Episode 21: In Which a Cat Counts his Lucky Stars
The final seasonal transition is underway, bringing with it the quiet of winter. All living things outside are preparing for dormancy. Some rush to their appointment with sleep, while others cling to the final moments of wakefulness. Even the last leaves seem loathe to shuffle off this mortal coil, unaware that their purpose will be to provide nourishment for the trees that bore them, and fated to be reborn in a few short months, as green and beautiful as ever. The sun goes down earlier every day, and my window is awash with the cold outside air.
I do not dread this season, in nature or in life. It is accompanied by a sense of accomplishment, that the preceding year was filled with experience and productivity, and that in spite of time’s relentless march, we saw and we listened and we felt. And when it is only autumn’s end nearing, there is still time for more. It is my second year in this home, and sometimes I forget that I was ever anywhere else. We have our routines here, in spite of the frequent adventures (and misadventures) that befall me. Such distractions are a welcome element of the interesting life of a cat, and should be met head on with dignity; I always find my way through the interesting bits of life with gusto and accept the lessons graciously. After all, cats are known for keeping our wits about us no matter the circumstance.
Through all my experiences this year, one thing has remained constant; the presence of my friends and their devotion to my well-being. Of course, I could get along just fine without them; it is the nature of my people to be independent. But why would we? Why strike out on my own when I have a hand to feed me and give me water and a clean, dry place to sleep? I have everything I need without having to fight. I don’t remember what it was like to fight for life, or for survival to be my daily goal. I know what exists outside of these walls; I am a kept cat now, but I know some of the world, and I know that I did not come into this place with all nine of my lives intact. I know that I am lucky.
As I ruminate on the nature of my current state of affairs, one of my friends happens by. I greet her, and she scoops me up around my middle and pulls me close. I lean into the embrace and can’t help but purr, and she squeezes and rocks me and scratches right between my ears, just like I like, and under my chin so that my whiskers stretch forward. She giggles, and sets me on my window ledge bed to stretch out in the sun’s last rays. Yes, I have everything I need. And for that, I am thankful.