled that cat! She died two summers ago… I’d like to think that my father and Lilly have now reunited on the Rainbow Bridge to cross together into eternity…