Archives for posts with tag: cats

Normally, when I haven’t posted to this blog for a while, it’s an indication that things aren’t going well: someone is ill; there’s some sort of family drama, or I’m just in some sort of inert funk for no easily articulated reason.

I am happy to report that’s not this case this time.

I’ve had a pleasant and eventful six weeks. Inspiring even. OK, there was one (very scary and horrifyingly expensive) instance of family illness/drama, involving my sweet little cat, but even that ended well, and it served as reinforcement of what I need to be doing.

Briefly, since I posted last, I’ve been back to California to attend a multi-class high school reunion, and squeezed in a daylong visit to my former office. I’ve attended two more meetings of the Toastmaster’s Club I wrote about in my last post. I registered for WordCamp, a conference hosted by WordPress, which I will be attending next weekend. I’ve applied to a handful of jobs. I’ve had several frank and friendly conversations with the boss at my part-time job, and there  are avenues to explore there. I’ve been reaching out to friends for job search help and advice, and I am encouraged and motivated as a result. I’ve stood next to Dr. T as he was sworn in as a lawyer; his exciting new venture makes me even more eager for one of my own.

Those are the highlights. There’s been a lot to think about, and a lot to write about. I am challenging myself to choose a schedule for that, and stick to it. In the interest of developing something I can stick with, I will plan to post on the days I am never scheduled to work: Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday. We’ll see how that goes.

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The weather was perfect. Waldo and I had a great walk. The Kid called me as I was driving to work, and we had a fine chat; she called me “the best mom ever.” I walked into the store with the sense that I was in charge; I could take it or leave it, and I liked my co-workers very much.

I had an excellent lunch- a beautiful soup made by Dr. T.  A friend from my last job sent me a message just to say hello.

I spent the afternoon off the sales floor, doing work in the office with my general manager (the big boss) at my side. We talked. I got everything I needed to do finished, and stayed a little late to handle a customer who was unhappy with somebody else. He and his wife were both satisfied by the time I left. My GM was happy too.

Dr. T fixed a nice dinner, we  watched some TV, and laughed at the dog and the cat.

Sometimes the smallest, most ordinary days are the best. I am very grateful to have noticed this one.

Don’t ask  whether I’m a Dog Person or a Cat Person. I will steadfastly reply “Both.” In my view, a home is incomplete without (at minimum) one of each. For the first time in nearly nine long years, my home is complete, in that sense at least.

The yang of our big boy Waldo has been balanced by the yin of petite Willow.  He is all energy and action, and can’t for the life of him fathom why his bouncing invitations to play are being rejected. He does not see what Willow sees clearly: he is eight times her size.

Both of our pets came from the same shelter, where they received their coincidentally symmetrical names.  Adopted a little over a year apart, they have been adapting to one another for about three months.

I didn’t intend it, but they “match.” Both of them have white socks on their feet, and seem to be wearing white turtleneck “dickies” (some of  you will remember those. Weren’t they ridiculous?) Willow is a tortie/calico, and Waldo seems to be German Shepard based, in color and markings at least.

Waldo’s feet are long and narrow, with big webbed toes. Hound feet, although when he was a pup, they made him seem part wombat to me. He’s grown into them now, and they are just part of his general handsomeness.

Willow’s feet are another thing altogether. I love them. Her front paws are just slightly larger than my thumb, and she has little pink toes!  Those little toes pad after me down the hall along with Waldo’s clackety gallumphing. They swat at Waldo when he gets too frisky, and gently explore the space on the couch when she squeezes in between Waldo and me to curl up for a nap.

I dearly  love my dog, but I have longed for a cat. Willow does not disappoint. She is just friendly enough. At night, she happily sleeps in a basket in the laundry room, but will curl up with me for an afternoon nap. She purrs freely, and will rub her face against mine in greeting. She has an almost silent “meow,” which she rarely utters. She is lovely to look at, with an almost cartoonishly sweet face.

Fog is not the only thing that creeps in on little cat feet; happiness does too.

To understand this story, you must understand a little about our backyard: It consists of two levels, the lower of  which includes a modest swimming pool. The lower level is mostly paved,  and is surrounded by a brick wall. The rear brick wall is interrupted by  steps leading to the upper part of the yard, which is mostly “wild,” covered in ivy and plant debris. There is a short wooden gate at the bottom of the steps.

This morning, as usual, I was taking Waldo to the upper portion of our backyard to conduct his personal business. Because he is a relentless digger, we keep him on a leash for these excursions. As we stepped outside, we both noticed our neighbors’ orange cat perched on the brick wall. I said hello, Waldo began to bark. I crouched to calm him down, and to remind him that We Like This Kitty. Before I could accomplish that, I caught something in my peripheral vision, headed our way. A squirrel? Vole? Mouse? Please, not a rat! A BABY BUNNY! How cute!  As I was attempting to register this surprising episode of adorableness, the bunny leapt into the pool.

I entreated Waldo to stay still and be calm, realizing as I did  that there was no chance of that happening. I kept one  eye on him and the other on the cat as I sat at the pool’s edge, attempting to grab the rabbit with my free hand.  As my feet hit the water I recognized the complete awkwardness of what I was doing. I was now close enough to see that the rabbit was injured, and finally made the connection between kitty and bunny. I also remembered the pool net.

Back on my feet, I reached for the net. With Waldo’s leash planted under one foot, I was able to scoop out the rabbit. I left him on the ground, wrapped in the net, while I made my way up the stairs with Waldo, who was deeply interested in all of this, but remarkably manageable.

I spoke firmly to the cat, took Waldo inside, and called for backup from TMIM.

Making plans to search for a  local wildlife rescue, I poured my first coffee of the morning and headed back outside. “He’s in the bushes,” said Dr. T, “he’s pretty chewed up.”

So much for the rescue plan: I was not about to crawl through the Nandina searching for this poor scared creature, but I could do one thing. Coffee in hand, I called to the cat. We are old friends, and he immediately followed me to the side yard.  I sat on the step; he hopped onto my lap. We chatted. I reminded him of my previous admonitions against killing and maiming the birds and critters in my yard. He might have pretended to agree with me, but I know he is still a stone cold killer. I just hoped to distract him long enough to allow the  bunny  to escape or die in peace.

I know nature is harsh. Rabbits are prey animals, and cats will kill. I know that dozens, if not hundreds, of life or death dramas play out in and around my yard. I’d just rather not participate.

George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (cnms.berkeley.edu).

Greggory Miller

Investing for normal people

The Happsters

Spread Positive Vibes. Give Love. Be Happy.

jmgoyder

wings and things