Saturday, February 28, 2015

You've Heard of the Cat Among Pigeons...I Have a Cat Among Shoes...

It has been a day of constant rain and darkness, otherwise known as a day to stay inside. despite a to-do list and a small hill's worth of laundry, I have been restless and easily distracted. The cats, hunkered down for the balance of the day in my bedroom closet, have been making strange nests for themselves of late, the oddest of which is now amid my shoes.

Jacob, the thirteen-year-old, jumped onto the shelf containing foot wear and began rubbing the side of his face all over each shoe, essentially marking them as his. He clearly believes that everything in our house, including me, belongs to him and I am no stranger to licking, pawing, kneading or head butting, all signs of affection or belonging in a cat's world.

Other than the occasional sniff after my return home from somewhere, shoes have been given short shrift. I have, however, seen him go into paroxysms of feline ecstasy when various female friends have left handbags on the floor or dining table. This includes but is not limited to sticking his head completely inside the bag and moving it up and down while meowing, rubbing his face all over the outside of a purse and then sitting atop the purse to prevent its being picked up or smelling a bag and then rolling all over the floor in front of it as though awaiting a belly rub or some congratulatory treat. Shoes were an after thought.

Until today...

I should perhaps mention that I do not generally carry a purse and in the shoe department, unlike many women I know who have shoes for every possible event, I own eight pairs, which is probably five pairs too many as far as I am concerned. The daughter of a rather statuesque mother who until midlife had difficulty finding dress and work shoes to comfortably grace her size ten feet, I was never a member of the come-fuck-me-pump brigade of women who don stiletto and other high-heeled creations.

A creature of  smaller, flat feet and what could best be described as an awkward gait, I was destined to wear flats, and like my mother, I have had difficulty finding just the right fit. Thus, my shoe collection contains one pair of dress shoes with the remainder devoted to trainers, high-tops and casual slip ons, none of which would impress fans of high heels for a nanosecond. To me, shoes are just shoes. What they've become to my much-adored feline friend, other than a strange array of oddly shaped things that smell of tempting places he might like to go or funky laces he tries to chew or chase, I cannot truly say. As I write, I do hear contented snores from the shoe shelf of my closet...

Friday, February 27, 2015

One of Those Days...

It has been crisp and overcast here today, very wintry looking and a situation which matches my mood at the moment. My dear friend Pauline, who passed away at the end of June, would have been fifty-four today. I sent card to her daughters and husband, and a hand made card for her granddaughter, who will be one year old in July.

Apart from keeping myself busy with household tasks of the most mundane, it has been quiet, almost as if a part of me has slipped away somewhere. Because she lived across the country after our college years, and the small house Pauline shared with her maternal grandmother during that time has long been inhabited by others, there is no particular place for me to go. She wasn't one for sitting at headstones and crying. Her family has contributed to a park near their now former home in her memory and I was happy to make a donation as well.

Since her passing, her oldest daughter and her husband and baby, accompanied by Pauline's husband, have upped sticks and moved to a major city in the Midwest where new jobs and a fresh start awaited them. It has been a slow and difficult process and one they take day by day. The baby, whose birth occurred two weeks after Pauline's departure, is the apple of everyone's eye. Healthy and thus far even tempered, she smiles and gurgles readily and appears to love the pieces of music her grandmother once played on the piano she had since childhood. Her granddad is her caretaker during working hours and has made music a regular and hopefully enduring part of this little girl's life.

As for me, I think of Pauline a lot, mostly because, until her illness, we were on the phone several times every week, across miles, the multitude of changes the happen with each life transition, crisis, moment of unanticipated loveliness and the complications that comprise our years. I miss her laughter and the steadiness of regular communication. I have tried to fill the breach as best I can long distance for both of her daughters and look forward to the day when our conversations move from the rawness of loss to the new generation's adventures. Knowing someone from the age of nineteen to fifty-three is a privilege. I will look for her loveliness in the stars she prized and always took the time to gaze upon...

Until Next Time...


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Something To Think About...

Found on the end of my Yogi Ginger Tea Bag...

Life is a chance...

Love is infinity...

Grace is reality...

That is about as philosophical as I can get today. I am a bit better but still working my way toward good. I wish I could say with unwavering certainty that I agreed with whatever Yogi came up with the above, but all I can say, given the state of the world, is that I wish all three statements were true. It makes me a little sad to admit this.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Sick As A Dog...

I am once more in the throes of upper respiratory hell, this time with a horrible cough. Medication has been thus far ineffective and the doctor has been notified and I am awaiting a call and drinking as much fluid as I can stand. I will be offline trying to sleep. Happy Hearts Day to all of you tomorrow.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Ouch!!



My cats got a pedicure last evening, and this little wiggle worm moved just at the wrong moment, getting a back toe cut too close. The vet tech, whom both cats know, apologized, staunched the bleeding and was soon on her way.  I meanwhile, left for dinner and was met upon return by bloody paw marks on the bedroom floor, a blood stained duvet and sheets and a little girl in no apparent distress who awaited me on a rather horrendously blood soaked couch cushion.

Our vet tech was consulted and promised to return today which she has, medication in hand. The bleeding has stopped. We think Phoebe, annoyed by her nail, chewed on it when I was not at home to notice.

She is contentedly sleeping while I wonder at the best solution for taking feline blood from a blue and white duvet, bleaching sheets and a love seat cover. Any suggestions?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Lovely Way To End The Week...


Has anyone seen the stars tonight? It is crisp, but not cold and there were several stars raining light as I came home from dinner with friends. The night sky can be hard to see in a suburban landscape as built up and neon-dominated as this tends to be. Living next to an eight-lane roadway populated largely by businesses, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the cacophony of traffic noises, the glare of lights or the blare of emergency vehicles on route to nearby hospitals or the neighboring firehouse.

This evening as I arrived at my door, however, all was quiet and what was intended as a passing glance upward became the entree for one of nature's finest moments. Many years ago while in the desert with my friend Pauline, we were treated to a dazzling array twinkling from above when she, an avid amateur astronomer, showed me some stars through her telescope, remarking that the stars were infinitely more interesting and beautiful than anything humans could create, and few of us appreciated our luck at being able to gaze at them.

I think perhaps she was right. What do you think?