We encounter many companions on our journeys – some stay with us longer than others. Some aren’t even human. After half a year without a cat, following the death of my faithful companion Virginia, I decided to bring another into my life .
At the animal shelter I walked up to a large cage that held five kittens. The all-gray one was playful, but also seemed alone. Not really part of the group. I took and held her. She purred, resting in my arms. This was the one. (Though I could have easily adopted several others as well, except I don’t want to become the crazy cat lady.) It’s great having a kitten around again. Josephine is a great distraction when work gets a bit heavy. A welcome presence when I’m reading as she sits on the back of the chair. She also reminds me of several important practices.
Rest. Not that I needed to much encouragement to do this anyway, but watching a cat asleep in a bath of sunlight reminds me that life doesn’t have to be so stressful. Maybe I just need to lay down for a bit. When I wake I can attack the pests lurking around me.
Curiosity. Everything the world is new and needs to be checked out. Sometimes even the same toys each day. Some items need caution when approaching – like a brightly colored collar. A few tentative pats with the paw reveal that it’s okay and the hunt can continue. Other things like a bunch of feathers just need to be bounced on right away. You never know what you will find.
Play. When awake, go wake up the other cat. It’s time to play. Bat around a stuffed green sardine. Jump up in the air. Race around. Even try to get on the people table. Everything is a possible toy.
These cat lessons may be obvious. Still it’s encouraging to remember again these small practices when I get caught up in daily ruts and feel I’m drowning. Instead of flailing in the surrounding chaos, maybe I can seek ways to step out and play – even if just for a moment. Who knows, new journeys could begin from such breaks in my routines. Hey, what is the light doing on the floor? I wonder what will happen if I follow it?