Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Household Politics & Philosophy

He is old now, though that may not be true.This is Toby.  He is getting up there in years.  While not the last cat left over from my kids's moving into adulthood, he has been with us the longest.  Let's see:  When did Sarah graduate from high school?  She has been married for 7 years, had been in NY for 3, did this and that for some time, Annie is 6 and Thomas is 4.  Yeah, she found Toby, I mean he found her, one day when she was walking to the office from high school with a cake pan with left-over chocolate cake in it, maybe she was a freshman, and she had to put the pan down to adjust her books and backpack, and this tattered kitten flew out of the bushes and lit square in the cake pan and started gobbling cake.  Cats don't even eat cake, do they?  So that makes him about 17, don't you think?  I said, "No." when our receptionist, Barbara called me for Sarah, saying, "...he's cute, real pretty, and Laura, Sarah is crying and didn't want to call you because you would say no."  "Tell her to walk down to the shelter, they are real nice there.  No.  The answer is no... I wanted a Siamese."  I am not even exaggerating when I say that that very morning I had a thought that went something like, I could find a Siamese kitten for me, just me...  Barbara was patient, had been around me enough.  "He is a Siamese, Laura, and he is hurt."  Aaarrrggggghh! I'll be there in 15 minutes.  And so, a billion years later, Toby and I are still good friends.  He is an avid gardener, though he is a little grumpy and possessive if I get too close to his stand of cat nip.  He used to leap upon my back and lay down when I was bent over the flower bed pulling weeds.  He plays tag with Luna, can still jump to the top of the 5 foot fence, and make his way over to the peace and quiet of our neighbor's shed roof, where he curls up for many warm, sunlit naps a day.  He is 100% outside cat, because he insists on peeing on corners, on the broom, on the birdcage stand, you name it, he pees on it. So every year at this time I start worrying:  where am I going to put him for the winter?  Last winter was mild, and we have wood heat, so I kept the back door open a crack for him to come and go, which worked pretty well.  He slept on the washing machine, and I kept his rug fresh and dry, and he loves the warmth of the dryer.  This year I am not going to worry.  I am a new woman, I refuse to worry about anything.  Toby and I have it made.  Period.  He always comes in when he is wet.

All three cats gang up on Luna.  Tigger leads the Nasty Gang.  They corner her, and then Tigger swats her, hard.  She slinks, and tries to get away.  Tigger swats her again.  Pixie snarls and hisses.  Toby appears to just watch.  Luna cries.  Of course, I know nothing until I hear this pathetic howling/yelping, and I run to the rescue.  Tigger swaggers off, and Pixie shape-shifts into the shadows.  Toby watches, big blue eyes watching.

There must be a deeper message here.  At any given moment I can be melancholy about my brood growing up and being adults with spouses, work and children, soccer, school, commutes and all of it.  I am also aware of this exalted place of freedom.  I can choose to "not worry" a little easier than when the girls were teens, or the boys were teens.  My creative life can have my full attention.  

Part of the message is this:  the animals choose us.  Perhaps we never know the whole story, the why of it.  The message is in the choice, the choosing.  Who am I in this moment?  

Oh, that may be the whole message!  Ahh!  Thank you!



N2 said...

And now, after that lovely morning ramble with LC, I am off to bed for the night to be up in time to take a country ramble at the Sidobre with Monique. More soon...x0x0x0 N2

Merry ME said...

Animals pick us. How true.
Great story. It reminded me of all the times I've been picked! What blessings!

A wildlife gardener said...

What a lovely story of the cat who chose to come and live with you...animals always know who will love and accept them, don't they?

We had three of our own, who chose us...and two strays in the barn who came later to join the family...now, sadly, only one left...but wonderful memories of them all :)

Bimbimbie said...

Toby has a wonderfully looking wise face. Of all those people he must have watched pass by that morning he choose cake and was given a loving home ... there's no way he'll be putting up with any cold weather this winter. Poor Luna, at least Toby chooses to just watch. Smiles*!*

Bethany said...

Oh what a beautiful cat and wonderful story. Cake!
Lucky kitty and lucky you.

script type="text/javascript" src="http://s44.sitemeter.com/js/counter.js?site=s44larabee">